So what is it about those blow hoovers garden things? If your out and about sleeping in car parks and park car parks you get to see quite a wide variety of them, mainly by the same type of person. No offence, but they seem to me to be job creation, which I suppose is a good thing, but on a windy day, utterly pointless, which is what it was, windy.
There was a guy this morning, shall we say to be kind that he had a portly physique. He had a golf cart too with “all” his tools in, so he wasn’t walking anywhere. The out door life definitely wasn’t showing on his waistline.
He was blowing what I presumed to be leaves across the car park, I have to say in his defense that he was really very focused, he’d blow them one way and the wind would help him out and carry them off all the way to the other side of the car park. So he would run after them as best he could trying to head them off, get round the front of them panting and attempt to blow them back over towards the starting point only for the wind to blow them around both sides of him. Which was confusing him, this went on for quite some time.
I could see his dilemma. He eventually got them into a pile that he seemed happy with but not I suspect in the place he had originally wanted. He made a deal with the wind. It would have been funny had it not been 7am and I hadn’t slept to well last night, and some guy is racing through your bedroom with a very large hair dryer.
I folded up the blankets and rolled out of the park in search of a coffee. Oak creek Sedona I have to say is beautiful, though to my eyes just a little too squeaky clean, but beautiful quiet, dreamy even, yeah no doubt. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Sleepy leafy hidden avenues, with beautiful trees, beautiful expensive sports cars, people out walking their dogs along the sunlit lanes. The roads and tarmac, brand new and oil free, idyllic wealthy and peaceful.
And the sun shine, absolutely gorgeous, I am loving that, sat in the window of the Oak Creek Espresso the sun working into my stiff legs like a greenhouse warmth, my limbs soaking it up. Coffee was ok but not as good as Winslow or Torreon out on the Res. I realized it was Sunday morning people were gathered around chatting warmly. I’b been planning a long hike today, blow some steam off.I’d bought food for wraps made some great ones today. Had fun with Christina and my Girl on Facebook about aliens and the vortexes here. It felt good to get a little bit of normal trustworthy conversation even if only through Facebook.
Then went in search of the trails, I had had advice but I’d find my own way as I always do, there are always better rewards that way.
I searched for a parking space for so long that I very nearly gave up and just moved on, after all I was here on a recommendation, Sedona wasn’t my find and there was certainly no room at the inn. After around 45 minutes exasperated I thought I’m out of here. It was just nuts.
I was just putting a heavy foot on the gas when I remembered the place I’d arrived at last night. I’d rolled into town last night seen the sign for the chaple I’d seen a picture off at Mary’s so I turned off the road, The chapel had been closed but I’d parked up by complete accident at the start of “the Mystic Trail” at the time I hadn’t been impressed, the name put me off. But it was off the main drag and there was no parking permit needed. So rolled around there.
It was just an opening in a fence in a quiet street just there on the road side. There was nobody there. I pulled up and had breakfast sat on Hummingbirds hood. Overhead the red rocks loomed. The chapel just up the road was on the other hand was teeming. I just wanted to get away.
I got to thinking about the Mystic Trail, it was all a bit Sedona, but perhaps a message for me. All that stuff sits uncomfortably with me somehow. I’m still underneath a Northern English Punk Rocker, a Mystic Nah. Still scuffed dusty boots ripped and torn jeans and jersey after all this time. But I got to thinking maybe The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Iggy Pop where the Shamans of my era, my generation, my culture, they’d come along at just the right time and encouraged us to dance and sing, to express. Perhaps they were, so perhaps maybe Mystic.. hm..
I thought there must be someway to get away in this beautiful place. So I just started walking along the Mystic Trail. Which after a few minutes as I went along I began to like, It was interestingly the very first place I had stopped when I had arrived here, hidden away up a side road. I passed by a couple of black haired pale skinned gentle looking Goths who were out peering at prickly pears I presumed studying Cactuses, no roses for Goths it had to be Prickly
I was trying to shake of the request for censorship had stirred up in me, I am always looking for the best in people and I suppose I expect others to see mine. But that’s unrealistic, improbable and I have supposed unfair as I am no Saint. So we take a hit now and again, then up we get and onwards we go. Dust your sandals off the great man said. Move on.
The trail at first was easy, a little too easy, then it linked up with the Hogs trail, an began getting a little more challenging, It led to a graveyard. I have a curiosity about them, it was a pleasant surprise, so I popped in for a little while, it wasn’t the prettiest one I have been too, the graves had lots of neat walls, I’ve found these places to reflect the local area, it’s their expression. It was a little boring but the people seemed to have lived long lives.
I had been eyeing the mountains up above me and to my right since I’d set off.
I heard whispering “Climb, climb”
I came to a dried gulley that led almost vertically right up into the Hog. Go for it. I gave the first 20 feet a try. Not to bad, then the next 30 feet, cool. I looked back and I was already beyond going back. Committed,
“Climb climb” I heard
A little further up I came to some graffiti that said
“Here Lie Sedona Dead, Best we’ve ever had”
It really appealed to me and looking back you could see the neat graveyard below. A little encouragement, a sign post, the right way. From there it got narrower and tougher I climbed and pushed and squeezed higher and higher. Finger tips, knees tearing, tip toes, patches on my jeans bursting, elbows. Everything I had pushing up and dragging over. Do you know the old saying that says when your climbing “don’t look back’ or don’t look down” well take it from me, Don’t!
I swear I had clouds of butterfly’s, thousands of them going wild in my stolmac. I kept on though; no way was I going back.
People here and there have made a great big deal about the vortexes in the Sedona area. There were about 20 new churches hogging the highway trying to get in on the action of religious vortexual experience. My friend Christina she’d had a dizzy spell in Sedona but had explained it as maybe it was just altitude, but I have been higher, and as I climbed I had more than a couple of dizzy spells going up there, I did put it down to altitude at the time but as I am writing this I am about 2000 feet higher and feel fine. Very odd, but I loved it anyway. The elements moving into you physically, yeah, I am alive and the elements very real.
I chatted to the family on the way up, that I’d meant no harm or hurt. I was told really quickly and clearly that I hadn’t caused any, they were hurting anyway.
I climbed and climbed upwards and away from all restrictions
As I came out on top I couldn’t believe where I’d climbed too. I think I have become quite fit these last 8 weeks or so. There was not a foot print up there only mine. It was a staggering view. The views surrounding Sedona were just remarkable. I spoke with my Dad too I had a feeling he’d been with me every step of the way. I planted a rock for him right up on top. Fabulous.
“There you go Dad how’s that”
I recalled what I had been told so I said out loud ok where are your vortexes. I was being a little disrespectful, all of a sudden a great wind came up. It was startling, I had to brace myself
“Apologies” I said bowing and it died away everything back to stillness and now and then a gentle caress. It really is a remarkable place once your up and away in those hills and cliffs.
I had also been told that this was the Hopi Garden of Eden. I understood what was meant as I looked out onto perfection. But I thought how would the Hopi Know about the Garden of Eden? It was a projection. The place had its own Pre-Christian mythology no matter what you’re told. It is obviously and very apparently ancient, but when you look everywhere is isn’t it and everywhere has its gods or spirits or energies or how ever it comes to you. I climbed higher and higher and at one point to one of the most precarious places I have been too and I just thought ‘enough’ and sat down. I laid back and tried to open. It was tough though and a Ravens call brought me back and reminded me, to just be where I am, there would be other opportunities.
I began to see the rise and fall and the lay of the land now. It always takes a little time for a new land to fall into place in the minds eye. I looked into it and began to understand it, a little. I saw the wind rounded domes, the spires and towers cut by the frosts, the tree lines, the streams below snaking ever downwards, the ramparts of tumbled rocks prized away from the cliffs above by searching thirsty roots and where the watercourses were cutting deeper and deeper through the pink red rocks. I saw the trails too and decided to make my way down to one and follow it all the way around full circle.
It didn’t take long at all to get down though at times it was nerve wracking to say the least.
As I came down towards a trail a group of day-glow cyclists were taking it in turns to navigate a steep climb. I was literally stood ten feet above them, right there. The last rider fell, I watched him struggle, I wanted to help him but I could see it would have embarrassed him. He kept it secret from the others and walked his bike up. Nobody even noticed me stood there. Actually i was wishing please don’t look up as he would have been so embarrassed, Its bad enough tripping up in the street. His secret is safe.
I had watched from another vantage point the 4-wheeled drives driving over the land. It seemed like a sacrilege. Why weren’t they walking. It just seemed wrong. Then I caught myself, who are you to judge? I had driven a juggernaut right through my own garden on several occasions; it was metaphorical but still the same.
“As above so below, as inside so outside” I think it was Cynthia
And what about older people who couldn’t do the walk, I thought of Zelda and my own mother. Ok fair enough.
Still, big pink jeeps with lazy young people following a tour guide like sheep across the top of rock did irritate me. Good grief what is wrong with everyone.
I pushed on enjoying my physicality, onto the chapel trail. As I came over a rise it came into view and though beautiful done up there on top of those rocks with its massive and dramatic leaning crucifix proclaiming out across the land, was dwarfed when you looked at the surrounding it was set in. Still it was beautifuly designed and built. Quite a thing to see. People looked like ants buzzing about on an ant hill from where I was stood. I had really wanted to go there and have it all to myself, when I caught myself again
“If you want solitude you have the rocks above, they have the same rights as you, quieten yourself”
I did and went up there anyway and it turned out to be a good experience.
As i approached there was a buzz and a hum, men in red T shirts with walkie talkies were guiding cars in. There was a queue all the way back down the road and out to the gates. A long circular walkway that up to the chapel above. The rocks twinkled and glittered with coins people had thrown over the edge, superstitions, metals into the waters or driven into the tree, still pagans after all this time. A man could get rich with a wishing well in just the right place.
I went inside and it was a remarkable free and open space. I sat and opened. It took me a few attempts. I’d gone too deep. I tried again. I saw two triangles trying to fit in with the other, one bigger that the other. They were a purple blue against a golden glowing back ground. They tried and danced twisted and turned, but couldn’t fit together.
I tried again after looking around the beautiful chapel with its amazing cross framed against the desert and domes outside beyond.
I went in again. I saw a knight on a white horse, he and the horse dressed in silver armour. He carried a great lance, he was ready for battle, confident. As I watched, he noticed me and turned and began to race towards me I saw the point of the lance come right up to my point of view. It seemed to be swirling or turning like a drill.
Then I heard clearly or shall I say I understood clearly
“You can use it if you choose, but it will make no difference to who you are, there is no need too. You see and you are as you are. You are who you are”
I got it. I would do my best to lower the lance. There is no victory in choosing to wound, It’s a vanity and it is the weakness in ourselves that compels us. Maybe that’s what the Genie mean’t yesterday.
I made my way down quietly now from the chapel mount walking in the sunlight just along the road to Hummingbird, we’d come full circle.
I made peanut butter wraps, rolled down to the pizza place I had sat in last night, I’d clocked they had a locking bathroom. I slipped in unnoticed. It was such a luxury to wash my hair, have a warm tip toe wash in the sink, shirt off and a shave. I felt so much better
I remembered their coffee wasn’t great. So took off, stopped for water a garage on the way out of town. The guy gave me a free coffee and it was actually pretty good. It’s the little things and coincidences isn’t it, particularly when you notice them there and then. Then out through the squeaky clean town. I saw a healing centre that absolutely cracked me up. Massage, healing and psychic reading with a little group of aliens above the doorway, Bermondsey it’s not. I thought about them all at the centre and what they’d say. Then up over and out towards Flagstaff.
I had been wondering where the next move was. I had a couple of ideas. For now though just up to flagstaff. Something had shifted, perhaps it was Sedona, perhaps it was the walk, perhaps it was the seeing. I just felt better.
An upward weaving 30 odd mile road of flickering trees, shadows, and cooling of the air. Windows down, my clean hair dancing lightly, it felt good. I was calm and happy it just felt right. Then all of sudden we were there.
It took me around 10 minutes to find the old historic town, it was perfect. I liked Flagstaff instantly. I checked in a crafty clothes shop about parking as there were warning signs everywhere. A lovely girl beamed at me it was Sunday so no restrictions.
“They wont come after you today”
Just loved it immediately. I took a little walk around the place, Clean cool fresh air. Things going on, music art theatre, culture, authentic, people easy. There was the 66 Strip and across the railroad tracks a more ramshackle looking part of town that seemed to burst with bars and coffee brewing companies.
Murals and an amazing looking Gothic church made out of Lave Rocks and painted pink stones. I was spoilt for choice but after circumnavigating the down town twice, I followed the sound of Pearl Jam and ended up sat in the Flag Brew Co on of course, route 66. Wooden floorboards, brick walls long bar, big high ceiling music mixing between cool rock and roll to great classic reggae and lovers rock-Ska type of thing. The staff cool laid back and friendly. Just good to be there.
It got to 12.30 and 4 IPA’s later and it was probably time to go and find a place to park hummingbird. I parked cautiously up the hill in suburbia, didn’t fancy a rude awakening next day. The place glowed and the moon cast down its spell. I’d sleep well there I was sure.