Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I wish it would never stop growing - a summer day at Cedar Bluff

In summer, the horizons keep expanding. Wavery heat lines on the highway make you think there is something ahead. The echo of a transistor radio from somewhere down the lake, comes to you on a hot wind that reminds you of the harvest happening back in town, where burnt men dump wheat into big trucks and drive them through the wavery heat lines to the elevator. You left an LP on the turntable in the basement, your mom is frying up chicken for ghost siblings who have left home, your back presses against the sand of a man-made dam, and your place in this time, is shimmering like the heat, the way thoughts and memories waver like lines, under your closed eyes. And this is what that sounds like:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hiking Chapel Rock in Sedona

We spent only one night in Sedona, but it was one of our favorite stops. So much so, that we decided to hang around longer our second day there and do the Chapel Rock hike, which meant delaying our drive to the Grand Canyon by a few hours.

Earlier that morning, I had had a very unusual experience. In a dream my dad came to me, spoke my name, embraced me and kissed me on the cheek. It was so tangible, it woke me up. I sat up in bed and looked at the time. It was 5:00 in the morning. I stayed awake for awhile, with the pleasant sense that that had really been dad, that the contact was real, before dozing off again.

It wasn't until later that it hit me that we were in this land of supposed "energy vortexes" that some believed were spiritual power centers. Bell Rock, the site of one of the energy centers, was visible right outside our motel.

I'm not saying the vortexes exist, and made it easier for dad to contact me. I'm not even saying for sure that was him. It might have been just a dream. But how interesting that a dream so vivid it woke me up, of such a sensitive nature, happened in a place that has spiritual meaning to so many people.     
The Chapel Rock hike was incredible, and well worth the extra time it took.

On the way up to the chapel, (Chapel of the Holy Cross), which is open daily.

Annabelle coming back from the chapel.

View from the chapel overlook. Bell Rock is to the right. 

 Another view from the chapel.

Lilah and me follow Roger up the trail.

Some of these rocks are riddled with holes.

Weird plant and me.

Roger gets farther ahead while I lag behind to take pictures. 

Just look how blue that sky is!

More weird plants ---like something Dr. Seuss would draw! 

Annabelle - so small against the landscape.  

Annabelle "slipping" off the rock

Oh no! We're losing her!

Cacti by the road near where the car is parked.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Ahh, Sedona!

It's been cool and rainy this week, and it makes me long for the sun and aridity of the southwest. I envy my mom and older sister who are out there somewhere, tooling around Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. I remember with fondness the wedding trip Roger and the girls and I took down there in 2011, and I really wish we could go back.  

I never managed to post all the pictures from our trip, having pooped out after the Turquoise Trail and our wanderings around Madrid, the little art town. Consequently, I have neglected to share photos from some of the most striking locales we saw! Like shots from the Petrified Forest, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, and Mesa Verde.

So now that it's been two years, (and Michele and Mom are on their way back with photos of their own),  I figure it's high time I share the rest of that spectacular scenery. Or as much of it as I can stand to post before I get sick of it again. I'm not trying to outdo my sister and mother, really I'm not. We didn't go to the same places they did, so their geologic wonders are not our geologic wonders. I am, however, hoping to promote the southwest as a good place for a family reunion.

Henceforth, I'll be devoting upcoming blog posts to the As Yet Unseen Vacation Photos From Our Southwestern Adventure.   

In these first three photos, we are on our way to Sedona. We had been traveling a road with pine trees on both sides, then all of a sudden we were descending into this magnificent kingdom of rock. The road twisted and turned around hairpin curves....   

When we got to Sedona, we were told to go to the Airport road first, where we would get the best view of the entire land.

Here is me, trying to process what I'm seeing. To say it was stunning doesn't begin to describe it. There are no words for vistas like this.  

Annabelle takes in the view.

I can understand why so many spiritual seekers are drawn to Sedona. I can even understand why some people believe the red rocks hold powerful energy vortices. Because the mammoth formations truly seem out of this world. And I myself  did have an unexpected experience. More about that in a later post.

A perfect soundtrack for these images: "Desert song" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Run to the desert
You will see all that you need to see
Run to the desert
You will be all that you need to be


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blue teapot

It's been like living in England, lately. Damp and gray and rainy, day after day. It's weather like this that turns a middle-aged woman's fancy to thoughts of tea.

It just so happens that a friend of mine who's moving out of town and unloading her crap recently gave me this cute, blue teapot. I've had tea kettles, but this is the very first teapot I've ever owned. I'm anxious to use it.

I've been reading about something called  "cream tea", which in the Devonshire tradition means tea served with scones, clotted cream, and jam. What the hell is clotted cream? Where can I get it? I don't know, but it sounds gloriously fattening.

The idea is you split a scone in half, and cover each side with clotted cream, and then smear jam over that. I guess the Brits drink their tea with milk, and here's where I'm an American, through and through. I say, why have cream only on your scone, when you can have it in your tea too? When it comes to cream, more is more, right?

According to Wikipedia, a variation on the cream tea is something called "Thunder and Lightning" which consists of a round of bread, topped with clotted cream and golden syrup, honey or treacle. What the hell is treacle?  I imagine a pasty English kid spooning it over his milk toast. It doesn't sound so good. But I suppose it's yummy.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013