“We travel to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin
So off we went this past Monday morning to seek warmer climes down south in New Mexico and Arizona…enough snow already! We packed up ourselves, our cat and dog and headed south. Charlie the cat only made it as far as Trinidad, pooping in his box along the way. (Thanks Charlie!) We left him off at our wonderful vet’s place, and were in New Mexico in 20 minutes.
We headed down to Socorro on I-25 and then west past the Very Large Array. Very cool visitor center! It really brought out the space nerd in Mike, and reminds me of the movie Contact from 1997.
We ended the day at Lyman Lake State Park just across the Arizona border, and were disappointed to learn that this campground appears to be removing all of its camp sites for those not in gigantic RVs. They have expensive, new cabins (without toilets!) and only a few non-electric sites. It seems even in the realm of camping, those with the most money win.
Next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in Show Low, and then continued on to Payson to spend a few hours with Mike’s sister and her family. Then on to Sedona where my brother lives.
Our arrival in Sedona was breathtakingly beautiful, but pure culture shock for Mike and I. Intense traffic by our standards with lots of confusing roundabouts everywhere. For obvious reasons, this place is tourist heaven!
However, it wasn’t heaven for us. We picked up my brother John and proceeded north of town to Manzanita campground, which was full. We then spent an hour or so finding no place to stay anywhere near Sedona.
Finally a nice guy at the Circle K told us about some Forest Service land west of town where we were allowed to sleep in our van.
The best part? The beautiful cacti in full bloom everywhere!
For as beautiful as it is, Sedona was not our cup of tea. To us, it seemed like Estes Park (next to Rocky Mountain National Park) on steroids, so noisy, busy and none relaxing! And it really surprised me that my brother, who lives on the land up north in Oak Creek Canyon, likes it there. But the land is beautiful, the weather is nice, and the people we met there were surprisingly helpful and friendly. I guess John has everything he needs there without having to own a car, pay rent, etc.
Our return trip was not so fun. Mike got sick and it was so windy driving across northern New Mexico. We stayed in Gallup. Mike went to bed and I ventured out to find some dinner and a 35-word short story:
A Visit to McDonald’s in Navajo Country
At first glance there was fear. Who was this beige ghost so out of place? Then I smiled, and experienced a beautiful show of relief. An angel-like round face framed by dark hair smiled back at me.
From my visit with my brother I could only conclude: to each his own. By the time you’re 50 or 60 I guess you know what works best for you. This home in southern Colorado with a tremendous view of the Spanish Peaks is our own version of perfect!
We appreciate it even more now…