This week, Debbie and I took a four day cycle trip of close to 1000 miles. It’s not that far on a cruiser, but covering two National Parks, motoring through the Navajo, Hopi and Apache Nations while driving in high altitude with wind, smoke from forest fires, switchbacks, and snow-capped mountains in the distance was enough. With the wide disparity in temperatures hotel rooms, road conditions, and gasoline prices, there were surprises at every stop.
We visited Sedona, of course. The Grand Canyon, of course, and we stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. One night, I watched a Navajo woman put great attention into her small pile of scratch off games. When she talked, I saw the luminous in the dark gap between her teeth.
It’s easy to meet jokers along the way.
I met one – his name could have been Ron – who fit the bill but lacked a jesters hat. In an earlier life, he may have married his bar stool. He said, “I grew up in Amery, Wisconsin.” Amery is a town in one of 15 counties in northwest Wisconsin that since 1936 have been called Indianhead Country. The moniker was started by three Eau Claire, Wisconsin, businessmen as an inducement to tourism. When I told him I had swum in Wapogasset Lake, just east of Amery, he darn near peed his pants. Then his memories poured forth: thee marriages, three divorces, and lifetime battles over boundaries, precious gems, and alcohol.
Navajo Rugs At the Wupatki National Monument, I read the wind is strong enough to “knock you flat.” It was a challenge to cycle through wind like that. The Grand Canyon’s rock formation called “Vishnu’s Temple” caught my eye, and the view from Sedona’s Chapel of the Holy Cross is breath taking.
Jasper Forest info plaque (within the Petrified Forest National Park) describing one of the largest petrified wood collections in the world.
On the last night of this windy trip, while sleeping in the Navajo Nation, a dear friend who’s critically ill came to me in a dream. He gave me an ornate silver ring and told me to hand it over to a pregnant woman. He spoke her name. I don’t know her.
And what about the riding?
Oh, yea the riding.
That was good too.