The long two-way road that cuts through the desert is where I belong. The wide open spaces, the tall mesas, and the saguaros and red sand- my happy place. We drove into an Arizona sunset while a real life Bald Eagle flew next to our van for a moment before landing on its perch. The desert is the most magical place to me.
Our first night we stayed outside of Flagstaff. In the morning we drove into town to eat Mexican brunch at MartAnne’s. I eat there every time I’m in Flagstaff. We wished we could stay longer but were ready to get to warmer weather. From here we took Highway 89A to Sedona.
We descended from 8,000 feet on our favorite drive so far. Tall pine trees turned into cacti and mountains went from desert tan to burning red. Making our way down a dusty bumpy road, we found a spot at the end next to a school bus.
There were fields upon fields of cacti, the sage of the desert. We had a perfect view of the mountains and beyond the ridge were Red Rocks. It felt heavenly to have my skin exposed to the sun after wearing so many layers to stay warm. Finn and Meeko took a while to adapt to their surrounding environment. The first day they would come to me crying with a sticker in their paw or nose. They quickly learned to stay away from sharp and pointy things.
Friday night our first visitors came to camp with us. It was so nice to be in the company of old friends in an unfamiliar place. We spent the whole evening eating, drinking, catching up, and even brought their dog Mowgli inside the van with our dogs while we played games. It felt good to have a full “house”.
That weekend the four of us and our three dogs hiked Devil’s Bridge Trail. The end lead to natural rock bridge over a deep canyon. I thought I could see all of the West. I had so much fun that I didn’t hardly take any pictures.
One night I put our trash outside, thinking that I didn’t want to smell it. We woke up the next day with an ant infestation. You live and you learn.
Early in the morning I stepped outside our van and realized we were surrounded by cows! Tons of free-range cows! They stayed around our camp all week and were very friendly around people.
Traveling to new places is exciting, but it can get exhausting. It was so relaxing to stay put in one spot for a whole week. It felt like home. Every morning hot air balloons floated above us. And every night Venus shined the brightest. We watched Clint Eastwood movies in bed while they coyotes yipped, drank hot cider when the sun set, and took bike rides down the long dirt road. There’s nothing more I could have wished for.
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