Romantic memories waft from my recent adventures in Sedona and the desert Southwest. Unromantic memories linger from all the mosquito bites. Even now, some of them still itch. Somehow they bit me about 30 times on my face and neck and in my hair.
I put pieces of scotch tape on the bites after swabbing them with witch hazel. The tape seems to draw out some of the poison, and is a tactile reminder to NOT scratch. Yes, I may have looked a bit weird with the two pieces of tape on my face and couple on the back of my neck (I have short hair) but, hey, I avoided scarring by not scratching when I slept..
As to bugs, we encountered a tarantula at Doe Mountain, a huge glowing green beetle on a restaurant menu sign, and a camouflaged moth on our door.
Sedona is a small town in the northern third of Arizona that’s in the midst of dramatic red rock cliffs and canyons. The prickly pear cacti grow abundantly beside mesquite trees, other desert flora, and bugs. We took 4 hikes, visited Montezuma’s Castle, a Sinagua cliff dwelling, and spent a day at the Out of Africa wild animal park. There we fed giraffes, saw tigers playfully belly flop into a pool of water, observed a sprawled five-ton rhinoceros, and took a bus ride through the “Serengeti” to espy camels, zebras, elands, and other exotic creatures.
On a hike at Fay Canyon we met a “medical intuitive” dog and her owner, a self-designated Medicine Woman. She invited us to her Sunset Healing Ceremony at Airport Mesa’s ages-old Medicine Wheel. The area was a happening place at dusk. Hundreds were gathered for the sunset – glorious, but we were the only participants at Marybeth’s healing. We may or may not have been healed. After an hour of chanting, breathing, and offerings, we could say that we had finally experienced the New-Age mystique of this vortex-laden area. Vortexes being spots where spiritual reality slips through the veil covering our daily existence. The mosquitoes and gnats view these vortexes as significant feeding opportunities.
The next day, mosquitoes again feasted on me as I ate steak au poivre at a swank restaurant in the Tlaquepaque village while relaxing to soothing guitar melodies.
Some firsts on our trip included playing darts at an Irish pub, discovering Chuao dark chocolate honeycomb hunks at Whole Foods as well as dark chocolate-covered pistachios in bulk. We viewed a Taos Indian hoop dance at an outdoor square, purchased dark chocolate cherry-infused balsamic vinegar (worth the 10-hour drive to Sedona) and visited the utterly amazing Dahling It’s You Boutique (inexpensive clothing) where I found both navy and teal tight-fitting knit jeans that are sort of like leggings only a bit more refined and two camisoles – medium gray and medium teal.
The pool at our vacation rental DID NOT contain chlorine so I thoroughly enjoyed the water. I never even knew such a thing existed. This means a person doesn’t need to detox after taking a swim. Yeah!
As to jewelry, on the Navaho reservation, I purchased a signed sterling silver cuff at the Camaron Trading Post. It’s pawn – older with a beautiful patina. At a roadside stand, I found a prize – a sand cast silver ring set with a pale turquoise stone from the Kingman mine. Sand cast jewelry is harder to find these days as it requires more silver and a higher level of craftsmanship. Great additions to my collection.
I love this photo from our first-ever boat ride on Lake Powell. It’s so evocative of the southern Utah/Arizona skies that I intend to do a watercolor painting of it soon. Pat wants to set out in a house boat for a week of family bonding. That’s very tight quarters for all eight of us, But perhaps a 2-night trip would provide the right amount of fun.