carocali (carocali) wrote,

In Search of.... Post Office?

Slowly, but surely, I'll get the rest of this journal up.  I have only one more day to post, then I'm done.  Woohoo!  I've got about half of it, so it will be up shortly.

In the meantime, here is the journey into Sedona and our chaos trying to get there.

Hope you enjoy!




October 13, 2007


Since our initial trip to Target to gather supplies, we’d been carrying around extra towels, some beer and a myriad of other supplies.  We’d tired of our cooler back in Idaho and decided to put it to rest, but there was still a lot of stuff that we’d acquired.  There was also the problem of all the things we’d accumulated along the way – souvenirs of our special journey.  And books; lots of books!  Quickly thinking through what we’d need form our stash for the next day, we unloaded our box-o-goodies that held our snacks and necessities and shoved them in a plastic bag.  The pile we decided to leave began as a small offering, but soon turned into a Mecca of items for the motel owners: towels, plates, cups, alcohol, pretzels.  You name it, it was there.  We knew they’d be pleased.


Now, with an empty box, we started to load all our treasures from Route 89.  There was no way we were going to use a whole piece of luggage to truck this home, so we agreed to find a post office and mail it back home.  There were books on Bryce and Zion, chocolate, bookmarks and even honey.  These were all things we wanted to remember our trip, but we figured if something did happen to the box, we’d be alright.  Neither of us wanted to carry this puppy on the plane.  With the skills of a surgeon, Kathy packed every inch of that crate and we loaded it up to mail out.


Who knew that finding a post office or UPS store would be the crux of the day?


The small town we stayed in had a post office – but it wasn’t open on Saturday!  ??  How is that even possible?  Frustrated, we pulled the heavy box and loaded it back into the car and tried to figure out where we could send it out.  “Wanda” tried to help us find a terminal, but we were having next to no luck, and time was running out!  We drove and drove and finally ended up hitting Sedona in a panic, blowing through the twists and turns of the scenic route.  Missing all the towers of sediment squeezed between the millions of tourists that were camping along the way. 


It was now closing in on noon and we still couldn’t find a post office.  The chamber of commerce was barely helpful, giving us directions to another closed facility.  Finally, a citizen was able to tell us of another post office that was open until 1pm.  We raced down the strip, continuing to ignore all the beautiful red rock and finally pulled in the parking lot.  $27 later, our box was on its way and we could finally relax.  Phew!


We headed back into town to breathe in the sites.  The town pretty much consisted of one tourist trap after another and their own version of ‘Cows on Parade’ – Javelinas on Parade!  A javelina is basically a wild pig that is native to the area.  The designs were cute and arty, but a little much to take every ten feet.  Here - everywhere - are these monoliths of gorgeous, deep red-orange earth making a fortress of slate, and at every turn, someone is trying to sell you a t-shirt.  Or take you on a pink hummer ride.  Anyone who’s ever been to the Dells in Wisconsin would have an immediate understanding of the tourist-o-meter of this place.  Although, there were a bunch of galleries with aspiring artist’s work to help quell some of the tackiness, but it still didn’t justify the chaos.  While the surrounding scenery is beyond breathtaking, Kathy and I both felt the town itself was a detriment to the area. 


Our stomachs were assaulting us from lack of food, so we found a cute sports bar to grab some lunch and watch some college football.  There was a dance by the local Native American tribe (Navajo, perhaps?) that I did find quite interesting, so we watched that for a while and wandered in and out of the crystal and metaphysical shops directly surrounding the square.  We grew tired of people almost instantly (because we really hadn’t been around any most of the trip) and decided to see if we could get closer to the true stars of the area.


Back in the car, Kathy took some side roads up into the private housing in the area.  A few right turns later, we ended up on a trail of sorts where we spotted a real wild javelina!  Who knew!  It scurried off before we could really get a look at it, but I think I have a blurry picture of its backside.  Certainly another companion piece to ‘Black Bear at Night.’  (Maybe I should do a separate page of ‘animals I saw but have no proof of.’  I’m sure that would go over really well!)


We wandered in the area filled with cactus of all shapes and sizes – a vast difference from the glaciers we saw two week’s prior.  Several flowers were protruding from the sand, making themselves known as well. We finally got some rich colors other than the dominant yellow that surrounded us through most of the trip.  There were deep purples and reds speckled through the desertish atmosphere.  It’s not really hot there (at least it wasn’t for us) but the climate is certainly different, and the ground is not covered with grass.  We found some beautiful angles for pictures and enjoyed the true majesty of the area – away from people.  The real shame was missing the up-close-and-personal panorama on our way down through Route 89 into Sedona.  We passed some of the most amazing roadside formations we’d seen.  A quick gasp here and there were the only souvenirs we’ll take from that part of the highway.


Taking in what we’d learned from our trip, Kathy and I found solace in what we could get from the area.  Found our Rainbow for the Day!  Nature’s carvings here were awe-inspiring, and having seen their cousins along the way, it’s fascinating to see the infinite stretch of this red rock through Utah and Arizona.  There is this common thread in each of these areas, yet each one has its own unique stamp on the formula.  I would have never guessed at the absolute beauty of nature in the mountainous region of the country had I not seen it myself.  Kathy’s eye for traveling came through on this trip – big time!


The day was growing long in the tooth, and we decided that it would probably be best to get to Phoenix and near the airport so that the morning wouldn’t be a huge rush.  We took 89 out of Sedona, seeing the last sentinels of fiery rock, and eventually ended up on Hwy 17 so we could pick up some time, watching the fleeting saguaros in the distance.  I tried desperately to capture a few at sunset, but we never hit a big run of them.  I did get a cool picture of the sliver of the crescent moon on the horizon in the rainbow sky.  I guess that would have to do.


We found a hotel and settled in for the night, ordering Chinese from the local restaurant (that needed directions to the hotel!) and relaxed.  It was hard to believe that we were flying out in the morning and that this dream of a journey was coming to an end.


  • Happy birthday!

    Hi, stranger!! I hope all is well in your world and that you have a great birthday!! :) Caroline

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