On my way to Sedona I decided to go out of my way to explore Lake Havisu. I only stayed long enough to u-turn on the main drag, so I can’t really say I got a true sense of the place, only enough to know it wasn’t for me, at least not now. It was flat, hot, developed, and uninspiring. I’m sure there are some good deals, good people, and pleasant beaches, I just didn’t have the will or patience to find out.
Sedona is kind of ridiculous to me. It is so congested and touristy, and oppressively hot. Sure the backdrop is beautiful, but even the trails are crowded and one is never out of reach from the drone of traffic noise, the glint fabricated structures, nor the neon glow of commerce. I like crystals and chakras and vortexes and all that, but I don’t need the commerical entity of Sedona, Arizona to enjoy those things. Sure, the land is awe-inpsiring and sacred, but so is the entire American West. I think the only thing Sedona has an edge on is business savvy and spiritual tourism. Everything Sedona has to offer can be found in a much purer form if one just drives to the empty spaces on any map of the southwest. I had a dear friend in Sedona though. I was kind of conflicted between my desire to spend time with her, and my instinct to flee the area. I was there for about a week. I managed to score a spot at a sought after campground. It was along a beautiful stream with a healthy trout population and secret meditation nooks. I abided.
From Sedona I headed northwest to Vegas, only to refill my stash of cannabis edibles. I only stayed so long as to refill my fridge and do my laundry, spending the night in a Walmart parking lot in Mesquite NV along the Nevada/Utah border. I’ve become fond of Mesquite. It’s everything you’d expect it to be: “Hi! Welcome to Nevada! Wanna gamble? Want a hooker? Want some weed? Need a place to stay? We’re here for you!” Don’t get me wrong. Mesquite isn’t seedy feeling at all. It just feels… practical.
The next day was an adventure. I saw a place on the map in the middle of nowhere called Wolf’s Hole. I had to go. I drove sixty mile into the northern Arizona desert, missed the sign for Wolf’s Hole, and ended up with a flat tire, without a spare tire or cell service, in the middle of nowhere. Luckily I had my motorcycle on the back of my van with a full tank of gas. I did what I had to do. I found a flat, safe place to pull over next to a historic schoolhouse. I got out my jack, pulled off the offending tire, mounted it on the back of my motorcycle, closed all the blinds in my van and turned on the fans for Kody, and drove sixty long miles through the desert dust and gravel to St. George Utah where I got my tire promptly fixed. Before heading back I stopped at a gas station to refill my motorcycle tank and to slam a couple of White Claws to make the ride back a little more tolerable. Even though it at first seemed like an ordeal, I managed to resolve the problem quite smoothly in just a few hours. I decided to just camp right there that night since it was so barren and quite, just as I prefer. I checked out the schoolhouse and was pleasantly surprised. The door was open and it had been restored in recent years, boasting a nice wood floor, a few wooden benches, and plenty of pics and memorobilia regarding the former school and it’s students. Since there was no one around for miles, I made that little schoolhouse my temple for the night. I did yoga and meditated in this quiet sanctuary and played my flute all night, taking advantage of the interesting acoustics of the buildling.
The next day I moved on to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. I had never been to the North Rim before but was pleasantly surprised to find very little crowd, hardly any presence of park rangers or law enforcement, and beautiful vistas and enchanting trails. I stayed up there for a whole week, never once paying for camping, just sleeping at the vista pulloffs which was technically against regulations. While there a friend of mine from the East Coast came through for a few nights on his way out to the West Coast to do some surfing. We had a good time exploring around and making music. The Grand Canyon treated me well, and I’m sure I’ll be back. I found it very cleasning to the mind and soul to contemplate such vast and beautiful vistas for a whole week.
From the Grand Canyon I proceeded west along the Arizona/Utah border to the Glenn Canyon Recreation Area where I am now. I spent 5 days at Lees Ferry fishing, hiking, and practicing my spiritual disciplines. Lees Ferry suited me very well, but there was no place to camp there except for the $20/night campground. I forked over the fee to have access to the place at night, staying out well past dark each evening. Now I am nearby at Lone Rock campground along Lake Powell, just over the Utah Border. This area is super mellow and has everything I need. It is where I will hunker down for the next few weeks while America weathers the almost assuredly pending chaos following today’s election. It’s all beach camping here along the shore of Lake Powell, very spread out with no numbered or definable sites. There’s a dump station and fresh water, and the town of Page only 20 minutes away where I can go for supplies. I want to spend several weeks here living quite and simply, working on a writing project, playing lots of music, doing some fishing, paddleboarding, offroad dirtbiking, and plenty of long walks.
One thought on “To The Arizona Canyons”
Flat tires, a schoolhouse, your pitstop sounds incredible! Glad you are having a grand time, Mateo.