Wednesday, April 10th – Friday, April 12th, 2013
An interesting notion about Arizona is that it’s a state unlike the others when it comes to the concept of time. It’s different throughout the state since some areas observe Daylight Savings Time (DST) while most areas do not. This means that the time depends greatly on where you’re located (the Navajo Indian Reservation observes DST, for example), and what the season is (an area which doesn’t observe DST will not change. obviously). Technically, Arizona is located in the region that follows Mountain Standard Time (MST), however, since the bulk of the state doesn’t observe DST, you could either be in sync with the rest of the state or an hour ahead. So when the rest of the country “springs forward” during the spring equinox, much of the state will remain unchanged and will “appear” to be observing Pacific Standard Time (PST). Confused yet? We sure were! We would breeze through the entire state never really knowing what time it was, but I digress.
On our way to Winslow, we passed the Route 66 Tee-Pee Village, plaster dinosaur sculptures, vast desert with rocks and gray grasses, and could see Arizona’s highest point out in the distance, Humphreys Peak.
Our next stop was Walnut Canyon National Monument where we saw a Gopher snake sunbathing in the middle of the road by the entrance.
We took the island trail which led us through many canyon dwellings of the Sinagua people. The rim tops were used by the Sinagua for agricultural purposes where they grew crops, such as squash, corn, and beans. Their homes were shaped out of the cliff sides. As we passed through, we saw many lizards, turkey vultures and ravens.
One of the plaques shared how the natives would take a sprig from a juniper tree before traveling in order to ward off evil spirits. Even though I knew better, I snagged a sprig and Trevor insisted it was bad juju. I probably should have listened.
The desert landscape turned into pine forests as we approached Flagstaff, a town we would re-visit later. After grabbing a few groceries, we continued onto Camp Verde home of the “World’s Largest Kokopelli” to snag some free WiFi at Starbucks. We then carried on to the town of Cottonwood. We walked around the Old Town District, parked at Walmart which conveniently had a Chevy dealership next door, then located a laundromat so we could do laundry the next day. I was starting to develop some bad allergies prior to going to bed.
So apparently it wasn’t just allergies. I was feeling pretty sick the next morning. Trevor lectured me for taking the juniper sprig. I laughed at his superstitions while also secretly wondered if he was right. Did I curse myself? I’ll never know. Let’s just say I stopped fondling trees after that. I grabbed some juice to boost my immune system, then we did some laundry down the street.
We consumed some coffee and WiFi at Chae’s before returning to Old Town to stroll through the shops. We sampled some infused oil and vinegar at Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders before returning to the van to eat some store-bought Pork BBQ, then walked to Riverfront Park to toss the Frisbee around. We stocked up at Fry’s Grocery and Trevor suddenly got a craving to eat at the Sizzler across the street. Trevor sang, “We’re goin’ to SIZZ-LER! We’re goin’ to SIZZ-LER!” on the way (“White Men Can’t Jump” reference? Anybody? No? Never mind). We both regretted eating there afterwards. I had never been to one before, and I probably won’t go to one ever again. It was pretty gross.
The van got dropped off at the Chevy dealership for maintenance to check our brakes as we grabbed coffee at Chae’s. They said our brakes looked fine, however (if you’ve been reading I bet you can you guess what happened next), our power steering fluid was leaking. AGAIN. For the 30th time this trip (Not really 30th. More like 6th or 7th, but ya know! It’s getting old). After it was fixed, we headed to Jerome, a recommendation by one of the guys at Chevy. He claimed one of the members from the band “Tool” lived and owned a winery there, and said, “Do not talk to him about music! He’ll talk about wine, but not music!”
The road up the mountains to Jerome was winding and weaving back and forth which made everything feel distorted as the road swerved in one direction and the cliffs surrounding you appeared to be leaning in another. I stepped on the glass platform that looked down the mine shaft before we walked around all the shops in town. Jerome was a pretty wonderful little town.
We returned to Cottonwood, went to Fry’s Grocery again in search of food, and Trevor was craving pizza. We walked in the closest pizza place and tried to make an order, but things were not as they seemed. It turned out to be a place that made pizzas, however they were prepared, then made to be picked up to be baked at home. An option worthless to us since we had no oven. In the age of delivery and Digiorno, I didn’t see how this concept was surviving. The only place nearby to get a cooked pizza made for eating was a Pizza Hut. I really didn’t want pizza, but Trevor wouldn’t stop talking about it, so we went. As soon as we sat down and looked at the menu, he ordered a sub instead. I told him that he was no longer allowed inside of Fry’s grocery. That place somehow creates hankerings inside of him that led to bad dining experiences.
We returned to Riverfront Park to toss the disc around and an old, homeless guy approached us and started conversing. He leaned against our van and gave us a long talk about how the government has learned how to teleport from one place to another. After he farted on our van and acted like everything that had materialized up to that point was completely normal, we cut his conversation short, and told him we were going “for a walk.” As soon as he wandered elsewhere in the park, we hopped back in our van and returned to Chae’s where we had to listen to a very annoying guitarist perform and sing the “Rubber Ducky” song from Sesame Street.
Jump Back to Part 14: Santa Fe Stucco & Tumbleweeds
Jump Ahead to Part 16: Yuppies in Pink Jeeps & Dark Skies