After leaving the Grand Canyon at above 8000 feet in elevation, the winding roads took us down about 4,000 feet in and we headed out into the desert towards Flagstaff to rest for the night. We drove thru the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation and I admired the view while my mind raced with new ideas for paintings inspired by my new southwest surroundings. The cd player in my car was broken - I think a piece of paper had slipped in along with a cd a few weeks back - jamming and making it unplayable. This of course meant that a large part of the trip was in silence, a few conversations, some bad local radio stations mixed with static and on occassion, our own musical vocal talents broke the silence and of course made us laugh at ourselves. I challenged Evelia to sing a song in Spanish and she started singing the Macharena. HA! I can do better than that and countered with Ceilito Lindo and La Bamba. We're both more of sing along to the radio vocalists than solo artists so the singing didn't last long.
I was suddenly compelled to pull over at the Cliff Dweller's Lodge in the area of the Vermillion Cliffs. I just needed to stop there and experience this place. It was only 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon and there was plenty of driving time ahead of us but Evelia suggested that we stay here for the night. I was surprised at her suggestion as I really thought she wanted to make it to Sedona but I was easily convinced. We ended up having a fabulous stay and a great meal and wonderful company in meeting the staff. We sat in the outside seating area of the restaurant where Sonny was welcome to join us. The presidential debates were on the tv in the background but we were focused on our new friends, the staff at the restaurant. Bobby, the dinner cook called down his dog, an Australian Shephard named Magee and another staff member's dog, LT also joined us. Sonny tried guarding the stairway entrance and growled at Chris, another staffer as he came up to the restaurant from the small service station store. Jerry fell in love with Sonny and I saw that even more the next morning when we went to breakfast. We missed breakfast as they had switched to the lunch menu but Jerry found a piece of bacon for Sonny. I told Jerry how I had been looking for a new home for Sonny and he said he would talke him in a heartbeat. I didn't want to make an impulsive on the spot decision so I took Jerry's contact info and considered the situation the rest of the trip. That morning I took a few photos of the area and noticed 2 very large crows sitting in a tree. I was reminded of my friend, Binky because she likes to use crow imagery in her artwork.
We made a breif stop in Flagstaff for gas and a pit stop and then headed to Sedona. The Oak Creek Canyon area is lovely and again, we followed winding roads as we descended back down from Flagstaff's 7000 feet elevation into the canyon. We passed slide rock and I had a nice recollection of being there when I was young, sliding down the large flat rocks in the river that runs thru the canyon.
Sedona has some beautiful landscape but the town is way too touristy for me. We did stop for a snack and to stretch our legs. I was surprised at how many people were there on a Thursday afternoon in October. Anyways, again, beautiful landscape - I love the red rock.
We left Sedona and made it to my sister's house in Phoenix just after sunset. The constant and nonstop attention from their Australian Shephard, Newt upon Sonny was more than a bit disconcerning, it downright stressed me out. Newt chased Sonny around and Sonny ended up falling into the swimming pool in the backyard. I was quick to scoop him out as I knew he was not a water loving dog. By morning Newt had found new ways of adoring his attentions upon Sonny (I really can't go into detail on that) and Sonny gave up running from him but was surely relieved when we left and headed south to our final destination.