A roper hauling horses and a house trailer made a U-turn to come scoop us up and off we went. He was heading to a smaller town up north and decided that Flagstaff could be on his way by taking another route, he was glad to do it as we were all getting along well.
We arrived in Flagstaff with warnings of coming rain, the cold was already evident. We walked for a bit, given the choice of left towards town center or right towards the road breaking away, we chose right. I still hadn't heard back from my friend, so aiming more directly for the Grand Canyon seemed the thing to do.
We walked a good ways, up and down and no rides, the sunset approaching and temperatures dropping. We stopped for a bite to eat, riding out what I had left on some Subway gift cards that had sustained us much of the trip.
We took turns in the bathroom layering up as much of our clothes as possible before breaking out into the cold again, the last of sunlight all but gone. We thumbed some more cars, but at this point we were looking for a place to tuck away. It didn't take all that long to find a run of thick trees, we hopped a small fence and found ourselves a spot underneath a big pine tree, home for the night.
We paused at the first gas station for a little coffee warm up talking to the friendly cashier, then it was back to the road for some more walking amongst the beautiful scenery until getting picked up by a Navajo guy. He rode us up as far as the junction to the park entrance, from there we got a ride from another couple Navajos who got us into the park as we cruised through the vast snowy views.
We hiked along, snacked on overhangs and enjoyed it for a good while. Back at the road we got a ride quickly from two spiritual girls. Of all the places one could be going from the Grand Canyon, they were going exactly where we wanted to be, Sedona.
The next day we headed into town to explore, Bridget was loving the little shops and gravitated quickly to a gem shop and places like this. Once we ran through most of them, we made our way down the road to a trail head, did a little running, soon we were amongst all the red rocks twisting and shooting up. We climbed and twisted ourselves until we were high above everything with amazing views, breaks for meditation and then more exploration.
We were aiming for one brewery, but he suggested another smaller one a little further away and he dropped us off right in front. We sipped our beers and talked to an excited guy from Miami next to us. He was waiting to meet the maker of a bottled tea, one that was available at this brewery, he was a prospective distributor for the tea.
Eventually we made the walk back to Jades, he had a good dinner going and we had another night talking about his trips to Peru, his role in the 70's resistance and spiritual talks about trends in Sedona and beyond.
The next day Bridget and explored the town a little more and eventually wound up knocking on Stefan's office door, he'd invited us to come check it out. We spent hours drinking chai after chai, the conversation flowed from tea making, to distilling, aliens, ancient ruins in the Grand Canyon, chem trails, Vipassana breathing, eating gold to read minds and eventually a possible collaboration between Stefan and Bridget where he'd use her animal essence tinctures in a tea he'd call Star Chai.
The next day Bridget and I headed out the door from Jade's place, backpacks on and ready to get to Prescott. Friends of friends lived there, it would be our last planned stop before Mexico. We got a ride after a bit of walking from a guy embracing his spiritual mission. He'd moved to Sedona with a woman, but time withered away their bond and he was now on his own, finally things were coming back around mentally for him. He was as grateful to had met us as we were to meet him and accept the ride. It was a fitting ride to get out of Sedona, he landed us in a town high up called Jerome.
We walked around the bend, the view was excellent. Soon we were picked up and loaded in back of a pickup truck, whipping around turns in the cool air, the view ever changing and beautiful contrasts of snow and trees. Once over the pass the driver stopped and made room and we rode up front. He was a climber and was able to get us to Prescott and close to our new friends' home. We were out of the mystics once over the pass, ready for the next thing, ready for the last of the US and the start of our Baja adventure.
February 11, 2012 to February 16, 2012