Arizona: Day 5

Last day at the Grand Canyon. We arose and drove back into the park to the Yavapai Geology Museum. It sits on the rim at a point designated by some committee way back in the day as being the most phenomenal view on the South Rim.

— click for larger image —

I suppose one could argue the point.

I highly recommend the Museum, but only after your brain is overloaded with all the views, and here’s why: you will find yourself, as you gawk helplessly at the grandeur, wondering why and how and Sweet Cthulhu what??

How do you read all those layers of rock?  What happened here?  Why is this the only one of its kind—why aren’t there grandish sorts of canyons littering the continents?  They’re all big enough, and it might be pleasant to have some in more temperate climates, with trees and flowers and such.

The museum answers all those questions in a very beautiful, organized way.  It’s the only place in the Park where you find yourself not looking at the Canyon.  Pro tip:  in the geological timeline, on the little round hemisphere maps of the gadabout continents, those faint, barely visible gray lines are the United States.  It took me halfway through the timeline to realize that.  Doh.

The inability to know what I was seeing grew stronger and stronger every moment the past few days: on the river, how do you read all the little ripples and backwashes and eddies?  How do you read the rocks’ layers and joints and crumblings? How do you understand how all the plants and animals are joined together?

How do you make sense of all the hundreds of millions of years of accidents and erosions and ebbs and flows and drifts and uplifts?

The short answer is that you can’t, ever.  No one can.  All you can do is try to be there, present, and part of it—and take some of that wonder with you back to your own back yard and realize that the profound ignorance you faced in the Canyon is just as present in the Labyrinth if you will only sit and be there, present, and part of it.


We hit the road to Sedona, the last phase of our trip.

On the way, we stopped off in Flagstaff for lunch, and for me to buy a windchime that I had admired last Saturday. Also, a scientifically correct sculpture of a zebra-tailed lizard.  Photos will have to wait till we return to Newnan, because its little toes and tail are incredibly fragile and I’m not unwrapping it.  Should have gotten a picture of it when I bought it, I guess.

Sedona, for those of you who have only a vague awareness of it, is the New Age Hippie Woo capital of the world.  Its main attraction are the Vortexes, super-spiritual earth energy centers.  I will try to explain more about those after our sunset tour this evening with Rahelio.

Sedona was actually the main goal of our trip when we started planning it; the LFW helped expand the thing into this glorious trek.  Some of our party were eager to sample the energies and woo, and I am one of them.  Yes, it’s woo, but it’s first class, grade-A woo, and I want some of it.

The drive down was not what we expected.  First the pine forests started, and then suddenly we were in a mountain, and then an extremely steep, twisty decline into the Oak Creek Canyon, where signs and AM radio stations warned us to listen for flash flood warnings.  Oh my.

You see how the stone is white limestone, and you will also notice that we are now in a region where it rains enough to support plant life.

The closer you get to Sedona, though, the more the rocks become the red limestone for which the city is most famous.

We are staying at the Sky Ranch Lodge, which is up on the mesa next to the airport (and one of the vortexes).  Here’s the view from our porch, the courtyard:

Little collective cabins with porches; swimming pool; event site for weddings, although there aren’t any this weekend.

Sure, who wouldn’t want to get married here?  After seeing the view, we asked if any rooms were available with porches facing the cliffs, and there were.  We moved our stuff posthaste.  This is now our view:

And now it’s time to go to downtown Sedona and shop for crystals and incense, maybe get our chakras balanced, and in general just wallow in the woo.

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