The Road to Sedona

Ding! My cell phone indicates there is a text. My brother-in-law wants to know if we are stopping in Sedona before we arrive at his home in Phoenix. Hmmm, we muse. That could be interesting, we hadn’t considered that previously, but it is an option.

I reach to the back seat to pull out the map to see how we get to Sedona from our current location. We had just gone through Flagstaff and were barreling down the highway with Phoenix as our intended destination.

“Looks like there is a little road we can take off the highway to get there,” I tell my husband. He quickly pulls off to the side of the road (which happens to be the end of an on ramp) to peer at the map. He looks back to see what the exit number is and we discover we are five miles past the exit we need.

Since there are no other cars around, he backs up the on ramp and we head back towards Flagstaff. (After all, it’s only five miles.) As we approach the exit, I think it is very odd there are no signs saying Sedona this way.

We decide to stop for gas before searching for the road. Inside the convenience store I inquire, “If we go down this road, will we get to Sedona?” The girl working at the cash register looks startled at my question.

“Well, yes it does,” she begins, “but it’s a dirt road and it’s closed. You need a four wheel drive to go down it.” She looks out the window at our sedan and laughs. The moment I heard “dirt road” I knew we weren’t traveling that road.

She explained how we needed to go back to Flagstaff (15 miles) to get the road to take us through Oak Creek Canyon which leads into Sedona.

The slight detour was well worth our time. The photos don’t do it justice.

Sedona 1

Sedona 2Sedona 3As I gazed in awe at the rocks I wondered what the pioneers thought when they entered this land. I was thankful I had a paved road to travel. I can’t imagine being on horseback or in a covered wagon.

I know I will be returning to view these red rocks again.

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Celebrate the Escape

I celebrate that I was able to escape from the cold and snow for a few days this past week.

I am retired from the daily life of attending school, which makes traveling during the school year much easier. I have always dreamed of going some place warm during the gray days of winter. My dream came true.

When my friends ask me how I am, my response is, “I’m living a dream.” So I celebrate living that dream for a few warm days.

Sunday afternoon was spent at the dog beach in southern California with my family. Can a day get any better?

Sunday afternoon was spent at the dog beach in southern California with my family. Can a day get any better?

Joyous Escape

This has been a winter like none in my recent memory. Every two weeks a new wave of that polar vortex seems to make an unwelcomed visit to where ever I happen to be. Snow day after snow day, frigid temperatures, ice, snow, slippery roads are the norm this year. It began in December and just kept on coming.

I finally reached a breaking point. I could not take one more snowflake or subzero degree. Fortunately I created an open block in my work schedule in February for a possible escape. The window of time was there, would we be able to crawl through that window and head to some place warm?

Here is the scene of my backyard on Monday.

Here is the scene of my backyard on Monday.

Roads were clear on Tuesday. We headed west. Oklahoma had frozen fog. Absolutely beautiful!

Roads were clear on Tuesday. We headed west. Oklahoma had frozen fog. Absolutely beautiful!

Phoenix was our first destination, but a quick detour to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona gave us gorgeous scenery and warmer temperatures. We loved every moment of warmth.

Phoenix was our first destination, but a quick detour to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona gave us gorgeous scenery and warmer temperatures. We loved every moment of warmth.

We spent several days in Phoenix (more info in future posts) then journeyed on to Orange County. That would be the Pacific Ocean caressing my feet.

We spent several days in Phoenix (more info in future posts) then journeyed on to Orange County. That would be the Pacific Ocean caressing my feet.

Now we must return to reality and cooler temperatures. I will revisit those warm rays of sunshine on cloudy, cold days in my future. Just tell me the snow will stay away.

Snow, Again

Snow is best appreciated when you can snuggle in with a cozy comforter, mug of hot liquid, and a book upon your knee at home.

Snow (or impending snow) is not appreciated when you are at an inner city school modeling writing lessons. The rooms buzz because there will be a two hour early dismissal. Classroom teachers are busy notifying parents of the early dismissal. Lunch must be served earlier than usual. Plus the classes are taking a computer assessment every day this week.

However, due to the early dismissal, I am able to combine two classes. There is only one class that I cannot meet with today.

I grab my sandwich from the fridge and head out the door. Snow is sifting down from the gray skies. Streets are still clear as I make my way to the highway. The sifting snow now becomes a pelting snow, flying into the windshield, trying to pierce the glass.

Brown jumbles of shrub limbs become outlined in white. The white dashed lane dividers disappear on the road. I land in the most cleared lane. Traffic continues to move steadily, as the visibility diminishes. I scan the road ahead looking for taillights as a warning.

Road signs warn of road conditions ahead. Cars did not heed the warning, their position along the road makes me wonder how they came to be there. Cautiously I continue on my journey. The road becomes narrower as the snow claims more and more real estate.

Finally, I pull into the garage. I breathe a sigh of relief. My fingers flex to work the tension out. My neck cracks as I turn my head. Tension evaporates from my body.

Yes, snow is best appreciated when you can snuggle in with a cozy comforter, mug of hot liquid, and a book (or computer to write a slice and read slices) upon your knee at home. I can appreciate the snow now.

Celebrate

One: Weather cooperated this week. No missed days, so no make-up days to add to the ever growing list of days.

Two: I’ve been away from home for nine days. What a treat it was to enter the house on Tuesday evening (after working all day, followed by a three hour drive home), sniff, and know that something savory was simmering on the stove. My husband (who professes not to be a cook) found a spicy Italian soup in a magazine and made it. Plus sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches were waiting on the griddle. Just a bit of warm heaven to my tired hungry body.

Three: Finally, the sun was shining and a bluebird came to check out the holly shrub. My camera was ready, I positioned it between the slats of the blinds, zoomed in, snap.

Just seeing these birds makes me smile. This fellow seems a bit camera shy.

Just seeing these birds makes me smile. This fellow seems a bit camera shy.

I hope your week was filled with celebrations.