Monday, August 19th 2013
I left Flagstaff and on I went. The road was wide open and so were my eyes. I began my drive towards southern California.
Sedona was not far from Flagstaff, but the elevation seemed to drastically change. I drove downward, as if going into a canyon. In fact, it almost seemed as though I was now driving through the Grand Canyon, the same place I just came from.
Visually, it was breathtaking.
I came upon a bridge, and I just had to stop. The scenery was epic, but it was HOT! Drastically hotter than Flagstaff; I was definitely now in the desert.
The surrounding scenery was larger than life. Growing up on the east coast, it was almost hard to believe this is just part of the commute.
I kept driving. The road meandered on, away from the vistas and mesas and into a small town filled with pueblo and adobe type structures.
The clouds were big and puffy and loitered above in the epitome of nonchalant. I continued driving, attempting to make good time, however the natural beauty of the landscape kept drawing my attention. I stopped at the next rest area.
There I found this giant beetle dead on a table.
And this breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain range. The lights filtered through the clouds above, as if to highlight this landmark just for me, saying “drink me in”.
I drove beyond Sedona, feeling almost at a loss. I had planned to skydive in Sedona, and see the canyons below me. However, I just didn’t have it in me. After a long three days in the Grand Canyon, my legs were shot. I couldn’t imagine making a safe landing under my parachute.
Saddened, but at peace, I drove into the deadly heat of Pheonix.
As an experiment, I had been driving with the windows open to watch the effect on my gas mileage. It turned out that I had better mileage with the windows open and the A/C off. Regardless, even at 80 mph with the windows all down, I was sweating powerfully! Gas mileage was now no longer on my mind. Crank that A/C baby!!!
I basked in the glow of this majestic southwest sunset, allowing it to recharge me. Then I got on my way.
Even into the night, the heat stayed strong.
I barreled on, past the Arizona state line and crossing the state line into California with Led Zeppelin’s “Going To California” blaring on my stereo. I forged my way into Twentynine Palms, to Joshua Tree National Park. What lie ahead, I was not prepared to know…