Day 120, September 15th 2008, beginning in the Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona

Mark got up at about 4:30, and headed out to watch the sunrise and grab some food. He had felt a lot better after the Tylenol and plenty of sleep. When Mark returned, I got up. We decided that we would head back to Sedona for the day since we had seen the canyon, and needed to head back towards Phoenix for our flights the following day. Paul and I snacked on some of the remaining food from the day before, and we packed up and left the Grand Canyon.

We came in from the south, so we decided to take the eastern exit to leave the canyon. We stopped at a cool vista point to take a departure picture [PICTURE] before leaving the park. In fact, Mark stopped at virtually every single pull off there was exiting the park. Paul and I began throwing rocks at one of the stops. Man was that fun; there is nowhere better to throw rocks than the Grand Canyon… or so we thought.

When we finally got out of the park, we drove for a bit and came upon two separate Native American booths. Mark of course bought something from each place as he was in uber tourist mode. The second reservation (not sure if that's the right name), bordered the Little Colorado River Canyon. Paul and I, infused with the desire to throw more rocks, found a nice spot at the edge of the canyon and began tossing. It was difficult to follow, but on just the right toss, we could see the rocks hit the Little Colorado River. Among hundreds of throws, it only happened a handful of times, but when it did it was worth it.

We left the Little Colorado and headed back towards Flagstaff. It was about the right time for lunch, so we stopped back at the Mexican restaurant Ai Caramba for some foodski. We met the wife, of the man (the owners) who had served us the first time. She was as pleasant as he.

Before we ate, I returned a phone call from Bank of America about potential fraudulent use of my card. Upon returning the call, it unfortunately wasn't fraudulent use, and were all of my actual transactions. I found it really funny that on the day before the end of the trip, after having traveled the country constantly spending money in different states, it was only then they found suspicious activity. Apparently it was because I made a few small, consecutive purchases at one place, which identity thiefs will do to "test" a card. Oh well, nice that they are watching.

When we finished eating, we headed towards Sedona. We missed our turn at one point, and had to continue on missing a rock slide that we were considering going to. Instead we saw beautiful yellow meadows. When we got near Sedona, we stopped at a visitor's center to make sure we picked the best hike. We decided on a hike up to Cathedral Rock, a fairly well known place in Sedona. As Mark had told me, and the people at the visitor's center had reinforced, Sedona is regarded as a very spiritual place. People claim and even map out where these "vortexes" or particularly strong spiritual areas where you can feel the energy exist. Sure enough, there was said to be a powerful one at the top of Cathedral Rock. Here we go.

Much of the path was a nice stroll, but the last quarter mile or more was a fairly vertical ascent . Mark, a new man from his rest and drugs, and Paul with his sandals had no trouble. When we made it to the top, we stayed for a while. We investigated all of the rock, and relaxed enjoying the breeze. Mark left his mark (pun intended)

look closely
look closely

atop the cathedral as the rest of us enjoyed the views. { I began vibing off the energy from the vortex , while Danielson and Mark posed for pictures before heading back down.

We had to hurry down, because Mark wanted to get a nice shot of the red rocks glow as the sun was setting. We made it in time, and he did not disappoint.

We got back in the car, and headed for downtown Sedona for a place to stay and eat. After a little searching, we ended up in a Super 8 motel. We went to a restaurant down the street, and filled up. All this hiking, and only trail mix to snack on made for some big appetites.

After dinner, we headed back to the motel. We went swimming briefly in the pool, where we met some Canadians who were doing a summer tour. They were cool eh, but so was the pool, so we didn't last long before heading back to the room.

As we settled in, so did the feeling of the end of the trip. We finished up the Jamie Foxx standup on my computer for Mark, and then followed it up with the movie "Grandma's Boy". I couldn't believe that tomorrow night I would be back on the east coast returning to normal life. A bit sad that this tremendous journey was coming to a close, but more excited to see family and friends again, I played an all too familiar role of falling asleep to the movie.

Home awaited the following day.

Life was good.

…. stay tuned for the completely anti-climactic and more or less boring flight home the following day…

One Reply to “Day 120, September 15th 2008, beginning in the Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona”

  1. Awesome pics. Hmmmmmmmmm…falling asleep while watching a movie….. wonder where that trait comes from???

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