June 6, 2006
What a group of brainiac architecture freaks! You got it–we were indeed at Taliesin West when Mr. A–Mount Clifton–erupted. The tour guide told us the temperature was 113 degrees, or 45 Celsius.
Caliente! I’ve never been in that kind of heat before. It was so hot that the M & Ms in David’s suitcase melted. That ain’t right. M & Ms are supposed to survive anything. It was so hot that the mist-shooty spray things at the outdoor mall evaporated before any sinus-saving mist could actually reach anybody’s sinuses. I was all climbing up the park benches trying to snorkle up the stuff. Hell, I’d have gone into that Eileen Fisher store and bought the INVENTORY if they’d got the humidity level above 11 percent.
We covered a lot of ground during our week in Arizona. We saw a lot of nothing, which was one of my main goals. It’s spoze to be all empty out west, right?
Boulder City nothing.
Grand Canyon nothing.
Wupatki National Monument nothing.
I have some conclusions:
1. It’s harder than you might think to see real, actual nothing. Every time I thought I had a really good eyeful of nothing, there’d be some human thing in there: power lines, barbed wire, dudes on burros, a guy selling $29 helicopter rides. (Maybe it’s just me, but I want to be paying more than $29 for a helicopter ride. It just doesn’t seem like enough to cover the things I like to see in a good helicopter tour program: maintenance, parts, substance abuse program costs.)
I realize that it might be easier to see actual, real nothing if we stepped off asphalt pavement. But you know me better than that–there’s bears out there.
2. The Shaynes would have made excellent pioneers. You should have seen us–crammed together in our hotel room (five hotels in eight nights, a regular covered wagon train we were), me knitting that most humble of projects, sock after sock. The children pitching in and making do with their humble pastimes, complaining only when something was boring, stupid, hot, dumb, or pointless. Hubbo masterfully hunting and gathering the bare necessities of life on a wagon train: the Wall Street Journal, decent coffee.
3. Look how relaxed I am, how totally unflummoxed I am by the 3,000-foot drop to my right, how I’m watching Clif dangle on the railing without a wrinkle in my brow. OK, so my feet are still tingling with terror as I look at this picture.
We saw dams and bombs and General Douglas MacArthur’s airplane. We saw Jupiter (see it? that dot in the sky? JUPITER, people), red rocks, and altitude, and a Grand Canyon ranger who single-handedly paralyzed a long string of cars by explaining with love the entire national park ticketing system. I watched this guy for so long that I memorized his very features. I see him in my dreams. I hear his voice, every night: “Are you planning to visit more than two national parks this year?”
I finished three socks during this trip. Toothpicks make good stitch holders. I couldn’t find my sock pattern, so I was amazed that I could remember it enough to keep making socks. I didn’t have a tapestry needle until Sedona, which was about eight weeks into our trip.
Koigu of this nutty variegation is fun to knit, but the results are murky, if you ask me.
See? It camouflages well in a pinon tree, I’ll admit.
By the time we made it to Sedona–the world headquarter for energy vortices that come out of the earth in some way that makes the juniper trees twist up–my vortices were in serious need of adjustment. But I didn’t really get much chance to try out our hotel’s spa offerings. (“Reading of the Moment,” $135. Here’s MY reading of the moment: these people are NUTS. “Aura-Soma Color Reading,” $195. Here’s MY color reading: I am really PALE. And I am heading to the yarn shop.)
Where, of course, there was solace to be found:
Can you believe the lack of commercial branding on this stuff? When I asked the shop owner where it came from, she made a vague gesture toward the door and said, “Oh, a woman . . . she comes in . . . dyes it herself . . .”
I leave you with a condor, who sailed over the Grand Canyon for ages without even flapping her wings. Clearly, she’s got her energy work under control:
PS Thanks to everyone who commented about the death of Kitty. I really appreciate it.
PSS 06/06/06! YEEOWKS! It’s the apocalypse!