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My Krazy Kat pilgrimage is over.
I checked off Coconino County and Monument Valley from my To Visit list.
However, both places are now on my Revisit list.
It’s been a week of 22-mile hikes through the Grand Canyon. Blisters, sunburns, a bizarre allergy (I am not allergic to anything), heat exhaustion – and near death for Arizona Cheryl! – we had it all. Arizona Cheryl did stop a Havasupai cowboy with the words “Please help me, sir” and got a bottle of Gatorade from her saviour. I lulled her to sleep under a huge red boulder with stories of ancient Havasu vampires with cartilage ribs that nest in cliff crevasses during the day. I later found two femurs (human?) under a rock shelter which a bold lizard shared with me.
The Navajo were wonderful hosts – their frybread is like Romanian gogoÅŸi and the thought of their mutton sandwiches is making me wistful. I missed, numerous times, my chance to try Navajo tacos.
I also did not meet any Hopi – those happy people and the generators of a nifty book called Hopi Sex Tales.
I did meet Mr. Morris, a Navajo septuagenarian and among those who stormed the beaches of Normandy sixty years ago. I also met Eslaim, a Navajo beautician who gave me a manicure the colour of reservation mesas and who introduced me to the music of Navajo-African singer Radmilla Cody.
Bookwise, I am guilty of breaking my promise not to buy any more books. But I found a 1900 account of a female schoolteacher’s life on the Hualapai and Havasupai Reservations and a book on coatimundi and a book on Arizonan First Nations cooking and a book on the weirder aspects of Arizona (I missed my chance to discuss prairie dog language with a Northern Arizona University professor as well as the Amado grill). I also stumbled upon the Flagstaff Value Village (called Savers). From the reservations, I came away with a dalmatian rock necklace (of which I am exceedingly proud) and a black obsidian fish pendant.
The saguaro cactus was charming. The jumping cholla was an adversary I missed this time. I turned over a few rocks looking for scorpions and tarantulas with no luck. I did see elk, cottontails, jackrabbits, a dead, skinned javelina, and a roadrunner.
No one in Arizona seems to have stumbled on Krazy Kat being the perfect marketing ploy for promoting their state.
It seems rather unhealthy to be back home. Here in front of a computer, instead of contemplating some big red rock in the American Southwest. The Vancouver greenery blares at me. I miss the flock of swallows outside my Flagstaff window and the train clamour.
Even though all the militarism angered me (my travelmates warned me to hush up before I got us all arrested), last night, encountering a Marine recruitment centre, I did sign up for more information. I am curious if they will bombard me with Marine junkmail.
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