I rode to Sedona for breakfast on Sunday and tested a new, cut-down-for-summer windscreen on the K-bike. Downtown was just waking up, but several restaurants were serving early customers. I value the opinion of locals. Michelle, just opening her kiosk for ‘Vortex Jeep Tours’, urged me to ride up to the Mesa Grill at the airport. It pays to ask. I enjoyed great huevos rancheros, an interesting fly-in clientele and the best elevated views of Sedona’s famous red rocks.
From the Sedona airport
As I strolled through Sedona’s art galleries after breakfast, I saw large numbers of fancy, hand-made kaleidoscopes. These abound in every pot-infused, new-age town perforated with vortices. I squinted through several varieties.
Always curious about the apex expression of any craft, I asked a sales clerk if she’d ever seen a kaleidoscope made for two eyes; able to produce psychedelic images in three dimensions. She answered, “No.” I thought I might be onto something new and interesting.
Then I went to the web.
“I fed the macaws pulverized maize–no fruit remained this far from home–and tightened the hide straps that secured their cages. With painstaking care, I’d raised twenty Scarlet Macaws from hatchlings to an age that they could safely travel the long route to buyers in the north. Esteemed for their beauty and in much demand for religious ceremonies, these birds have become astonishingly valuable. I’m still a young trader, but my reputation for delivering healthy specimens has produced appreciative repeat customers. I trade for turquoise, fine beadwork, copper or gold. Occasionally I’ll take something else in trade; a glazed vessel or woven basket, but only if especially elegant.”
“Only two birds remained as I neared my final stop, the prosperous village with two cliff houses that overlooks a wide spot in the river. Its headman had requested two live macaws, two bundles of feathers and cacao. With difficulty, I’d kept two especially fine birds in reserve through all the prior weeks of trading. This headman is particular, he has become my friend..and his oldest daughter is very beautiful.”
Day 4 Tombstone to Safford My plan was to roll on some respectable miles in the two final days of the trip. Yet with a map crowding my plate of ribs in Tombstone, I was tempted by some shorter routes home. In the quiet of the morning, still undecided, the routines of loading and checking the bike reawakened my travel urge. I stuck with the longer route.
Good thing. It led to a memorable nose-to-nose encounter.