Thursday, July 14, 2016
INDEPENDENCE DAZED ON AZTLÁNI ROADS
The head wound had stopped bleeding. What the hell – it was the Fourth of July. A nice day for an all-American road trip – put on the American flag/Route 66/hot rod shirt, and go . . .
The roads were kind of empty due to it being the last day of the holiday weekend. Rather relaxing, actually. The landscape unfolds. Signs of civilization melt into desert, and the desert melts into the mountains.
“This is eroding in an interesting way,” Emily said.
There was the smell of skunk, and mutilated roadkill of a species that couldn't be identified. Chupacabras? The Mogollon monster? Did they ever find that meteor?
Our first spontaneous stop was at Montezuma's Well. It's actually an ancient sinkhole. Long before Montezuma was born, the Sinagua built summer and winter cliff dwellings around the edges and tapped it to irrigate their crops with the arsenic-rich waters where only a few hardy life-forms found nowhere else in the world survive.
Maybe some of Monte's ancestors passed through before the volcanic holocaust for the Aztlán World Cup.
These days towns bristle with solar panels. The future glittering in the sun.
They have a lot of spectacular Sinaguan petroglyphs at the V Bar V Ranch Heritage Site. We can only read a few things, and don't know most of how the images and their positions are synced up with the Sun, Moon, and stars. We aren't as plugged into things on the cosmic scale any more, even with smart phones. Maybe the archeoastronomers will figure it out some day.
When we arrived the Galaxy Diner on Route 66, Nathan's hot dog eating championship was on the screens. You can't have a more American lunch than that, especially with the old-time rock 'n' roll playing.
Further along on Route 66, near the edge of Flagstaff, we saw cement mixers with spiffy flame jobs.
And all day the stars and stripes were flying, on vehicles, shirts, and wrapped around buttocks – Abbie Hoffman would have been proud.
After that we went to Walnut Canyon. We hadn't visited that vertical city of Sinagua cliff dwellings in a while. This was probably one of the Seven Cities of Cibola that conquistadors searched for, and didn't appreciate. And I'm glad that I'm still enough of a mountain goat to trek that twisted up and down trail.
Down in Sedona, we got our usual iced cafe mochas at the place that keeps changing names. Since our last visit a wall has been torn down, and a Whole Foods had been surgically attached.
You can't miss it, it's right behind a statue of a mountain man/wizard. According to the plaque, it's the work of John M. Soderberg, PhD., and his name is Merlin. I think he needs more of a downhome, Wild West moniker, like Brujo Bob or Hoodoo Harry.
Before heading back home, we stopped at the White Rooster – well, actually, it's officially Silver Son West, but Em has this habit of renaming everything. She bought a colorful Oaxaca-style painted frog.
On the way back we saw a lot of people were fixing flat tires at the roadside. Not everybody was having such a nice day. Little did we know that the summer was about to become a full-blown, shit-smeared, blood-spattered spectacle . . .
at 12:00 AM