The previous day I spent slaving away at the computer. When Emily and I had breakfast at Kiss the Cook (where they have a bas relief version of the classic Wild West “End of the Trail” Indian in the men’s room), and she suggested we play hooky and go somewhere, my reaction was, “What the hell!”
So, we headed up to Sedona, with the maskless summer tourist season taking off in full force. As we got into the town, it got crowded, spilling out into the road along Oak Creek. Our hopes of finding a place to hike were soon dashed. All the big hiking places were full, or had long lines to get in, or parked cars strung out at the roadside for about a mile.
Finally, we decided to park at a place by the river that wasn’t full of cars, and near a rustic stairway leading down to the water. Oh, yeah, there was some interesting graffiti--especially a drippy smiley face, on some of the signs.
Turns out it wasn’t a bad hike. All nature-y and quiet enough.
There were other people, but they weren’t many, and were not making too much noise.
Especially some kids, balancing on rocks across the river. They were quiet. Too quiet for kids on an outing. They were all looking in the same direction. One of them looked our way and pointed.
There was something near the riverbank. At first, I thought it was a statue of a dinosaur. Then it moved. It was a bird. A large bird. A heron.
In case you didn’t know. Aztlán is Nahuatl for “Place of the Heron.” Kinda mystical, huh?
On the way home we ate at the Lone Spur Cafe in Prescott, where Festus from the antediluvian TV show Gunsmoke smiled down on us.