South!

This post might make you feel that you have missed a few episodes, but I prefer to skip these episodes because I am so much more excited to share with you what is happening right now. If you have been following this site, you think I’m in Bellingham, with a cat and a loved one. Well, you know what they say about mice and men? It applies to Bobcats too. Also, it rained for 22 straight days. I just had enough. I packed my truck and drove south until I hit the sun. That was in southern Utah. I drove through Vegas, had an interesting evening there, then on to Flagstaff, AZ, and when I got here, stopped.

First let me say … Holy WOW! I love love love it here! After all that roaming, I might actually have found ‘home’, with magic to boot. Like today … this morning I had breakfast at my favorite coffee shop and a wonderful discussion with the person next to me about chia seeds and organic farming. Outside, the sidewalk are covered in ice and snow, the sky is blue, the air is cold crisp and quiet and everything feels peaceful. From there, I packed a lunch, drove down to a canyon near Sedona and did some yoga in the sun, with my hands and feet in the soft wonderful desert dirt. A brand new friend, Mark, met at the coffee shop two days ago (the day I got here), joined me and we hiked up a deepening canyon of bright red sandstone by following the river bed. There were petroglyphs, cacti, clear water, cool rocks, and I was wearing a tank-top and I was WARM. After lunch, I took a nap in the sun on a big flat rock by the river, marveling at how different my life was now than a few hours ago, or even more so, than four days ago. We returned to our vehicles via a higher path among mesquites and cacti, which afforded views far over the canyon to the intricate network of dirt roads at my disposal (I need a dirt bike!). After the hike, I drove back up the hill to Flagstaff and treated myself to a concert ticket for tomorrow. “Slightly Stoopid”, a band I really like, is playing in town. I can’t wait for tomorrow and a full night of reggae ska jumping around fun. Yay! The girl who sold me the ticket suggested I try a nearby international food place. Not only was the food perfect, but my waitress just moved here two weeks ago from Portland, wants to walk the PCT, climbs, and has climbing roommates in a house with a climbing wall. We both got very excited to have met and exchanged numbers. So far, that’s two new friends a day. Tonight and tomorrow, I am staying at Kristen’s, whom I met via couchsurfer.com. It’s just like my friend Brendan said, “I’m not even going to introduce you to anyone in Flagstaff, because people will find you and you will have friends there in no time”. He knew.

Oh, and then there is the case of the vortices. There was a job opening at a dune buggy and ATV rental place in Sedona – oh yeah, I’m applying to ANYTHING -, so I decided to take a full day down there. I meant to leave early-afternoon, but got caught in the Macy’s cafe vortex. That’s the vortex where every time I walk in the cafe, I end up having hours-long conversations with complete strangers who become new friends. This one was Derik, and we covered a lot of conversational ground and laughed a lot. I didn’t want to cut it short, so it ended up being late afternoon by the time I left. My late departure turned into a blessing: my first sight of Sedona was in the warm glow of the sunset light. I have seen some beautiful landscapes in my life, from tropical islands to the Cascades from John’s airplane, but in my own eyes, for my own taste, those canyons and plateaus around Sedona are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, bar none. I was in awe. Trying to capture it would have been pointless. I emailed Brendan asking him where I might find climbing partners for all those enticing rocks. Less than fifteen minutes later, I met Shannon in line at the grocery store. She’s about my age, super-fit, super-tanned and she can be my rope-gun up to 5.9. Sweet. Climbing partner, check. By the time I drove to Oak Creek Canyon it was completely dark. I pulled into the first campsite I found, setup my PCT tent and snuggled up in my beloved sleeping bag. My heart felt full and clean and joyful. I fell asleep right away.

I was woken up this morning by the sensation that my whole body was buzzing as though I was laying on an electric table. It wasn’t unpleasant but it felt very “off”. I know what my personal vibration feels like and this wasn’t it. I thought my thyroid might be out of whack, but my heart rate was nice and slow. I thought the river nearby might be producing vibrations in the ground, but I’ve slept next to plenty of rivers bigger than this one, with sleeping mats thinner than this one, and I never before was shaken awake by strange vibration. I heard about Sedona’s energy vortices, but I wasn’t, as far as I know, anywhere near a known vortex. I settled in the feeling, explored it, and eventually returned to sleep. It was still there, though barely perceptible when I woke up in the morning light. I asked the camp host about it, and he gave me a nonplussed “never heard of it”. If I can feel the vibration when I’m not in a vortex, I wonder what will happen when I do visit a known one. I guess you’ll find out Monday. I’m taking the weekend to go backpacking down the hill (Sedona), because I couldn’t secure a place to stay this weekend, which is fiiiine by me. I have a whole new playground to explore and it’s in the SUN and it’s WARM! Sorry Bellingham, I don’t mean to rub it in. I still love you, you know that.

That wasn’t the end of the weirdness though. The camp host told me of a great hike “just a few miles up the road”. I continued on, away from where I came from, and after a little while ended up back in a snowy quiet pine forest, and then in Flagstaff, right next to my favorite coffee shop. I still haven’t figured out how I ended up back here. Another vortex no doubt … And that takes you to this morning and the conversation about chia seeds and organic farming.

I think I love it too much here already. I was just telling Ana, that as long as I just went where the wind pushed me, I was always happy with where I ended up, because I assumed that was necessarily where I was meant to be, or I wouldn’t have been there. But now, there is a place where I want to be. Because I have a desire and an opinion, I am at risk of being disappointed if I can’t stay. Do you know what I mean? I’ll just keep up the positive thinking and the job applications flowing. That’s all I’ve got.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends for your support and patience through the previous episodes, and everything that preceded and followed them. Heartaches shall dissipate in the sun, get scrubbed away by the red dirt and evaporate in the clear crisp air. I hope to repay you by having a place for you to visit from which we can go explore the wonders of Arizona. Thank you Universe for spoiling me silly!

Love you all. Keep your inner light shining.

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7 thoughts on “South!

  1. Hey Bobcat! I’ve visited Sedona and Flagstaff several times for weekend trips (having lived in Tucson) and it never disappoints. There is something about being right on the edge of he desert and the San Juan Mountains of Flagstaff that I like. Hope you find what you are looking for there! – Russ

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  2. You are a gifted writer! I lived in Tempe for a few years and visited Flagstaff and Sedona. Your descriptions exceeded my expectations. I think you’ve have a nice balance between describing emotions, people, locations, opportunities, adventure, etc. You could do quite well as a travel writer in my humble opinion. I quite enjoy travel based books, especially those focused on outdoor adventure. There send to be a market. Just saying 🙂

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    • Hi Jan,
      Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I once wanted to be a travel writer and photographer for a living. That lasted 6 years and I did get a couple of articles published, but not enough to make a living, then I found Geology and went down a different path. I have a book in mind. I have the outline and the drive to write it, but I don’t yet have 4 walls and a roof of my own in which to write or the means to support myself while I write. I’m working on it though 🙂

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