13 October 2010

Off the Colorado Plateau

Oh, my. I was determined today "to be where I am" at every moment. I entered into each stop, engaged my surroundings and the people involved; I relished the scenery, staying present to what we were doing. I succeeded, perhaps too well, in refraining from thinking ahead.

Once we left the Grand Canyon North Rim and began the final leg of our journey back to St George, we enjoyed two final stops.  The first was at Jacob Lake where restrooms, a lovely gift shop and delicious homemade cookies and hot coffee awaited.  (I made this photograph of the signature red Ponderosa pine bark at the edge of the parking lot.)  The second was at LeFevre Overlook where we could gaze out on the whole Grand Staircase.  (See the long, thin photograph at the bottom of the page, my first abysmal effort with photo merge software.)  It was a fine conclusion to be able to view from that vantage point the west-to-east progress we had made at the beginning of the trip. 

Our guides, seeming to understand that many of us were struggling with our time together coming to an end, worked at keeping the mood aboard the coach upbeat and fun.  Since we were going to pass through the northern Arizona town of Fredonia, Chrystal and Marc played video clip of  "Duck Soup," a Marx Brothers comedy about the fictional, bankrupt country of Freedonia.  And, Geri drove us through the town where she resides when she's not driving a bus, Kanab UT.  It's known as "Little Hollywood," a popular location for movies and television series.

But, the moment came when we had to make our descent from the Colorado Plateau at Hurricane Ridge and admit that our travels together were over.  I had to face a sudden encounter with the depression I knew would come. I was, indeed, present even to that wrenching inevitability.

And, it went from bad to worse! For not only were we back to interstate travel and the bright lights of malls and stopping centers, we went straight to what was by then a late dinner at Chuck-A-Rama. It was noisy and overrun on this Wednesday night. Truly a rude reentry -- into another sort of wilderness altogether!

We're in our room at The College Inn, our only real accomplishment after stepping off the bus and getting our key having been retrieving all the stuff we left locked in the car. Thanks to our efforts the place looks like a bomb went off and I'm too tired to deal with any of it.

Things will look lots better in the morning. 

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