March 6- saw me abruptly pause in my preparations for this local act of closure- my move out of the family’s last property in Prescott, to a more centrally-located apartment. More on that later. I drove to Phoenix, parked my vehicle in the airport economy lot, and caught a shuttle, Light Rail train and a local bus to the U-Haul lot on 19th and Hatcher. There, I placed my weekend bag and a parcel containing Blue Agave in the cab of the truck I had rented, and headed over to the home where the rest of my cargo awaited.
I knew Beverly for 32 years. As a friend of both Penny and me, she had encouraged us both in our spiritual quest and kept us in a practical mode, as best she knew how. When she passed on, last year, I set my heart on doing whatever was needed for her family to get closure, whenever they were ready. That time came two weeks ago.
I picked up a couch, with a rollaway bed, an English garden bench and some cushions, at Beverly’s grandchild’s house, after a few rounds in the dark, in the ‘burbs of north Glendale, AZ. Dinner came a bit later, at the Chili’s on Carefree Highway. I was burned-out, after a day of traveling while fasting- so burned-out that the waitresses probably were glad to see my backside head out the door. There were two of them: One very gracious, the other, rather brusque and inattentive. The meal was good, though, and I felt rejuvenated afterward, so I made it to Winslow, and the Delta Motel, around 11:30 PM.
March 7- I had a small, but satisfying breakfast at the Delta, after a beautiful sleep in the Arizona Room. Last time I visited Winslow, in July, 2012, I experienced the Delta’s Elvis Room. There were no AZ musicians, like Marty Robbins, Stevie Nicks or Michelle Branch, to be seen in the room where I stayed last night. It was cacti, Gila monsters and the Grand Canyon which were celebrated.
Heading east, I was back in territory very familiar to me: Dinetah, the land of the Navajo. The people of Manuelito, the first community off I-40 in New Mexico’s western edge, have a fine Visitor’s Center under their belt now.
This is a fine testament to the gorgeous Red Rock country, on either side of Gallup, a vastly underrated gateway to the Land of Enchantment. I have many friends in this area. All of them were busy Friday morning, but then again, so was I; miles to go, before I would sleep.
Here’s another view of the area around Manuelito, which is named for one of the Navajos’ more robust chiefs, during the 19th Century.
Tooling along, past Bluewater Lake, Continental Divide, Grants (with its awesome lava beds), otherwordly Acoma and Laguna, and on to Albuquerque, the memories came flooding back. Each of these will be the subject of a visit and a post, or three, in the next couple of years. Yet, even Albuquerque, the magical Duke City, could not slow me down. Gas and a snack at Bernalillo, ten miles north, on I-25, was my pit stop. Yes, I had lunch today- Baha’is are not required to fast while traveling more than 8 hours.
At this rest stop, outside Santa Fe, three wise women are celebrated. I offer this testimony to two of them here. All are, of course, in my Flickr pages.
The other aspect of this rest stop, though, showed me what I was to face, in the hours ahead. In Santa Fe, it was raining. The Spanish Peaks of Colorado, though, would serve up snow- and and lots of it.
I stopped in Walsenburg, CO, and had a lovely visit with some relatives of one of my Prescott neighbours, whilst dropping off the Blue Agave, safe and sound. After a nice cup of hot green tea and some cookies, I gassed up and headed into the Colorado greeting. Snow started in earnest, just three miles north of Walsenburg.
About ten of us snaked through the steadily deepening snow, until we reached the first motel available- a Days Inn, in Colorado City, twenty-eight miles south of Pueblo. We were all graciously received by both the hotelier, Bob Patel, and the proprietors of Los Cuervos Mexican Grill, across the snow-packed road, which was fun for me to cross, feeling like a kid again. Los Cuervos provided a roaring fireplace, which added awesomely to the mood- as did the many convivial patrons. We had all survived the ten miles in one hour pace. Sleep, needless to say, came easy tonight- for me, for the forty others who joined me in leaving the road, and for the menagerie of six dogs, two cats and four birds, who were welcomed by the Patels.
March 8- I love my family, both the biological members and the members in faith. It was an easy ride to Westminster, CO on this clearing and warm Saturday. Of course, Colorado being what it is, there were snowscapes aplenty in Colorado City.
From Pueblo on north, though, the snow was visible only from a distance. This suited me fine. I greeted K and E, my hosts for the weekend, dropped off my bag at their condo and the furniture at K’s office, turned in the U-Haul at a facility on the edge of Northglenn, where my Colorado family members live, and turned my attention to matters of Faith.
Here is Northglenn Senior Center, where the local Baha’is hosted a superb potluck supper, attended by many local friends, to break the Fast this evening.
The facility has a few items of sculpture, and the park across the street features a Peace Pole, made of wood and inscribed in several languages, with a Braille inscription as well.
The resident Canadian geese survived being harassed by an adolescent girl and her siblings, and resumed their own peaceful gathering on the park’s pond.
Back in the hall, we ate splendidly and enjoyed real camaraderie.
The joy would be repeated the next morning, just before sunrise, at a Village Inn on the other side of Westminster.
March 9- No trip to Colorado is complete without a visit to my in-laws, the Kosaks. We had a delightful get-together, of course shopping at their favourite WalMart, then catching up on the six months since my last visit. Dinner was delectable, as always- this time with lean pork chops and kale salad. After a few hours of British TV mysteries, I headed back to K & E’s, and turned in early.
March 10- Daylight Savings Time had arrived yesterday, so my wake-up time of 2 AM was actually 1 AM to my body. Arizona does not, outside of the Navajo Nation, observe the Spring Forward. I made it to the airport, thanks to Denver’s marvelous transport system, and by 6:15, Arizona Standard Time (Pacific Daylight, to most people), I was back in Phoenix. At 7 AM, I wandered into Park Central Deli and had a bracing, hot breakfast burrito, with fine chorizo. After a short nap at Sunset Point Rest Area, en route, I made it safely home. The task had been completed, with much help from my spirit friends and family.
NEXT: The Moving Chronicles