Quiet Streets and Sweeping Vistas

May 8, 2023- We stood atop Airport Mesa, one of Sedona’s premier places to get a quick look at several landmarks, in one fell swoop. My daughter-in-law, Yunhee, and her mother, Mrs. Park, were my visitors for a day. It was Mrs. Park’s first trip out of Asia, and only her second out of Korea- with Vietnam being the only other foreign destination. She is mesmerized by the differences in this western half of the United States-the prairies of Texas, desert around Phoenix and the three microclimates of northern Arizona.

Her questions, as to where are the pine trees and mountains of Prescott were answered, as soon as we turned a corner and saw Douglas firs and Alligator Junipers, then drove down a street and had full view of the Bradshaw Range. All this was within Prescott’s city limits, of course. What surprised her the most, though, was the fact that our city is walkable- unlike the areas in Metro Dallas that she has seen thus far. I hope she gets to walk along Mill Creek, in Grapevine, when they go back, at the end of this week. She will see a mix of walkable and not, when they visit Las Vegas, in a day or so. The ultimate walkable area, the South Rim of Grand Canyon, will cement her image of North America’s vastness.

Airport Mesa was the last of the spots I chose for the itinerary. Lunch was at Raven Cafe, photo stops included the summit of Mingus Mountain, a ravine just west of Jerome and, of course, Airport Mesa. Coffee, from Mesa Grille, was enjoyed whilst watching the small planes take off and land at Sedona Airport. It was a bustling day, more from their perspective than mine-as it had begun with rising very, very early, catching an early flight from DFW and driving from Phoenix to Prescott, then following me over Mingus Mountain to Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Sedona. As we proceeded through the Red Rock city, to our point of adieu, we were each in a queue that was dealing with the aftermath of a serious traffic accident. I took Rte. 179, towards Oak Creek Village and the Interstate highway. The ladies were not so lucky, and inched their way up through Oak Creek Canyon, by choice, and found the backlog was inching along with them.

We all made it to our respective destinations, and tomorrow, while I am in my last day at work for the school year, Yunhee will show her mother what I first showed her of the South Rim. It was a splendid first day for this perky, spirited extended family member to really see what makes our continent such a marvel. In a few days, my own latest journey, by train, will get started. I may even opt for a roomette.

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