in Doing more, Mods & Upgrades, Not Quite What We'd Planned, The State We're In, Things we do

Sedona, Montezuma, Riordan, volcano, Wupatki. Ummm… gesundheit?

No, we didn’t sneeze. We did get out and see a heck of a lot of stuff in the Flagstaff area though, and a lot of it has names that are difficult to pronounce.

We started with repair work, in the form of undercarriage welding to stabilize the hangers and springs and equalizers and such. They’d taken a beating, likely because of the whole tire falling off thing back in January.

Aah, the sight of legs sticking out from under the RV. My favorite thing. Tim can do a lot of maintenance on his own, but he knows when it's time to pay a professional. Welding is not in his skill set, so we left The Toad with Buddy for the day.

Aah, the sight of legs sticking out from under the RV.
My least favorite thing.
Tim can do a lot of maintenance on his own, but he knows when it’s time to pay a professional. Welding is not in his skill set, so we left The Toad with Buddy for the day.

After that, we took our bicycles to a local shop, because they too were in need of some attention. Primarily, my bike needed new handle bars and grips after an unfortunate highway dragging incident in August. The shop cat matched my outfit. And cats do make me sneeze, so achoo!

After that, we took our bicycles to a local shop, because they too were in need of some attention.
Primarily, my bike needed new handle bars and grips after an unfortunate highway dragging incident in August.
The shop cat matched my outfit, so I took a picture. And cats do make me sneeze, so achoo!

We had the rest of the day to kill while our home was up on jacks, so southward we went, down the “back way” through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona.

Warning: when you look at a map of 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona, you're not going to see this unless you zoom in way far. I had to put on my magic bracelets.

Warning: when you look at a map of 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona, you’re not going to see this unless you zoom in way far. It’s narrow and canyon-y and twisty.
I had to put on my magic bracelets.

We didn't do any shopping in Sedona. Just went on a nature walk and looked at the rocks.

We didn’t do any shopping in Sedona. Just went on a nature walk and looked at the rocks.

Well they are impressive. Not sure about all that energy vortex stuff, though. I didn't feel any different.

Well, they are impressive.
Not sure about all that energy vortex stuff, though. I didn’t feel any different.

On the way back from Sedona, we made thrifty use of our National Parks Pass, and spent about an hour exploring Montezuma Castle National Monument

On the way back from Sedona, we made thrifty use of our America the Beautiful Pass, and took in the Sinagua Indian ruins at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Here in the heart of Flagstaff, we visited the Riordan Mansion, which sat on 54 acres back in the day of its wealthy lumber mill owners, but is now tucked into a corner of the campus of Northern Arizona University.

I got only a third of the place in my shot. The house is 13,000 square feet with 40 rooms. It was built in 1904 for two brothers (who married sisters) and their families.

I got only a third of the place in my shot, being unable to step back toward… uh… the next county. The house is 13,000 square feet of Arts & Crafts style architecture, with 40 rooms. It was built in 1904 for the Riordan brothers (who married sisters) and their families. Many of its features reminded us of a certain 1912 Craftsman-style bungalow we’ve lived in…

Yesterday, we drove just northeast of the city and took advantage of our America the Beautiful Pass once more, to visit both the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments.

Landscape: creepy These four white trees brought to mind horses of the apocalypse.

Landscape: creepy

Cinders, ash, and... life

900 years ago: cinders, lava, fire, and ash. Today: life

Moonscape

Moonscape

Color amongst the cinders

Color amongst the cinders

The ruins in Wupatki date back to the 1100s, and it was both warming and chilling to stand inside their walls, trying to imagine what it was like to live here. Then. This is the Wukoki Pueblo.

The ruins in Wupatki date back to the 1100’s, and it was both warming and chilling to stand inside their walls, trying to imagine what it was like to live here. Then.
This is the Wukoki Pueblo.

The Wupatki Pueblo is the largest set of ruins. According to the park brochure, "Once a regional center for trade, this 104-room pueblo features a billboard and unique geologic blowhole."

The Wupatki Pueblo is the largest set of ruins. According to the park brochure, “Once a regional center for trade, this 104-room pueblo features a ball court and unique geologic blowhole.”

And we found the blowhole. Air was rushing upward, and I regretted not wearing a white halter dress to make this a true Marilyn Monroe impression.

And we found the blowhole. Air was rushing upward, making my shirt pouf out, and I immediately regretted not wearing a white halter dress instead, a la Marilyn Monroe.

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Looking out from the ruins, we could just make out the Painted Desert in the distance. It’s that light pink strip in the center, just below the sky.

img_8733 img_8737

And tomorrow, we roll. It gets cold and snowy up here in northern Arizona, and well, we just don’t have to put up with that kind of negativity.

We’ll spend the next month or so in the Tucson area, joining Tim’s aunt & uncle for Turkey Day. It’ll be our first Thanksgiving since 1995 without either one of our sons, and that’s kind of weird and a little depressing, but I am a strong believer in the medicinal properties of ridiculous quantities of pie, so I know I’ll make it through the day.

Then we’ll figure out what we’re doing for Christmas.

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