Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Desert Diaries - Moab to Sedona

After a few days of exploring Moab, we have migrated south to the great state of Arizona and are now happily holed up in Sedona, surrounded by another amazing landscape and more sandstone spires.  We were chased from our desert paradise by two irresistible forces.  First, Mother Nature herself, who unleashed a furious rainstorm reminiscent of our home in the Pacific Northwest.  We rode out one day of rain by squatting in the public library and drinking beer in the local brewery.  But with more weather expected over the next week, the sandstone was likely to remain wet into the foreseeable future, and we decided to search out better weather down South.  Second, an injury.

On the first pitch of the trip, I felt a pop in my rib cage while laybacking on a moderate route.  I climbed over the next two+ days despite some pain but then eventually woke up one night after a rogue sneeze just about sent me through the roof of the tent.  The next morning, we went to the doctor, who diagnosed the problem as a mild separation of the rib from the cartilage. 

After describing the problem, he suggested that I "give it lots of rest" and stop climbing for awhile.  I instinctively gave him an unintentional rolling of the eyes as if to say "yeah right."  He laughed and said, "I don't really care what you do, but we see your type in here 10 times a day. You can either rest it or you can make it worse.  Your choice." 

Stupid doctor.  What does he know.  Luckily, the weather sucked anyway, so I didn't have to stop climbing on account of my minor injury, and with the forecast looking suspect for the next week or so we decided to head to Sedona to visit our friends John and Lauren, who we met earlier this year in El Potrero Chico.   

On the way there, we had the pleasure of driving through the famed Monument Valley, one of the great iconic landscapes of the American West.  We stopped on the Navajo Indian Reservation and drove their loop road past the Totem Pole (site of the memorable scene from the Eiger Sanction where Clint tops out on a remote spire) and several other famous formations, playing the role of the well behaved gaping tourists.  

The Monument Valley
The Curio

From the Background Above
Artist's Point on the Navajo Reservation
Since then, we've been enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our hosts, who just happen to live on the beautiful campus of a boarding school in the desert just outside Sedona.  From here, we'll head further south to the Cochise Stronghold and a sea of granite domes just north of the Mexican border.  We may yet make it back to Indian Creek and Moab, but first we'll have to work out a deal with Mother Nature and that damn doctor. Adios!

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