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Third Times the Charm

4th time is a crowd


I loved being on the bike again. I had to Push start it because it was sitting in a garage for over a week. But, it was just me. And, it was so freeing. I went first and V was gonna pass me. It was like the tortoise and the hare, and the tortoise has a GPS.

I get to Sedona and couldn't get a hold of V so I tried climbing up to my favorite bowl shaped rock formation with lush trees in the valley of the bowl. I am in amazing endurance shape. My body reminds me of Justin's (not that skinny). Everything was indestructible and lasted forever. I jumped from rock to rock. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to go anywhere. I'd go by bike or on foot, but I could go anywhere. I taped about twenty minutes of me running straight up these formation and through tons of brambles because I would have the video camera on these separate trips. I think I went a little overboard.

I climb out of the brambles and take a break by taping the old snake Chi Gong exercise. Buuut, you don't get to see it (you're tired of that crap anyways). Green Dragon would withhold these exercises from people for years and only give them out on secret occasions. They don't seem that impressive, but I don't work on them enough to know for sure. Here's some funny videos. Vanessa shows you the dragon ba gua I did here later in this blog. This is me having fun climbing with the camera on my chest looking up.


When I hit the Sedona I went to the Visitors center and got myself a map (and the guy didn't ask me 20 questions, he just handed over the maps and was extremely informative). I pretended that he was being more helpful than he was since he seemed excited to introduce me to the Sedona. It took a few extra minutes, but I had time. He recommended that I walk the trail to Castle Rock, and since it was about 4 miles of the main road Joe and I always drove, it was going to be a megalith that I had not seen yet, so even though the last mile or so was a dirt road, I was sold. Dirt in the Sedona however, is more like sand, so as I drove over the ground, it flew up into the air in a red poof of smoke and my car got totally doused with the stuff).


This, I've decided, is where Reivan and Pax are going to have their battle. I've been calling out to Joe every time I think I see the place from the Sedona picture that I based one of our battles off of, but this time I'm sure. Even if this is not the place from the picture (which I really think it is this time), I'm going to make it the place. I studied it, and from what you've probably noticed, or will notice soon, I documented every aspect of the place.


And that documents when I get lost. I was told by the guy at the visitors center that if I took a left when I hit the end of one trail, that it would take me to a river, which it did. Then he told me to take the path to the right to get back to my car. I've been on this path for a while now, and it was supposed to be a short trail at that point. Earlier I passed 2 bicyclist walking their bikes up the rocks by the river. I told them I was impressed as they climbed up to me. They told me that the path is much easier not to far past this point. Then I noticed that the one man had both of his legs amputated below the knees... I was really impressed then. He struggled getting up the rocks a bit, but no more so than I fumbled. Then I was really impressed, but I kept that to myself.

I passed these guys again as they were heading back the way they must have come. "Were lost" the one man admitted. "And I'm from the Sedona" he added. I admitted defeat to them as well, and I mentioned a path that led off of this one just a little ways back. They said they would try going up that path, but that if I was heading to the parking lot, I should be able to hit it if I just kept the river on my right. The guy with the prosthetic calfs and feet (or should I just simplify to legs?) told me he was just relying on his friend for direction b/c he was from Seattle. I told him I herd that the mountains were beautiful there, but that the bees sucked.


I kept walking until a few minutes latter when I ran into some more local Sadona-ens (most locals are not Hopi, but just white like me). They told me that the bicyclist were taking me to the other parking lot a few miles away from mine. So we turned around, and they were nice enough to let me be a third wheel for a while. They weren't exactly sure where I should go either, so when we hit the path that forked off to the river we agreed that I should just backtrack to my car. They offered to change their walk plans to go with me to my car, but I said now that I knew I couldn't take a circular path, that I would be fine.

When I finally made it back to the head of the path, I followed the path that seemed to continue around the other side of the mountain, and then I saw Castle Rock. It took me a about 20 min. to walk to a point where I could see Castle Rock the way I went, but this way I could already see it, and I think that if I had gone down the path I told the bicyclists to take, I would have hit my car within 5 min.

Joe had called me a few times telling me what path he was on, informing me of an art sale that I should go to, and letting me gush about being lost and a little claustrophobic about it. He was actually more worried about me than I was since he didn't know that I could see Castle Rock most of time I was lost, so if all else failed, I could just head back to Castle Rock and I would hit the path that circled it. I tried to drive fast to make it to the art sale, but I had to drive so slowly down the dirt path, I wasn't going to make it.


I didn't make it b/c I couldn't find it, and Joe said I wouldn't be able to miss it. So I finally got to go shopping at the stores I saw the first time we were there. Joe met up with me at the stores where I found the perfect gifts for John and Corey. (This time guys, don't ignore the lady when she leaves you a note to pick up your package, she sounded like she might kill you if you make her give you a personal invitation... and that would suck for me b/c I would feel totally responsible. BTW, I'm in Roswell now, and I still haven't sent the package yet. But I finally wrapped them! I love having the car, I have so much space to keep junk... I mean really awesome stuff!)

Then we decided to get some food before I headed out for Albuquerque, and the procrastination simply went on and on. Joe also made a change in plans. Rather than driving out to California and skipping seing Los Vegas with me, he was going to camp here in the Sedona.


On Joe's hike he tried to find this "bowl" he saw the rocks made, but watching the videos he took, I don't think he quite found the same place on his hike. Then he met a guy on a horse and the two of them argue about the benefits of having a "girly" bike (I don't think that driving a 500 is girly, it seemed really big and manly to me, he was probably just referring to the color... nope, Joe confirms it was the engine size. Then he continues to the the guy that this day in age too many people try to bolster their egos with large engines... oooooh! Burn!) Then he also took a video of Dragon Ba Gua!

Now watch the video we took of the tree at Monument Valley at the same time as the video above at about the 2/3 point, and tell me I'm crazy. Right when Joe bends over and seems to be clawing things out of his way with one arm as his other arm does the same motion behind his back.

Now after this hike Joe went to the northern forest above the city limits. This forest blends into the pine tree forest that leads into Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks. He fell in love needless to say, and when we checked the weather, it was actually supposed to be warmer this week in the Sedona than it was over in the Los Padres park near Santa Barbra California.

Then we finally agreed that I would spend the night in Sedona when we passed the Indian Buffet and found out that they only served a lunch buffet. This would let me send Joe off into the wideness with a full belly, so we drove around and found a spot at a different Best Western parking lot than the one we slept in on our first Sedona trip.

o the new plan is for me to drop Joe off at the forest in north Sedona. Then he is going to spend the week there, and hitchhike back to the Safeway where is bike is. I will go to New Mexico for the week, then meet up with Joe in Vegas next Saterday. If he can't seem to catch a ride, he is going to call me and I'll drive the 45 min. out of my way to take him to the bike since I'll be passing Flagstaff long after he should have already gotten to his bike. Sounds like a plan to me.

The next morning we woke at 6 am to the person opening to car door next to us! This was the first time someone walked right up to our car, and it was kinda unnerving. So we promptly drove out of there the minute they left their car to go and make a phone call, it seemed, at the sidewalk. Then we drove to the Safeway (grocery store) to kill some time at their Starbucks and let Joe shop for his week in the wilderness. Joe called the cops and asked if there was any place he could park his bike for a week or so b/c it was too cold and rainy to ride on the bike, so he was going to ride around in his girlfriends car. They told him to ask the Safeway if he could leave the bike there, because they would only do something about his bike if it was reported by someone. They were really cool about it, and the woman said she would be the one who would make the call, and as long as it wasn't here for over a week, she wouldn't. So good news there, but then unfortunately, it was a rainy day and the only time it was supposed to possibly stop raining was 11 - 3, the exact same hours of the Indian buffet. So we sucked it up, and left during our weather opening to get Joe to the spot he found in the woods above the Sedona.


BTW, we asked, and that rock wall is fake. They built it to blend into the scenery while keeping rocks off the road. The guy who we asked worked at the local park, and he said that he didn't know it was fake until someone told him several months after he started working there.


I'm freezing at this point. We had been getting in and out of the car (and I'm in sandals) in the cold rain to take pictures, fill our water bottles with fresh spring water, and scout for Joe's camping location. Joe took some not so flattering pictures of me looking kinda miserable, and its easy to see why Joe kinda freaked out on me. He was super excited about his trip, and I was looking rather miserable, and I was rushing him to get his things together b/c I really needed to go to the bathroom. One thing led to another, and we broke out into probably our biggest fight yet. We were spent having our little fighting spouts, and neither of us could take another small fight, so we made it huge for no reason other than we couldn't take another small one. (Its kinda strange to always be getting into our personal things, but now that Joe opened that door, I find it hard to close. Just let me know if you think I'm getting too personal, and I'll probably ignore your warnings since it's our blog, not yours. But I'd like to know anyways, you know? Just to kinda know how much I'm bugging everyone.)

I ended up telling Joe in or out, I'm going to find a restroom. He wasn't even close to having his stuff together, so I took off with him getting his stuff together in the back seat. It was kinda an emergency, so the first lodge we stopped at Joe told me I had to go to. Like I thought I was turned away b/c the facilities were for customers only. Finally we hit a Dairy Queen (very random in the middle of the forest, but the actual town was still another 10 min. away, so I was excited). We got dinner and ice cream ad Joe continued packing, and we discussed what happened. We both agreed that the fight only got so bad b/c we were so stressed about fighting, not because of the situation. He ended up taking until after dark to get everything together, so I started calling around to hotels. I couldn't find one under $65, and Joe convinced me to just sleep in the car again.

We went back and forth between who wanted a hotel, and when Joe wanted one, I didn't, and visa-versa. I parked just into town at the shopping area I liked, and Joe got out of the car. He doesn't think I need to know where he is going when he leaves, but on a trip like this, I feel we either have to have cell phones so we know where to find eat other, or we need to tell the other person where we are going. He went to the Christmas shop, and found that it was surprisingly mood uplifting. I thought that he might go to that store, so I crossed the street and went into the store. I found him, but couldn't get the nerve to approach him yet. I was looking at what Joe referred to the "Asian Elvira Mermaid doll" (this store was kinda a weird rich people store), and he just engulfed me in a big hug. He was so happy to see that I came looking for him, and that I know where to find him. Then I started to cry a little, and it was too much for him. I told him that it hurt me a lot that he would just leave, and he said that in a fight a person doesn't have to tell the other one where they are going to be alone. I agreed, but I said that I only agreed b/c it was vindictive, and that's what people do when they are angry.

Eventually we melted our pain, that's the only way I could describe it. We finally convinced each other that we didn't have to worry about this week pushing us further apart, and that if he let go I wouldn't fly away, and if I began to hold on, he wouldn't fly either. I think we came to a place where we could finally both relax and not be nervous about this week, and look forward to it the way we had initially planned.

Posted by - Rain 17:22

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To answer your question, Vanessa, I'm glad you two started being more open about your personal feelings. It makes the stories more real. I think most of your readers probably enjoy the cool sights and information, but the most interesting and entertaining parts of the blog are your responses to your travels, including how your relationship is adapting to the stresses of a 24/7 vagabond lifestyle, where Dale's Red Rock Inn can bring tears to your eyes as "home." The quest or journey is a great arc for the story--it's the romance plot of old. Your relationship is a crucial part of the story.

by Sheryl S

I guess we all need to know what is going on with you guys, now that you have worried us all. I've been searching for this one poem on the internet all day, and i didn't know why,until i read this blog, maybe you guys can find some meaning in it. It is a poem for teachers, my favorite poem for teachers, but for you, I have replaced the words 'children ' with 'my love' and replaced the word 'classroom' with 'relationship." It is originally by Haim Ginott. See what you think:

"I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in my relationships.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make my love's life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and my love humanized or dehumanized."

by georgi r

The blog is for tracking your experiences and your relationship is part of that. Writing can help you straighten things out and provide insight. (at least thats my take on it) Blog away!!!

by buddy-JC

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