It’s Friday and we’re off and away by 10 a.m. headed down the interstate towards Marc and Bobbie’s Sedona boondock to meet up with them. A long five plus hours later, after a lunch stop, navigating the traffic through Phoenix, and a couple of kitty breaks (truck travel makes the cats nervous and they need to use the litter box more than normal) we spot the Johnson’s A frame chalet high on a scrub hill looking like a beacon. We are just about set up in our own adjacent scrub spot between Pinion pines when Mark returns from picking up Bobbie from art class in Sedona and we all do the meet and greet. It is a real pleasure to finally meet someone you already feel you know and consider friends and over the course of the next couple days we find those feelings fully justified. The evening is spent getting to know one another sitting outdoors enjoying the balmy temperatures until coming darkness causes them to fall and our appetite bell to go off for dinner.
The one thing that could majorly cause a problem on this trip has happened; somehow Marc’s C-pap mask has gone missing from his machine so he gets very little sleep and wakes with a terrible sore throat Saturday morning. He leaves on a wild goose chase trying to find a medical supply shop open in either Cottonwood or Sedona, only to be thwarted. It is a major setback that has him thinking of cutting the trip short and returning home. He realizes just how much I have counted on this opportunity to get out of Yuma and takes pity on me and will try to make it through, but he will spend the rest of the nights obtaining only a couple hours of sleep per night.
We decide to ride along in Mark’s truck for a down and dirty tour of Oak Park Village and Sedona. It’s a very busy area, with tourists so packed in on shopping frenzies that there is not even room to pull over to take pictures. After finding all trailhead parking lots jammed full and hordes of trekkers headed for the red rock vistas, we give up any thought we had of hiking and head instead for a lunch at the very scenic Tlaquepaque shopping center, styled after an old Italian Tuscany village. We meet another fulltimer, Wanderin Lloyd, and all enjoy a very tasty lunch at Oak Creek Brewery. That evening we host Mark and Bobbie to some of Marc’s smoked pulled pork as we huddle together in our rig due to the high winds. It’s another satisfying, leisurely day.
Tlaquepaque is such a singular experience; I will cover it in its own entry following this post.