My sister and I went hiking in Oak Creek Canyon this weekend. This is, hands-down, my favorite place in Arizona. It’s simply gorgeous up there. I love highway 89A, and for years now, one of my favorite things to do is drive up and down that road between Sedona and Flagstaff, day or night, with the windows down… the air is always fresh with tree-air, cool breezes and sometimes campfires.
Anyway, right off of 89A is a trailhead that I’ve been driving past for 12 years now. It’s for the West Fork trail– which, it turns out, is one of the most popular trails in the state. I’d done some research in the past few weeks, trying to find the perfect hike for my sister and I, and this one seemed to be perfect. We knew we wanted a lot of trees, and a chance to be close to the water. This hike had all of that, in abundance.
We walked for hours, often stopping just to listen to the forest or to simply take deep, restorative breaths; I lost count of how many times I said something along the lines of, “This is amazing.” Neither of us used our iPods, because there was no need for it. Besides, a thunderstorm was rolling in from a distance, and as time went by it got closer and closer and the thunder louder as the sky darkened and got ready for rain. It was fascinating to pay close attention to the subtle changes in the air, and the plants around us, as the storm rolled in. I swear that the trees trembled in anticipation.
And then of course, there was the sound of the creek itself. Water sliding gently over smooth rocks, bubbles foaming up between them. The trail crisscrossed the creek several times, so we had to hop from rock to rock. At first, I was nervous I’d slip, but I did surprisingly well. Until the very end of the hike, and the last crossing… a group of people were coming the other direction, and they kind of spooked me because one guy was running across the creek. I lost my balance and stepped down into the creek. I ended up with both feet in the water, my sneakers saturated and my face feeling red out of embarrassment. But hey, it didn’t matter! That water felt nice. And it was no big deal that I slipped.
We didn’t want to leave. It felt so perfect and relaxing there. I hope that we can go again pretty soon, because both of us felt how exquisite it was to be out there, among beautiful, living things. It was something we NEEDED so much. It felt like what life is supposed to be. It really is sad to realize how conditioned we all are to live in the world of concrete and plastics. None of us can really change it, but at the very least we can try to get back in touch with that primitive, peaceful part of ourselves sometimes by savoring nature. If you can get out to the wilderness, even if it’s just a wooded lot down the street, I really recommend it.
After we left, it began to rain off and on. We went back to town, checked into the hotel and changed before going to dinner at one of our favorite places. Sadly, it must have changed ownership or something because the food is now terrible. Booo. After that, we went to see “Dinner for Schmucks” at the local theater. It was cool because so many people in the theater seemed to know one another. My sister remarked that if you were a teenager living in Sedona, probably going to the movies was THE thing to do on a Friday night, and she’s right, I’d bet. All these kids were calling out to one another before the movie began, laughing and talking. It was very nice to watch. The movie itself was hilarious, and sweet. I want to see it again. That nice audience even clapped at the end. Ahhh… small towns. It made me wistful.
The next day it was pouring on the drive home. It got a little frightening as we drove down the interstate back to Phoenix. My sister was driving, and visibility was basically zero at one point. But we safely made it home (following a necessary stop at the outlet mall along the way, where we visited the J. Crew and Banana Republic outlets and picked up a few items we apparently couldn’t live without– sheesh, those stores are awesome) and later that night, we went to our friend’s birthday party at Dave and Busters and had a fantastic time being dorks.
So, overall, it was a wonderful weekend. To top it off, a very serendipidous thing happened today thanks to my friend R making a connection between me and a guy who’s developing a sitcom-project. It’s going to be crazy! I might be writing some comedy scripts in the very near future. The thing is, I legally can’t talk about it at all, because I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before I could discuss the concept in depth with this guy. Tuesday night, we meet to begin brainstorming stuff and I can begin writing. Suffice to say, this feels like an AWESOME opportunity and I still can’t believe it came out of nowhere. I owe ya one, R. At least, I think I do. Let’s see how this thing pans out first. Heh. 😉
Well, here’s to a good week. Some stuff is going to be less-than-fun, for sure, but that’s OK. I can handle it. That’s because there’s a shitload of fun stuff, too! I refuse to lose sight of the good things in my life. Like I said in my previous post, I want to have a life that’s KICK ASS. So, here goes.
To close this post, I present the young master Hurley in his latest headshot:
I am head over heels in love with this dog. We’re BFFs!!