As many of you are aware, My Lovely Bride and I enjoy mountain biking. This sport can range from mellow rides in flat Florida pine forests to more challenging (dare I say masochistic?) routes in real mountain terrain. MLB suggested we try a route in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a 994 elevation gain in 3 miles. That’s not too bad when you’re hiking at sea level, but riding a bike over rocks from 7,500 to 8,500 feet is another matter. Here is MLB traversing one of the admittedly more difficult “technical” sections. “Technical” means it is hard for teenagers, cruel for 40-somethings, and near-suicidal for guys my age. Again, this was her idea!
Back at the trailhead, we found a mountain bike practice area with more civilized trails, with only small rocks, roots and occasional deep sand to slow you down. The air is very dry here, about 5% humidity, and we had to carry extra water to keep hydrated. The mountains north of Flagstaff host popular ski areas in winter, and Ponderosa pines are the dominant tree here. The skies at night are exceptionally clear, and the famous Lowell Observatory is on a mountain in Flagstaff. It was a special stop on our previous visit, when we got to look at Saturn’s rings through a powerful telescope.
Just before we finished our ride, I felt something wrong with my helmet. The plastic cover and brim had fallen off, possibly because of old age (the helmet’s, not mine) or continuous jarring over rocks and roots. My ever-thoughtful and innovative bride suggested I duct tape the errant cover back on, with the duct tape passed under my chin to make sure it stayed put. She is such a card…
After our bike ride and showers, we headed into Flagstaff to find some real grass for Rudy and Gretchen to play on, since our campground was very dusty and rocky. It was a warm day, in the high 80s, and Suzanne flopped down with the puppies, expressing a need to ground herself after the jarring bike ride.
Our next stop was Sedona. We set up camp in a grove of eucalyptus trees with scenic Oak Creek babbling just 50 feet behind us. We were here to get reacquainted with friends – Suzanne had met noted Sedona meditation teacher and fellow Hay House author Sarah McLean a couple of years ago in Scottsdale through their mutual friend Catherine Chiesa from Chicago, and Sarah, her entrepreneur husband Marty, and his daughter Danielle dropped by The Coach for drinks. Suzanne had “coincidentally” just picked up a new book, The Field, by Martin Birrittella, not realizing that Marty was the author. We also learned that Danielle, a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer and singer (stage name Dia), is about to embark on a performing tour of the Northeast. You can find out more about Danielle’s jewelry line at www.ellapoe.com and her music at www.daniellebirrittella.com. If you want to get better at meditation, or if you’re even thinking of visiting Sedona for spiritual purposes, see Sarah’s web site, the McLean Meditation Institute, at www.sedonameditation.com.
At the request of Catherine Chiesa, a few months ago Suzanne gave a highly evidential reading to Lisa Dahl, whose son Justin came through from the other side with stunning evidence. Lisa’s three restaurants offer the best dining in Sedona. We had a fabulous dinner last night at Dahl and Di Luca, her flagship location. Suzanne had hand-made pasta with goat cheese and portobello mushroom ragout, while I opted for the cioppino, with scallops, lobster and prawns. Both were exquisite entrees, and our server Tony provided exceptional service.
Lisa is probably the busiest person in Sedona, and had several events going on yesterday, but she graciously found a half hour to sit with us and chat. She is also immersed in designing and building a new restaurant, Mariposa, which will feature South American cuisine with spectacular views of Sedona’s signature Red Rock formations. See http://dahlanddiluca.com/ for more info on Lisa’s fine dining and popular catering option.