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Final Hike; A Bizarre Airline Check-in; Here’s Mud in Your….; Family Ties

“Final Hike”… it has an ominous tone, like Your Faithful Correspondent was eaten by a displaced polar bear, or swallowed up in quicksand, or fell into a sinkhole…. no such terminal excitement… it was merely our last hike of the trip, in the hills behind Sedona, on Saturday afternoon. All of the hikes there are beautiful, and the Brims Mesa Trail was no exception. This one was a little different because instead of ending in a slot canyon with no egress other than the way in, this trail gave us access to a backcountry wilderness area. 

This is where I would have backpacked for several days had the weather cooperated. But since it was predicted to snow on our arrival, I didn’t even bring my tent and sleeping bag. My Lovely Bride calls me a “Wuss” because I opted to sleep in a hotel rather than in my tent in 18F weather. She is such a comedian… I might have survived the frosty temps had I used some of the dead trees here for firewood, but the Forest Service rangers might not have taken kindly to my “axing without axing…” (That terrible pun is for my brother-in-law, Brent.) 

On the hike in, Suzanne’s iPhone alarm went off. I would normally give her grief about noise in the wilderness, but she had warned me that during the hike, we have to check in for our flight. It was 24 hours away, but since Southwest Airlines doesn’t reserve seats, you either check in early for an aisle seat or wind up sitting in the middle seat with an NFL tackle-sized guy on either side of you. Who maybe hasn’t showered recently… anyway, it can get ugly. So here is Corvette Chick, standing at the edge of a precipice in Sedona, intently tapping away on her iPhone, linked to a SWA computer in Bangladesh, hoping that two bars reception will get us our seats side-by-side. It was a surreal moment. 

At the end of our hike, we were stowing our gear in the trunk of the car when CC says, “Oooohhhh, look at all the gooey red mud on my beautiful boots!” The trail had been wet from the snowfall, and had not dried out in many places. I’ve seen worse, and at least it wasn’t sticking to her boots in huge clumps, making it hard to walk. And of course it was red, to match the red rocks that Sedona is famous for. They weren’t that hard to clean once we got to our hotel and we broke out the retired toothbrush. (Wanna hazard a guess as to WHO got to actually USE the retired toothbrush on all four boots?)  

So, we get to the airport, and I recall my first airline flight, back in the 60’s. All the guys wore coat and tie, and the ladies wore dresses. (We do remember what dresses are, right?) If you haven’t flown in a few decades, you would be appalled at the poor clothing (and grooming) standards of many of the people getting on airplanes, other than business people, folks over 60, and flight crews. “Hoodies”, short shorts, tie-dyed tee shirts, ragged jeans, flip-flops, tee shirts with almost obscene logos… you get my drift, right? Who raised these nincompoops?

Anyway, we are now back in The Villages, enjoying 87F sunny weather while the rest of the country shovels snow or breaks out umbrellas for deluges of rain. We were happy to have family visiting Monday evening, Suzanne’s nephew Dan and his fiancée Courtney. (It is just a bit colder back in their home town of West Chester, PA.) They were able to visit Courtney’s family in Tampa and also see Orlando’s Universal Studios. (Corvette Chick had to show off her red Vette to Dan, since he has a Camaro and is an expert BMW technician.) Here is the family photo, with Suzanne, Dan, Courtney, Ruthie, Brent and Cheryl. I have to poke a little fun at Brent’s legs, which have developed a bit of a tan since he moved to The Villages recently. They had not seen sun in 50 years prior to moving here, but having become an avid golfer of late, he has only missed one day of golf in the past two weeks… and he finally gave in to local convention and started wearing shorts!  


  • Anonymous
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I so appreciate your humor and quick wit. Thank you for a hearty laugh.

  • Jennifer
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Really like Suzanne's scarf! Nice color and style..


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