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“Wave Off”; Noisy Revelers; Snowy Sedona; A Unity Movie Viewing

Have you ever watched a Navy war movie that showed a plane landing on an aircraft carrier? The Landing Signals Officer (LSO) standing on a platform at the stern once used paddles to signal the pilot of the approaching aircraft whether his descent onto the deck matched the approved glide path; the LSO would “wave off” a pilot who was not making a safe approach. Today, the LSO uses a radio and flashing lights rather than paddles, but the result is the same. Why am I bringing this up? Well, because yesterday our Boeing 737 was “waved off” at PHX – Phoenix, AZ – while making an approach in a rain/thunderstorm. We were “on final”, about 400 feet AGL (above ground level), just crossing over the end of the runway, and we heard the engines go to full power and the nose tip up. Those actions “get your attention”. Evidently winds were gusting above safe limits, so the captain did a go-around and landed very comfortably about 6 minutes later, to applause from many of the passengers.  

We spent the night in Scottsdale, and perhaps I should have selected another hotel… we were awakened at 0215 by some very noisy revelers from the rooms next door. It was some young man’s birthday, and I was afraid the party was likely to keep going, so a quick call to the front desk, and things finally settled down, but not before my beauty rest was severely reduced.

This morning dawned cold and a bit dreary, compared to warm and sunny Florida. Last night’s front had mostly cleared eastward, but there were lots of clouds up north Sedona-way, where we were headed. By the time we arrived at our chosen trailhead for a two hour hike, it was 29F and snowing. Did I say “snow”? Yep, sunny Arizona was getting a dusting; certainly not a Boston-style snowfall, but enough to stick on the scrub trees and cactus near Bell Rock where we were hiking. Here is Corvette Chick, now on foot, trying to catch snowflakes in her mouth. 

In any case, we enjoyed our hike on the Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point, so named because it terminates on a steep slickrock cliff that is the turn-around point for the Pink Jeeps Sedona is famous for. This photo shows two people standing a few yards from the edge at Chicken Point.. 

While hiking on both slickrock and mud, we met another couple on the trail. My Lovely Bride, whose seven languages normally give her a distinct advantage over Your Faithful Correspondent in ordering at restaurants overseas, didn’t recognize the language they were speaking. “Hebrew”, the man replied to her query. What followed were a series of “synchronicities” that will probably appear in Suzanne’s blog in the near future… so I won’t spoil the fun here. Suffice it to say that she was quite amazed by some of the interesting “coincidences” that occurred today… 

Snow on Sedona’s world-famous red rocks gives one a totally different perspective, compared to the bright summer red hues we are more familiar with. The low clouds draping the tops of the mesas also provide an eerie feeling and muffle nature’s sounds…

Driving from the trailhead to our hotel, the snow really started coming down, with massive wet flakes obscuring the road as well as our views of the mountains…

We finished out the day at Sedona Unity Church, giving a private showing of the Messages of Hope documentary to a group of very interested and enthusiastic viewers. We appreciated their coming out in the middle of a snowstorm to view the movie. Their warmth certainly made up for the bad weather.  

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