Sedona Back to Vegas

Leaving Sedona on day 6 of my trip was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. And I’ve recently had a root canal. No joke.

I longed to stay in this town, explore each of its shops and enjoy all of its restaurants. I wanted to hike its trails. Mostly, though, I just wanted to sit and take in the view. I would like to let Sedona wash over me like a cool blast of air conditioning on a hot day.

There’s just never enough time, is there?

I did make the time to visit the Church of the Red Rocks, thinking it was the iconic, must-see church in Sedona, but I was wrong (and besides, it was closed due to the pandemic). The must-see church is the very unique Chapel of the Holy Cross. I didn’t realize that until I was already out of town. But I’ll take any excuse to go back.

I did stop in and visit Son Silver West. I was drawn in by its unique metal sculptures, Western-themed art and vintage signs. It’s one of those eclectic stores that you can visit every day and encounter something new. I’ll include a few pictures below so you can get the idea, but this store definitely deserves a post all its own.

On the way back to Vegas, I tried to see Hoover Dam again. Not only was it closed, but also there were a number of grim-faced men, dressed in black, who were more than happy to make sure you got the message and turned around. No explanation given. I’m pretty sure they would have wrestled me to the ground if I had tried to get past them. Later I discovered that the president was visiting Vegas, so it probably had something to do with that. I was disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll be in the area again someday. I did enjoy seeing Lake Mead.

I also crossed over Peacock Wash and Rattlesnake Wash, and mused about people’s need for such things. I mean, save your money and wash your rattlesnake at home, I say. Then I crossed over Frees Wash. Okay, maybe I would let someone else do it in that case. 😊

I picked up some food at an In-n-Out Burger. I’d never eaten at one before. It was pretty good for fast food. I’d recommend them, but I learned that they tend to sneak religious quotes into their packaging. There’s nothing I hate more than being proselytized, especially by a for profit company.

Entering Vegas by day is a completely different vibe. It’s every bit as overwhelming and crowded, but it doesn’t have the excitement factor without all the lights piercing the darkness. But I was excited nonetheless, because that night I was scheduled to go zoom-lining at Slotzilla on Fremont Street! Zoom-lining is a lot like ziplining, except you’re flying through the air like superman. I had been wanting to do this for ages.

Just for you, dear reader, I had my adventure recorded on a Go Pro. What do you think? Would you do it? I wasn’t nervous until they strapped me down and opened the doors and I got my first look at what 110 feet in the air was going to be like. (My apologies for the “Oh, F***” that you hear me utter at the beginning. I think I had a valid excuse. And no, I do not have a mullet. They required that you put on a glasses strap, and I stupidly didn’t pull my hair over the top of it.)

But I have to say, what a rush! Zooming 5 blocks, beneath a lighted, psychedelic canopy, and above the massive crowd as they took pictures and cheered, was amazing. I’d do it again and again if given the chance!

The downside, of course, was that I had to walk the 5 blocks back, through that massive crowd of people. Most wore masks, but the whole social distancing concept was impossible. People were rubbing shoulders with me whether I wanted to or not. It felt like the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done, and I started wondering if this little caper was worth my life, and berated myself for being so stupid. I wanted to boil myself in bleach.

But during that walk, I’m fairly certain that I locked eyes with Chaz Bono. He looked right at me, and then quickly looked away when he saw recognition. I didn’t bother him. He clearly did not want to be bothered.

I stopped at a store and picked up a frozen pizza, and when I got back to the room I changed clothes, showered, and practically washed my hands raw. I don’t think Vegas will be on my radar again until there’s a reliable vaccine. But I have to say, zoom-lining is AWESOME!!!

Enjoy our random pictures of my day!

There are a lot more tales to tell about this trip, but I’ll try not to post them daily, so as not to put off those who aren’t interested in travel blogs. So brace yourself for a good month of every other day adventures! I’ll try to link them together, so that you can start at the beginning if you find yourself in the middle and want to read the whole saga. Here’s a link to the first post in the series. And here’s a link to my next day’s adventure!

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Ziplining

A few years ago, I was driving through Utah, and took a side trip to Provo, simply because I had always wanted to go ziplining. I was so excited. But on the big day, they cancelled my reservation, theoretically because it was too windy. (I strongly suspect that it was because I was their only customer for that time slot.) They said I could try again the next day, but I wasn’t going to be there. Provo isn’t exactly a tourist hot spot. I spent the night in a shabby little hotel room, all alone, feeling sorry for myself.

So I was even more excited for our trip to Alaska, because we planned to go ziplining in Denali National Park. This time, I wasn’t going alone, although my husband had reservations about the reservations. (Sorry. Had to.)

What I hadn’t counted on was the fact that ziplining was a breeze compared to getting up to the platform itself. To do that, you had to cross rope bridges with wooden slats that seemed like they were a half a mile apart. My husband urged me to watch where I was stepping, but I could not look down or I would have lost it. So I felt for each slat with my foot before shifting my weight. And with every step I took, I was saying, “You can do this.”

Because it was a very near thing. I could feel a panic attack looming on the horizon. But rationally, what could I have done? Giving up would have meant turning around and going back over the same bridges that were freaking me out in the first place. So, onward.

You see, I have a very weird fear of heights. I knew ziplining wouldn’t bother me at all, because I was hooked into a ton of safety equipment, and the potential for disaster was pretty much out of my hands. But the ladder… Oh, I could screw up that ladder. Yes, I was still hooked in, but I could have hurt myself very badly at any moment.

My fear of heights is more of a fear of my own ability to cause my accidental death or dismemberment. Therefore, I can rock climb while roped in, but I can’t stand at the edge of a cliff. I can rappel like a demon, but if I walk across a catwalk with low railings I feel sick.

Yeah, I know. Go figure.

There were seven ziplines on this course, and each one was more exhilarating than the last. I mean, hoo! What a rush! But those bridges were the stuff of nightmares for me. Below are some photos and a video of my experience. I hope you like them.

Would I go ziplining again? Yes, indeed. Without hesitation. But it depends on how you get there. My husband found one that requires you to walk from one looped rope to the next, over a crevasse. No thanks. I want to live.

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Where’s Your Sense of Adventure?

Someday soon, I’m going indoor skydiving! I’ve always wanted to do that. I was given a gift card to do so this year for my birthday. It’s going to be epic! (And it will no doubt spawn a blog post, so stay tuned!)

I’d also like to go ziplining. I’ve actually tried to do so a couple of times, but something always seems to get in the way. There’s a zipline in my future, though. I can feel it.

A friend of mine said, “I could never do that.”

My response was, “Oh, where’s your sense of adventure?”

And that, as per usual, got me thinking. Where is one’s sense of adventure? Where does it reside?

It certainly doesn’t live in your head, because it’s often your head that talks you out of doing things. “You fool! You’re going to get yourself killed!” “It’s too expensive.” “You’re too old.” “People will laugh at you.”

No. It’s definitely not in your head. Your brain can be your own worst enemy in these situations.

Could your sense of adventure reside in your heart? Well, the heart has a love/hate relationship with adventure. It starts to pound in anticipation of it. It certainly pounds during it. It nearly bursts with joy at having lived through it. How you interpret these reactions will greatly determine how much adventure you crave.

Did all that heart pounding and bursting feel exciting and wonderful? Then, yes, more please. Was it nauseating and terrifying? Then, never ever again. Ever. It all boils down to whether or not you are risk averse.

That’s what makes me believe that your sense of adventure resides in your very soul. Either you have it or you don’t. Either you’ll do these things or you won’t.

There’s no right answer. Only you can decide what’s right for you. But meanwhile, I’ll be over there, indoor skydiving. Woo hoo!

Indoor skydiving

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The Journey

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey, they say. I sometimes have a hard time remembering that. As a general rule, I hate the “travel” part of travel.

I particularly miss flying in the ’80’s, when you could saunter onto your plane at the last minute, with your Crocodile Dundee-sized Bowie knife and nail clippers on full display, settle into a seat with plenty of leg room, most likely having the entire row of seats to yourself, and expect something other than a single pretzel to eat. These days, I just want to get there, preferably with all my luggage, and let the adventure begin.

On my most recent trip, to Utah, a lot of irritating things happened during the journey. I booked a ziplining tour, something that has been on my bucket list for decades, and I was really looking forward to it. I went to Sundance Mountain Resort and wandered about, feeling like a country mouse as I often do in rich places. I had time to kill, so I bought an outrageously overpriced but delicious meal and ate while reading a book.

I got to the ziplining office at the designated time, all excited, only to be told that it was cancelled due to high winds. They had been trying to contact me for hours. (Why does everyone assume you’ve got a smart phone with e-mail access? Pick up the phone!!!)

Terribly disappointed, I headed to my shabby little motel room in Provo, Utah. (I did stop to see Bridal Veil Falls on the way, which was pretty awesome, but took all of 5 minutes.) I wouldn’t have been stopping in Provo at all were it not for the ziplining. If there’s anything entertaining to do in that town, I certainly didn’t find it.

So I sat in my threadbare accommodations, listening to the really loud construction next door, until 9 pm, when they quit for the day and I was finally allowed to get to sleep. (But to do that I had to turn the fridge off to stop it’s squealing. When the fridge finally thawed at midnight, the sound of the falling ice scared the life out of me.)

Back to sleep. That is, until the police raid in the motel room directly beneath mine at 1 a.m. Lots of shouting and door pounding. That was fun. Not.

So was the car alarm that went off at 3 a.m. and didn’t stop until the battery died. I was beginning to think someone was sticking pins in a little Barb voodoo doll or something.

But, as my previous posts about this trip will attest, the rest of the trip was amazing. And even when you’re having a bad time in Utah, you have fantastic views as a backdrop. So here are some random photos I took during the journey.

 

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