The Quest


Gregor Oct 2, 2007

Nicole and I flew out of Long Beach on Saturday and arrived in Phoenix, which is apparently home of America's friendliest aiport. We had a laugh at that until we got to the Avis desk and Walter proved it by upgrading our car for free on him. It was a bit after 6 when we hit the road. We drove up to Sedona to spend the night. Strange dreams that left with the dawn but not without leaving the impression that they were important.

We had been planning to head straight to the Grand Canyon on Sunday, but woke up and decided it would be a good idea to do a bit of hiking around Sedona instead and hit the canyon later if at all. We went on a 3 hour hike in the early afternoon that was quite taxing but it was good to be out in the wild. We scattered some of his ashes around a dry creek bed at the base of some cliffs. Later we hiked in Boynton Canyon, climbed up onto the cliffside, and made a cairn with some of his ashes in the center. We built the cairn on the top of a good sized red rock boulder that had a number of crystal deposits growing on it. We meditated for a bit and then made our way back down as the sun was going down.

On the walk back Nicole made a comment about how she would love to see Braedwyn> come running around the corner of the path at that moment. As soon as the words came out of her mouth I noticed that some of his ashes that we had put inside a hole in the talking stick were falling out on the ground. I lifted up the stick to inspect it and found a brand new perfect circle had appeared about two inches below the one we had put ashes in and sealed with pieces of copper crystals. I guess it was the best he could do under the circumstances.

We left Sedona and drove up to Flagstaff to find a place to stay for the night. We ended up staying at Howard Johnson's — a flashback indeed. We ate at the motel restaurant which Braedwyn definitely would have loved as it was train-themed — complete with a model train running in a circle around the room above our heads. After getting a recommendation from our suitably freaky waiter on a place to go for a drink, we headed into town. Great bar and an awesome conversation with a Hopi man sitting at the bar who felt perfectly comfortable with the notion of Braedwyn going down into a volcano. We talked for about 3 hours about life, death, Koyaanisqatsi and the coming of the fifth world. He was telling us how the Elders speak of the time when the animals will return to Hopi land in preparation for the fifth world. Apparently, this has begun, as the elk and deer populations have rebounded and recently things such as quail and flamingos have been seen — not exactly birds native to the southwestern desert.

Inspired by our serendipitous meeting at the bar, today we decided to bypass the Grand Canyon and instead headed for the Hopi Reservation after another drive through a volcano field. As our new friend had told us, everyone on Second Mesa knows him, as the silversmith we visited today was his Uncle and another store owner we spoke with visits him whenever he goes to Flagstaff. No meetings with mystical shamans wandering the roads, but it is very peaceful, the stars are legion, and we were out watching some shooting stars.

Tomorrow, we will hit the road and return to Phoenix so we can catch our flight to Boston early Wednesday morning.

The pictures at right are, in order, me at the creek bed where we scattered some ashes, his ashes at the base of the cairn, the completed cairn, the rock formation behind where we built the cairn, and, finally, a close up of the talking stick showing the newly formed circle from which his ashes had started to fall out.

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