I’ve been above 6,000ft since arriving in Denver and I think the altitude may be starting to have an effect. For the last few days I’ve woken with a blocked nose and dry throat. The throat I put down to to air conditioning. But I’ve been noticing blood when I blow my nose. Today that seems to have moved on a stage as I’ve had two nose bleeds which caught me by surprise. I’m not 100% sure that it is altitude though as the blood is only coming from a single nostril and a few years ago I had to have a vein cauterized in that nostril. So the whole thing could just be a complete coincidence and altitude is playing no part at all. Either way, today is my last day at altitude as I’m on a train to LA tonight, so if it is altitude that little problem will be solved soon enough.
Today was another long day, packing in visits to a number of places.
We started off with a trip to Walnut Canyon, where Indian cave dwellings were discovered. To reach the dwellings meant going down 240 steep steps and a trail. My knee, which with the aid of copious amounts of ibuprofen to prevent swelling, has been fairly well behaved. But I thought that this may push it a little too much and decided to take the trail walk instead. I saw the group that went down to the dwellings from the far end of the canyon as little specs on the landscape. Upon their return the guide then dropped the bombshell that they dwellings they had struggled down to were actually recreations made a couple of decades ago. The actual dwellings are too fragile to be visited. I wonder how many of those that went down the canyon would have stayed behind if that little gem had been imparted prior to their descent?
We then moved onto a view of Walnut Creek as the guide wanted to point out the road that we would be traveling down. We were going to descend a few thousand feet in just a couple of miles. The road itself twisted back and forth and would have been much more fun on a motorbike. Walnut Creek feeds flows through a town called Sedona. Property in Sedona averages around $9m and apparently will regularly become flooded when the creeks water levels rise with the run off with the melting winter snow. Seems like insanity to spend that much on property and not have flood defenses. I was expecting to see houses on raised platforms but they were just at ground level. Still if your’re spending $9m for a house I guess you’re mad enough to live on a flood plain.
In truth I can’t see why property in Sedona is so expensive. Its a nice enough town, and its location is beautiful. But the town is touristy and just a whole bunch gift shops and cafes. I thought the town we stopped off in on the way to Silverton was nicer. But maybe that’s just me.
I stopped off at a little diner for some lunch and sat outside on the covered patio. Seconds after sitting down the heavens opened and the rain fell. I mean really fell. I feel sorry for anyone that got caught outside in it. The rain backed off by the time that I had finished my lunch but it was still drizzling and I really didn’t fancy trawling around gift shops for the hour. The mountains were obscured by the rain clouds so photography was out as well. So I sought out something else to do.
What I actually did was visit a psychic. I’m not a believer in any of it, so I just treated it as something to do. The experience was quite interesting. There was none of the associated trappings or theatre of mysticism, just a woman with a card table, a table fan and a Starbucks coffee. I was given a choice of five decks of cards. I chose my deck and shuffled it. I then cut the deck and dealt two hands – one from each cut. If I’d have been playing poker I’d have been ecstatic – I’d actually managed to deal two straights! I’d seen the faces of the deck, and it was me that shuffled, cut and dealt. I have no idea what the odds are of doing that, but going on the laughter of the psychic, I don’t think she saw it coming. She told me that the two lines referred to journeys. Wow, how insightful I thought, a tourist on a journey. She’s good. Of course I didn’t say that to her, but as it turns out she had meant internally anyway. She said that the two hand showed internal conflict that I appear to have been walking two paths in my thoughts, but recently they have diverged and are becoming one. Apparently my line shows a series of internal conflicts but the also shows they become resolved. Darkness becoming light.
I then picked and shuffled another deck of cards. This time the entire deck was dealt. “This wil be the story of your life so far, and what could be to come” she said.
This was actually fascinating listening. She told me some of the conclusions that I have recently made and she was pretty much spot on with them. I had gave her zero information – only my first name and that I came from Guernsey. She went on to explain how I felt trapped, but that I was fighting this and had that I had discovered the answer to this and that I knew I had discovered this but had to act on it. I didn’t confirm or deny any of this but she carried on and was bloody accurate with some of her summations. She said that she was surprised at the lack of surrounding strength – that I did not appear to have, or had a dominant figure in my life – a mentor, or someone that I would look to emulate and learn from. Again pretty accurate. We spoke of other things, that I will not impart here, but it was an interesting experience. Again, I don’t believe in the mystic and this was nothing more then a way to pass the time. But I will say that some of what she said was too specific to be generalisations and given the lack of information to work with and my unwillingness to provide specific details was quite impressive.
(Update: I’ve found out that since leaving Sedona, they had a flash flood just a few hours after I left. The rain that I almost got caught in was just the start. Close escape.)
We then moved onto Jerome. An old mining town, it became a ghost town in the mid twentieth century. Hippies then moved in and took over the town. Now it is a small community and that still shows its hippy roots. In truth I don’t really know why we visited Jerome. It was a strange choice. Other then seeing an amzing rainbow in the valley below us and having a couple of pints in the oldest family owned pub in Arizona there was quite literally nothing to see or do. The equivalent would be an American coming all the way to Guernsey to look at Tortival. A strange choice indeed.
So now onto another overnight train to visit LA. Heres hoping the journey is more comfortable then the last overnight train.