Let us probe the silent places,


Let us seek what luck betide us;

Let us journey to a lonely land I know.

There's a whisper on the night-wind,

There's a star agleam to guide us,

And the Wild is calling, calling...

Let us go.

- Robert William Service, The Call of the Wild


douglas said...

Ohhh, nice. Love Sedona. If you're still there, go see the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It's a little chapel nestled into the rocks, and while modern in execution, it's more zen in effect. Let's the landscape and vista around be the star of the show, which it is. It was better before the McMansions got built right below it, but still, great little chapel.

Grim said...

I do not know that land. I would like to.

Tom said...


Cassandra said...

Oh Grim, you must go. We were only there for a long weekend but we hiked 6 miles in 2 days. I couldn't get enough of it.

Douglas, we didn't visit the Chapel but I almost posted a picture of it. It was easily visible from the trail we hiked along.

I want to go back - we hiked one day up in the red rocks, and then the next down in Oak Creek Canyon. Everywhere you look, there's a stunning view. My Dad's family lived down on Oak Creek, and my grandmother is buried there.

I want to go back and visit her grave - this was a last minute trip, so we literally planned it on the fly.

raven said...

Lovely country! Free flowing water in the desert is such a gift.

douglas said...

Upper Oak Creek, towards Flagstaff is quite beautiful as well, though quite different, as you're ascending up out of the high desert of Sedona and beginning to get up into the pines. I fondly recall riding a bicycle down from the plateau Flagstaff is on into Oak Creek Canyon and passing cars on the switchbacks...good times.

Cassandra said...


My Dad's family are from Arizona (Flagstaff, Yuma, etc.). Dad was born in Bisbee, and they lived out West until he was older. Then they moved to northwestern NY state, where he met my mom in high school

My uncle was a principal at a school on a Chemihuevi reservation - my cousin married a woman from that tribe.

One of my ancestors did a lot of the fancy brick work at U of Az. - I need to look it up. He made the most incredible inlaid grandfather clocks made of cactus wood. I'll try to post a picture: I have one that he never finished, but it's stunning.

After my grandfather died, my grandmom moved from Petersburg, VA back to Az. to be near 2 of her 3 children. Didn't see much of my aunts/uncles/cousins growing up. No one had money to travel and Dad was in the Navy (thus, moved about every year). So that's a part of my family heritage I don't know as much about as I would like to.

But there's something in the high desert that just calls to me. We lived in Yucca Valley CA (about 3K feet - not as high as Pioneertown, but durned close).

Makes you wonder if there's such a thing as genetic memory.

douglas said...

Inlaid grandfather clocks made of cactuswood? That sounds spectacular.
I'm a city boy by birth, and I think in the end it's the mountains that call me, but I understand the draw of the high desert well. It's stunning in its vastness, so simple yet every time you look closer, its changing and living. Every time you cross a ridge or enter a new valley, the broad picture looks much the same, but the details change, and if you pay attention you can read them like a book. I can almost tell you the altitude within a few hundred feet by the dominant vegetation in the Mojave. There is also something about the fact that it's a harsh environment, and yet hidden out there is life, persevering, even thriving. Sometimes bursting forth in surreal ways. If you've never seen a mass wildflower bloom in the desert, you're missing out. Going camping this weekend with the Boy Scout troop this weekend in the high desert, really looking forward to it.

Cassandra said...

My boys have good memories of camping with the Boy Scouts when we lived in Yucca Valley. I think they used to camp on BLM land.