Leg three of our nomadic world tour begins in Orange County before the sun comes up. By 8:30am we pit-stop in Blythe, just west of the California-Arizona border.
We push forward, detour to Jerome, sit at the counter at Quince. That’s Spanish for 15 for you gringos. The waitress can’t hide her disappointment when we decline margaritas twice.
The old copper mining town hangs from a mountain. Tourists line the switchbacked streets, ants carrying their weight in fanny packs and turquoise souvenirs.
The 89A winds east from Jerome. The red rocks from Sedona are at a distance, then closer, then closer still. The city stretches away from the highway, bigger than our imagined impression of it.
We park the car at our new home (until Monday) and pick our way down the dusty red slope past prickly pear and stunted manzanita. We pick up the trail, head north to the Jordan trailhead, and circle back to create a four mile loop.
We are staying in the master bedroom of a lovely older north Sedona home that was at some point a Buddhist meditation center (found on AirBNB). The house carries its age well, filled with art, soft lighting, uncluttered altars. Views from every window capture the exposed red peaks of Sedona as the shadow of night climbs its way upward.
Indian food in town, a bath surrounded by plants and windows, a long night’s sleep after a full, full day.