Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day Five: Lo Lo Mai Springs Campground, South of Sedona

“Why is everything red here?” -- Isaac

I have no pictures of the actual campground, which was quite lovely as a matter of fact. All the state park sites we tried for were full up, so we headed for the private one that brought you around in a golf cart to pick out your site. (Isaac adores golf carts. He had a smile plastered on his face for hours. Maybe he picked up the obsession -- not to mention my own community obsession -- when we went to Catalina Island, in utero.Couple pics here.) I have no pictures because we were all a bit sick there (and super excited to be spending two whole nights in one spot). Pictures were not a top priority.

Isaac, who'd started to get a red, itchy eye a couple days back, now had two red, itchy eyes and a runny nose and just didn't look so hot. Allergies, we thought for the most part. Except in those dark recesses of evening when you are sure your child has a fatal disease and you've done nothing to help him. Are most parents familiar with this surety? Am I off in my assumptions here?

He woke up after our first night in Sedona asking for water and then spewing same projectile vomit style back up. Dehydration. I'd broken my baby. Crap.

And had the cat peed in the last 24-hours? And OMG, my ankles were the size of logs, and Mike's back was barely holding steady at “somewhat strained.”

“We should drive above the valley, get out of this heat today,” Mike argued.

“We should stay put in our shaded spot and not drive anywhere for a day,” I countered. “We all need a break.”

Sedona was somewhere we'd been looking forward to being for long before the trip started. Also, before we blew our cushion day by leaving Monterey so late and spending a night in that charming Paso Robles spot, we'd even considered chilling for a third night here. (We still had to make it to Santa Fe by Monday for a conference for Mike.)

Mike and I had come to the Sedona area years back, pre-kid(s). We'd caught Flagstaff on Flag Day (I have a vague memory of pig races down the main street.), went to Slide Rock State Park, an amazing natural water park, and tumbled further down the canyon to the red towering cliffs of Sedona. We enjoyed exploring the hills, and we liked the town itself – cute and ready with a multitude of cultural crafts.

I bought a beautiful jade ring in one of the shops and made the mistake of asking the proprietor some detail about the Native American history of the town, a question I was forming after visiting the landscape that I guess I was hoping a local could fill me in on. “I do not know,” the woman at the store told me rather haughtily. “They are people of the earth.” She pointed to the floor. “While I (pause) concern myself with things of a higher plane.” She fluttered her hands around her face for effect.

Right. Got it.

In short, we had very fond memories of our time in this town and, in that way that parents sometimes do, we looked forward to sharing this experience with our child, forgetting that, well, we had a child.

Isaac wouldn't care about the quaint coffee shops, he would miss the amusement to be derived from fluttery women not of the earth, he'd probably think the “Pink Jeep Tours” that sped tourists over the red rocks kicking up dirt and scaring away the canyon wrens were cool rather than obnoxious. His Sedona was bound to be entirely different than ours.

Before and after we came to the campground some 12 or so miles outside of town, we worried about having to drive back into the center with Emily in the van and no shade over the public parking and temperatures spiking at at least 95 for no good reason I could see. How would we get to do anything? Meanwhile, we were set up at a site with a river, mature Cottonwoods, a pool, a playground, laundry, and even some limited Wifi.

But, but, what about SEDONA??

“He should get outside and get some fresh air,” Mike said, always good for some stoic, fatherly advice.

“Leave him be. He's resting.”

Had my marriage gone through a time warp and come out in the 1950s? I wiped my hands on my flowered apron, then held one to my boy's forehead.

After Isaac had thrown up more water and the two bites of banana we'd tired to cure him with, he wanted to read a book. He and I settled in on the bed of the van together and I read him some soothing tales of extinct carnivorous reptiles.

“This is what I've been waiting for all night and all morning,” he said, resting his head on my shoulder.

“What?” I asked perplexed.

This,” he replied definitively, and clasped my arm to snuggle in closer.


Daryl said...

Aw .. I hope by now he's feeling better .. I think those red rock canyons are majorly gorgeous!

Susannah said...

I definitely got a little teary reading this! I appreciate the perspective of child-view versus adult-view of the landscape and town. I do hope Isaac feels better soon.

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