This has gone on way longer than I’m sure any of us could have imagined. We are restless, irritated and put out by everything associated with the virus. Have you seen the dogs in this town? My dogs are starting to get buff from all the walks around the block.
I’ve baked all the bread, rearranged all the drawers and improved upon our home as much as the budget would allow. It was time for a break, I said to myself as I fired up the computer.
“Where to go? Where to go?” Well it will not be by plane and certainly not to New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut or New Jersey. “How about New Mexico?” Nope. They hate us there (by us I mean Arizonans). Same with Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas. Kansas? Why are they so good? We are not welcome in Europe or Mexico either – Americans that is. Not that I’d consider leaving the country amid this craziness anyhow.
So, it was settled. We would stay in Arizona. We would camp and it would be glorious. We loaded our gear, packed up the dogs and hit the road. First stop, Page Springs. We would swim in the creek, grill hamburgers and sleep under the stars. We did swim in the creek until about 100 other people joined us. We tried to stick to the plan and grill burgers under the stars but were told about the statewide fire ban. So, pan fried burgers while we drank beer would have to do. We listened to the 100 other people who were nearby running their generators so they could watch Netflix in their RV’s.
Day three was spent marveling at how many people could fit along the creek in Sedona. They were practically sitting on each other’s laps at Slide Rock State park. Cars were lined up all the way to Flagstaff.
As we continued toward the Grand Canyon the crowds seemed to thin, but when we got to the South Rim the parking lot revealed what we already knew in our hearts – the 100 other people plus about 1,000 more had followed us there.
Did they even want to be there? Or did they do like I did and research that there was nowhere else to go? No matter. We got out, donned our masks and had a look. Zach hates heights and giant holes and refused to get any closer than a football field away. I, of course, went all the way to the edge. Do you ever stand at the edge of something and for a moment imagine just falling in? No? Just me? Ok.
After dodging people left and right and having a hurried lunch at a questionable picnic table we decided to find a place to camp. Couldn’t be in the park, said the park ranger with the face shield around her head. Campgrounds are at capacity. Stupid RVs. We ventured south and found a nice place off the main highway. Seemed to be less people and there was plenty of room to spread out.
Then the elk came. Normally that would be wonderful and majestic and believe me it started out that way. We have 1,000 pictures. Then they started ransacking the neighboring camp. One stayed behind poking through items left on a picnic table. We watched from a distance as a weary man emerged from his RV (they are everywhere!) and placed a container of water on the ground. The elk drank. Beers in hand we chuckled at the offering right up until the elk decided to shake us down. Grabbing the dogs, we took shelter near our car while the elk had its way with the dogs’ water bowl. I swear it glared at us when we would not refill it before it wandered off into the woods. Then it was dark and we retreated into our tents where we proceeded to freeze until morning.
Day four had us leaving Elk Land and heading south to Williams. Same crowd followed us, so we rented a hotel room (mainly to shower) and drove by a lake just because it was called Dog Town. Our final evening was spent eating pie from a local restaurant that delivered. Day five we got the hell out of there and headed home.
Some takeaways from our quarantine trip: Staying home helps you avoid all the people who should be avoiding you. There are no thirsty elk in Santa Cruz County. Fantasizing about jumping into the Grand Canyon may be a cry for help, and lastly pie delivery should be instituted in every town in America.
My advice? Stay home. We will for the foreseeable future.