How to Become a Bingo Queen

Today I decided to start the day by going to see what all this magnetic vortex hoo-hah was about.  Seeing as how one of the four Sedona vortexes is located right down the road from my hotel room, I figured I didn't really have any excuse not to go and take a look-see.

One thing I've noticed about the trail heads around here is that they don't overdo the signage (which I very much appreciate).  Things seem to be very quietly marked, if at all.  For example, I didn't see one mention of magnetic or vortex in the modest signage at the site.  Pretty amazing!  The lack of signage also made it so I didn't know which butte I was supposed to scramble up to get the maximum vortex action, so I mistakenly set off on a precarious but extremely beautiful trail that instead skirted the (wet/muddy) slickrock sides of Airport Mesa.  Since I wasn't eager to tumble to my death, my progress was slow and I hadn't gotten very far when I saw three Japanese girls whooping and hollering on top of one of the nearby buttes (the conveniently well lit butte in the picture at left - you can see the girls if you zoom in), signaling that it must be the one with special powers.  You'd think small metal objects would be sticking to it or something!

I reversed my path and scrabbled up to the top of the magic rock (it's so awesome to be able to scrabble!) where I took a seat on the nice flat rocks in the middle to meditate for a moment and see if I noticed anything.  All I ended up noticing were a lot of middle aged couples in weather proof jackets and expensive walking shoes.  Hey, maybe that's what the vortex attracts!  I think I figured it out!  When I had drunk in as much of the view as I could, my attention began to wane and I picked my way back down the butte to the car.  Time for some other kind of new age nonsense to further immerse myself in the Sedona culture.

I'd decided before I got to Sedona that the perfect souvenir would be an aura portrait so I'd been keeping an eye out for a place I liked as I drove around.  One place had a billboard out front that advertised "Your Spiritual Department Store" which concept amused me quite a bit, but I ended up choosing a place called Mystic Bazaar for my portrait.

A very gracious and kind woman named Devi took my photo and gave me a reading afterwards.  I was very relieved, first of all, to see that there was no beige showing.  Turns out I'm predominantly orange.  But I've got some green and blue too, and isn't my aura nice and jumbo?  The glitter in my hair may have skewed the results a bit, but orange is about what I expected.

I really like how in the portrait it looks as though a beam of pure white energy is rising up to the heavens out of my crown chakra.  I believe it's actually that the curtains weren't quite pulled all the way together in the photo booth, but boy howdy, doesn't it make me look enlightened if you don't know it's the curtains?

I left with my 23 page print out in addition to the portrait so I'll have plenty of time to review the results and apply them as necessary.

I decided I'd like to go on another hike and headed over to Red Rock Crossing Park, a very popular destination it turns out, because of the abundant scenery.  A river and irrigation canals snake through enormous trees surrounded by majestic red rock formations.  It must be a really delightful relief to come during the hot Arizona summer.  As I walked along the river, I came upon a stretch that must have been at least a 1/2 mile long where rock stackers like me had made a continual forest of cairns.  There were rock stacks every place you wandered.  I've never seen that many stacks in one place - what an awesome surprise!

I, however, felt the need to be different and so made a collage out of different bits of vegetation I found as I wandered about.  I think I wanted the plants to feel like the rocks weren't getting all the attention.  I'm so goofy.

On my way back to the car, I saw a rock I liked and stooped to pick it up so I could take it home.  It was the perfect talisman for the reading I'd had from Devi - ripe with meaning and import.  I snapped a couple of pictures of the so significant rock and as I took the last picture, my sleeve snagged on a berry vine and launched the little rock and it fell in a pile of leaves and rocks.  I stirred the pile around a bit to see if I could spot the escaped pebble, but it was literally a needle in a haystack situation.

Then, I got it.  LET GO.  Quit trying to manage.  I smiled and lodged the now nonsignificant rock in the crotch of a nearby branch where it will surely begin its next adventure.

After all that hiking, I was ready for a nice big dinner and had scouted out a place called Elote that sounded intriguing.  I started with a prickley pear margarita and a bowl of roasted corn chowder.  The thick porridge of carmelized corn was sweet and flavorful, but the real treat was that it was drizzled with a smooth puree of huitlacoche.  Huitlacoche is a fungus that grows on ears of corn and is commonly referred to as corn smut.  That and it's hideous appearance may be why it remains a relative culinary curisoity, but it has a marvelous, dark terroire flavor that really worked well when combined with the sweet corn.  I followed that delicious dish up with a couple of spicy duck flautas and some guacamole.  Quite delicious, all of it.  I am reminded, however, how very different Mexican food is across different regions of the southern U.S.  I longed for a bit of heat in the soup, but alas I was in Arizona and it was not meant to be.

My early dinner allowed me to make it back over to the Elks Lodge near my hotel just in time for Tuesday Night bingo.  I sat down with about  40 locals and learned to daub with the best of them.  I plopped down $20 for 16 game cards, complete with free popcorn and coffee.  Shoot, the vicarious pleasure of slyly watching the couple next to me work in tandem to daub  was well worth the price of admission alone.  But here's the really amazing part: I won the last game, the one with the highest payoff!  Yeeeeeee-HAW!  One hundred and twenty-six United States dollars in the form of a check from the Elks Lodge!

I guess those vortexes DO work!

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