May 19, 2003
Woody Mountain Campground
Flagstaff, Arizona

Spoken into a cell phone on a random Flagstaff street: “So anyway, I’ll call you when I get closer to Boulder.”

Something about the speaker’s tone shifted my perspective on the city a little: I suddenly saw the downtown streets through the eyes of a traveler en route to somewhere else: a high alpine city, surrounded by mountains and filled with tall pines, giving everything a very vertical, in-the-heights sort of feel. In other words, a city like many of the mountain western cities we’ve passed through, on other trips, en route to other places. Flagstaff is so close to Tucson I’d been thinking of it more as a semi-familiar neighbor than as a passing-through place.

No one place is any one thing. It’s all perspective.

Anyway, I like passing-through places. They carry with them something of the same excitement a journey carries, for me.

As you’ve probably guessed, no part yet. Part will arrive around 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Since we’d already left Sunset Crater to check in at the service station we declared a city day, spent wandering downtown Flagstaff. Flag feels a little bit like Aspen or Taos might have felt before they fully gentrified. I consider being pre-gentrification something of a virtue. Likely those who aren’t passing through can still make a living there.

In the downtown shops we found a decent supply of cold-weather camping gear, and upgraded our fleeces and long johns. Oddly enough, Tucson shops don’t sell much cold-weather gear in May. 🙂

We camped in one Woody Mountain campground–a commercial campground, but with a decent feel, much better than the local KOA. And, of course, with showers, which are the main benefit of commercial campgrounds.

Spent the evening trying out the rope-making skills learned in a survival class back at Pima Community College. Various degrees of success with various camoground grasses.

Books read: Take Joy, by Jane Yolen; Wolf Tower. by Tanith Lee

Camp food: Split pea soup, canned ham, and couscous

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