Twenty-five years ago, five of us from Arizona State University (because I wasn’t a good student) drove two hours north to camp in Sedona. We ate Doritos dipped in Philly cream cheese, we drank Coors and Popov volka mixed with Tang, and we all slept in my friend Heath’s VW GTI. Somehow this was fun.
At 43 years old it was not as fun. I did not sleep in my car to be nostalgic. I could not find a room or campsite for love or money. Since I was last here, Sedona has expanded, built up and become oh so chichi. The only hotel rooms available were in the $400 range. All camp sites were full. Even parking by the side of the road is illegal.
Fortunately the rest stops on highway 17 have become just as nice and it is perfectly fine to stay overnight. Sleeping in the empty passenger seat was not so bad. Waking up to the desert sky made it all OK.
Twenty-five years ago the most pressing item in the morning was trying to find our pop tarts in a tangle of Safeway bags. This morning, my priority was making sure I took my fish oil, multi-vitamin, probiotic, and garlic pill – after I flossed, scrapped my tongue, brushed teeth and whitening rinsed.