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April 30, 2010



One of my most vivid memories is of camping on the rim of the Grand Canyon in 1990. The moon had been up when we turned in, gone down as I slept, and when I scooched out to pee the night air was so clear and stars so bright I reached up like a primitive to touch them. We'd hoped to camp near Flagstaff last night but after a day of fighting 50+ mph gusts on the drive from Albuquerque we pulled off for gas and were tempted by Flagstaff's classic tourist strip of bowling alleys and motels. One good thing Arizona has going for it is you can buy liquor in grocery stores. Guns and booze, no problem, but when SB 1070 takes effect on July 28, even looking Latino will be cause for detainment. We opted not to bowl, bought some Bulleit and a 12-pack of Negra Modelo for $8.88--less than you pay for a 6-pack of same in Seattle--and found a charming "American-owned" family run motel which exceeded our expectations. My notebook tells me I spent $15.75 for a motel near here in 1990. Last night's stay was $59.95, a fraction of season peak price $159. Sarah turned on the heater when we entered, causing diaphanous gold curtains to billow like something out of Arthurian legend. It snowed at night and the morning light pooled at base of serpentine drapes filled me with something more than the peace of a good night's sleep.