After healing our vortices in Sedona we decided to harness the power of the animals by heading out towards Grand Canyon and BEARIZONA.
We drove along the Scenic Byway which is a lovely mountain side drive from Sedona up to Flagstaff. Along the way we stopped off at an artist residence in a forest gully. Des Matthews and her husband Jean who are in their mid-80’s. They showed us where the recent bushfire had encroached upon almost to their backyard, protected only by a narrow creek and the diligent fire service. Des shared a few stories of her travels with us.(she’d been travelling overseas quite a bit when she was younger which is unusual for most americans we’ve realised.)
Dotted along our drive were scenic views and american indian jewellery stores, with handmade beads, stones and more.
This is where Greg found the ring of power. What happened next - well you must watch this short trailer to find out.
We’d heard about it from fellow travellers we met whilst hiking Cathedral Rock, Sedona. So now you know that Greg is bonded with the bear as his totem animal (along with the turtle I am informed), so this was not to be missed. It is a safari style open park where they have animals native to Arizona area (some of which have been hunted to extinction int he wild). Many of the animals are also rescues.
Driving through the park into the different enclosures was a fantastic experience. We were stopped by Arctic Wolves as they padded along the road and surrounded our car (keep your windows up!).
In the bear enclosure, one large black bear blocked our way, standing in the middle of the road eyeing us. Luckily he recognised Greg as his bear brethren and after an exchange of mysterious friendship gestures he allowed us through and offered us protection as long as we were in the park. (according to Greg again see the film if you dont believe).
a) Run away
b) stand still and play dead.
c) Climb a tree
d) Wait for it to come closer and punch it in the nose
e) Ineffectually attempt aforementioned mysterious gestures.
Unless you are Greg the answer e) will not work and you will get eaten. The real answer is d) according to the park ranger. He did say this might not work, but there are a lot of sensitive nerve endings in the bear’s noses so it might.
Do not run away they are VERY fast and have four legs.
Do not stand still as they aren’t dumb.
Do not climb a tree because they are fantastic climbers.
We visited the baby bear enclosure and saw this fact for ourselves. From 6 days old they are natural climbers. We saw baby bears 3-6months climbing to the tops of very spindly looking trees. Do they fall? Every so often but they are pretty good at staying up there! They were incredibly cute but we were warned that they are NOT Cuddly and the ranger added that we might see some in Yosemite. If we look up. Luckily Greg has bear power so we should be fine.
BTW A Bear tattoo mysteriously appeared on Gregs arm…
Grand Canyon - South Rim
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to hike into the canyon itself but instead watched the sun set slowly, shadows lengthing over the canyon as night fell. (Apparently that is cliched and Greg wants to add it was inaccurate as the clouds obscured the shadows. But i felt it was romantic. So there).
We stayed that night back in Flagstaff with Nick from AirBnb. Nicks a Fitness Science student at uni who rents out his apartment for extra cash and it was an awesome place to crash. Greg & Nick watched an Arnie (schwaznegger) documentary, consequently Greg has now started his own body building regime…..
Till next time!