Bob remarked a few weeks back that we weren’t getting out enough at night. It’s true; we haven’t been very social of late. Partly due to either one or both of us being sick and partly due to the need to save money in case of a lay off, we’ve pulled in a bit and entertained ourselves with movies from the library, Scrabble, creating cooking demos for Bob’s blog with my Flip mini-camcorder, or just plain sleeping. We both agreed we needed to make a greater effort to be social so we made arrangements with our next-door neighbor Angie to meet up after work for the First Friday Art Walk downtown.
Angie arrived first at the Wine Loft, already packed for happy hour. I was running late due to the necessities of work and hurried 4 blocks through a small blizzard, not uncommon in Flagstaff at this time of year, hopping she had not decided that Bob and I had blown her off. Happily, I found her newly arrived and in good spirits. Thank God for limited downtown parking or she would have been drumming her finger for 20 minutes!
Despite the crowd, we quickly found some seats in the rear of the establishment, and Bob soon joined us. We commiserated about the recession and layoffs and waiting game but talked about options we’d like to pursue should any of us eventually hit the chopping block.
After sharing a bottle of wine, we decided to hit the street and visit some galleries or boutiques and then grab dinner. Bob suggested we stop in Shoes n’ Such. Maybe it was the wine but he soon suggested that I try on a classic trench coat , saying it would be the perfect thing for bike commuting. This was not the first time the Planner Guy had found things he’d like to see me in at Shoes n’ Such so I tried it on. Very Secret Agent 99, I thought. And on sale, too. Angie found a red peacoat-y number that was the perfect compliment to her dark, dark hair, and we both ended up contributing to the local economy and purchasing.
All of us hungry, we walked over newly slick-from-snow sidewalks to Collins Pub for a bite to eat. Collins is your typical Irish-American pub with a cozy area for eating and watching “the game” with a beer and friends. I don’t know about the actual ancestry of the owners but they have the usual Irish fare. In Louisville, real Irishmen own Irish pubs and they are a-many due to the large and proud Irish-American population. The three pubs I used to frequent, The Irish Rover, Molly Malones, and O’Sheas all had the look and feel of Ireland and proprietors who learn your face, your name, and stop by your table to shake your hand. Little things like that matter.
On the way back to our cars, the street activity had slowed a bit. The sidewalks were covered with snow, as well as a few bikes we saw still locked to bike racks, gates, and sign poles. Though we are all ready for warmer temperatures, there is no place more charming than downtown Flagstaff at night and coated with fresh snow. It glows. Saturday Morning Jaunt to Sedona
Bob has rededicated himself to joining the Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association on their Saturday morning run. Last night, I toyed with the idea of joining them this morning for the Sedona run and instead hike the trail in since I am still recovering from a back injury and can only do low impact activities. Upon first waking up, I felt a slight hangover head ache and almost gave way to a morning in bed listing to Weekend Edition over coffee. But I remembered my resolve to take advantage of social activities and to maintain a good fitness level during my recovery process and made my way to the shower.
Sedona is only about a 30 minute drive down Oak Creek Canyon on Hwy 89. The running group meets up locally and carpools down together and that’s exactly what we did. Sedona is red rock country and photographs just don’t do justice to the color. The trails lure mountain bikers, rock climbers, trail runners, and hikers. And their dogs! NATRA runners are definitely a dog centric group. This morning, several of the regular runners decided to hike instead to I had company, making my morning all the more enjoyable. Trail running is much different from running on the street, where I usually zone out with my thoughts or the feeling of moving through space. Trail running in Northern Arizona requires considerable concentration in order to avoid losing one’s balance on loose rock or going over a narrow, slick rock ledge. Taking in the scenery is difficult because one (or at least I) must constantly keep one’s eyes 8 or 10 feet ahead and plan where to set one’s foot. Unlike bike commuting, high heels would be impossible. Luckly, Teva makes some stylin’ trail runners.
I’ll leave the other details of the run to the Planner Guy, also known as TheRunningBob, but am including some shots to give the reader an idea of the awesome scenery.
And The Reward
Post run/hike Bob and I said goodbye to the group and headed over to The Coffee Pot on Hwy 89 in Sedona. We discovered it last year after running the Sedona Half-Marathon. We'd been talking about returning for over 12 months. Great pancakes, eggs, coffee, and, of course, Bloody Marys. Definitely worth anyone's itinerary.