One by one we sheepishly made our way to the front of the line. When I was my turn, I got the new guy. After going through the motions, some of the more senior staff realized a screw up in his handling and I got “upgraded” to an SUV, a Kia–not Sedona as that would have been too fitting–that after some pouting about the relatively poor gas economy, I accepted it and headed out towards Flagstaff.
The ride up from Phoenix to Flagstaff had been a rolling and twisting course the entire way. About an hour or so into the drive, the stars, perhaps the core reason I came to Arizona, came into my peripheral vision and nearly got me killed trying to steal glances at them on the road. When I eventually pulled into the driveway of my AirBnB, I couldn’t differentiate the neighborhood from that of any off of a service road. The hosts had embellished, like, a lot I thought at the time. After a quick check in with my hosts, I accessed and got acquainted with the place: It was simple, with nice personal touches. In the living room, there was an older model flat screen, a simulated fireplace, your parents’ fluffy furniture, and a number of well-selected art pieces for the “mountain “ decor. I liked it. Before bed, I charted out my week on a napkin, struggling to read slow-to-load travel blogs on what had to be DSL wifi for tips on the best natural sites.