Mark D Stephens: Adventurer, writer, photographer, ambassador of the sonoran desert
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An Adventure Tale of Two Cities:
Explorations from Sedona to Jerome, Arizona

Nissan Xterra crossing Oak CreekIf you are not too careful in Sedona or the surrounding area, you might get run over by a giant kokopelli driving a Pink Jeep. I've seen a lot of kokopellis and pink Jeeps in Sedona, so I figure they are trying to take over, turn us into uber-consumers; idiots with another trinket. Soon enough, I'm sure, they will be joining forces and the only things you'll be able to purchase, see, and avoid will adorn the name "Kokopelli" or "Pink."

Somewhere I was told that this mystical flute player brought comfort to women during childbirth. His music had a sustaining quality that encouraged peace. Naturally the kokopelli symbol is a pleasant one.

However:

In white man's world, language...has undergone a process of change. The white man takes such things as words and literatures for granted, as indeed he must, for nothing in his world is so commonplace...He has diluted and multiplied the word, and words have begun to close in upon him. He is sated and insensitive. His regard for language as an instrument of creation has diminished nearly to the point of no return."

N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn

Playing in the water at Oak CreekI believe that kokpellis - giant ones on signs, and little key chains alike - are a prime example of Momaday's observation above. Multiplied and diluted; and we can become insensitive even to representations of tranquilty.

So Brooke and I went with our other childless married friends to a little nook with green trees and flowing water through a rough little trail to regain some perspective and un-dilute (if it's possible) my saturated view of Pink Jeeps and kokopellis. According to guide books, this trail is called "Oak Creek Homestead." Four miles of red rock bliss landed us at Oak Creek where a few short rock walls rest in peace as the remains of the Oak Creek homestead.

IMotorcycles outside the Spiritroom Jeromef you bring some girls to this nice location, your luck will be running well if they happen to bring some bikinis. The water at the creek provides a nice lunch time diversion, particularly when it is hot out. A turquoise kokopelli sign will be hard-pressed to compete with this. Especially a couple of babes in bikinis.

After the trail, the wild town of Jerome had more appeal than did Sedona; we needed something rough and tough like motorcycles and a shot of tequila. Jerome, Arizona lacks the ferocious attack by over-used-and-diluted-by-white-man Native American symbol, thankfully.

Instead, Jerome displays stuff a little more, uh, edgy: bars, burgers, and bands. We enjoyed live music at The Spiritroom in addition to an unmodest amount of tequila. But what's new?

Drunk ladies dancing in the SpiritroomThe tall, beared token biker-bouncer at the bar eyed us and didn't appear agreeable until he saw the girls - our wives. Frankly, female endorsement never ceases to shock me. When a couple of guys walk into a bar, say my friend Brian and I: we could be trouble, right? So it seemed the brute at the door thought. Oh, these gorgeous chicks are with them? MAN! They're married to these foxes? Alright, these guys are OK Come on in fellas, have a beer.

Jeep on the Oak Creek Homestead TRailThere is this one fantastic perk to marriage that no one ever tells you about. Female endorsement. It's a wonderful thing. It's the pinnacle to word-of-mouth advertising, and nothing could be better.

This trail (yes, back to the trail) that goes to the Oak Creek Homestead has several strong points of interest: (1) it's an easy trail with one hill that has several stair step obstacles, (2) there are no man-made kokopellis nearby, (3) running water and shade, (4) superb proximity to Jerome.

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Mark D. Stephens: Adventurer, Writer, Photgrapher and Ambassador of the Sonoran Desert