Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hopi 2 Phoenix--Road Trip Day 4--ex post facto

The early light and impending heat wakes us and convinces me to convince my kids to take a run with me on the reservation land adjacent to the housing development (apparently there is a good dirt road to run on). Our 11-year old hostess leads the way as the teens and I play out an age-old Tortoise and Hare story with them, of course in the role of the Hare. The go much faster, but I am the only one to run the whole way and finish--ha!

After a fascinating chance visit with a friend of our hosts who works for the Hopi Foundation (we exchange prayers and note similarities between our traditions--mine being religious science), we head off for an official tour of a largely ceremonial but partially functional ancient village of Walpi. It is strangely familiar as if from a dream (or, more likely, I learn upon returning home to consult with my husband, he and I toured the same village about 10 years ago on our own romantic tour of the region before our friends lived on the reservation).

After making sandwiches for a large group, we hit the road early for Phoenix, our next destination. It's a long hot drive beautiful at first, then odd as we tour the recent ghost town of Two Guns and pass an extremely life-like Giant Baby that briefly convinces me I've lost my mind.

We arrive at my college friend's downtown Phoenix paradise on the hottest day of the year so far, 115 degrees as we dock. He and his partner are mixed use downtown pioneers in a city that otherwise stands as a poster child for sprawl. They have built a tiny but gorgeously detailed and thought through two-story plus building with a gallery and marketing business offices on the first floor and beautiful apartment and glorious deck on the second.

Despite the heat, we can't resist grilled chicken and veggies out on the deck with spectacular views of both of Phoenix's office clusters to the north and south and mountains to the, what, north and east? Our hosts, Russ and Mike are by turns charming, self-deprecating and awe-inspiring bringing us up to speed on the latest in their rich despite cash-poor existence. The evening ends with a full tour of the house, the highlight being the latest exhibition in their gallery: local artists' completely reworking and painting of reclaimed refrigerators--the kids are enchanted by the color and imagination, not to mention the lavish notion of taking an elevator downstairs in one's own home to one's own business and gallery--wow!

See this video for a tour by my daughter of the fridge art:

As I drift off to sleep, I am, not for the first time, moved to tears with gratitude for remaining and even growing closer to Russ over the 30 years since our escapades in the student government of Reed College. Not all my old friendships have taken this trajectory--what a blessing this is!

1 comment:

Jenny D said...

Love the art fridges. Thanks for sharing!