Because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, we took a few days away from Bambu Batu last week to explore the scenery of neighboring Arizona. Last Friday, as we charged from the California Coast to Kingman, AZ, the Grand Canyon area was buried by its biggest snowfall in years. The next day, we drove into Flagstaff with clear blue skies and a thick blanket of fresh powder covering everything.
Much of Arizona sits on the Colorado Plateau, at around 7000 ft. altitude, so snow is common there, but this was an unusually heavy fall. About an hour south of the Grand Canyon, the world’s largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines surrounds Flagstaff, AZ, and for the 3 days we spent there, it was the quintessential winter wonderland. Meanwhile, the Grand Canyon, ordinarily swamped with visitors from around the globe, glistened in icy silence. A dearth of tourists at each overlook and on every trail punctuated the vast scope of the canyon itself.
Starved as we were for snow, not having seen a single flake since my expulsion from Germany in March 2004, we reveled in it, building snow men and pummeling each other with snow balls. But as the snow melts and the wild flowers open, so the season of our adventure came to a close, and we trekked across the Mojave through Quartzsite and past the windmills of Palm Springs, back to our little parcel of paradise in Grover Beach.

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