My son Chris is on his way back to Indiana today. Before he left, we had a whirlwind mini-road trip around the state. We visited cousins in Phoenix on one of the hottest days (115) of August, then practically froze atop Mt. Elden (?) when we took the Snow Bowl’s (Flagstaff) chair lift for a leisurely ride.

We froze because it is still monsoon season, and as rotten luck would have it, a cloudburst exploded upon all who were riding the lift. To make matters worse, thunder and shoots of lightning crackled around us. Downright scary it was. The sun shone as we ascended, but clouds overtook blue sky by the time we were near the top. Once at the top, we chose not to dally, but to join the growing queue of people wanted to get down the slope as quickly as possible. We were two thirds down the mountain when the sky opened. I had stashed a map of Flagstaff in my camera bag, and it was the only thing I had to cover my head as the cold rain bounced down upon us. Chris was wearing his IU cap, which helped a little. Just as the paper map was falling apart, the lift stopped. Period. No up, no down. There we were, taking the brunt of the rainfall and not particularly caring about the view–all gray and washed out.

We were spared a lightning strike, which made the day very lucky indeed for us two Irish-surnamed lift riders. After we disembarked from the lift, our clothes dried in about five minutes–such is the arid climate despite the rain. This was a day we would not forget–and we will foryears laugh about it— now that we’re safe.

We rode the Verde Canyon RR with Brian and had a leisurely excursion. We went to Red Rock Crossing in Sedona but I am STILL working on getting my photos out of my phone to post them here. We, along with 75% of the nation’s flies, had a cookout featuring bison burgers at Dead Horse State Park. Lots of fun and more stories to talk about when we are old.

The mountain skyline appeared smoky this morning. Was told that a haboob came through last night. A haboob is a dust storm. Glad I had the windows shut.

Two and a half weeks until my Amtrak trip to Chicago, and my Indiana booksigning. Looking forward to that.