My romance for the West will never be the same. This winter was hard. I see how cold and snow at 5000′ can be – imagine that.

Hard winters are why I’m leaving Oak Creek Canyon, which, of course, is a north-south running canyon north of Sedona. Winter days are too short and cold. Add in omnipresent mud and dreariness and… no more! I’m outta’ here by the end of April.

Now, before I continue, I know not to boast about tomorrow. I know what James 4:13-17 says. Tomorrow is a gift. The Lord has supreme right to order days that come. Truly, whatever God has in store, well, that’s what I prefer. The rules of life in America 2023 have gone so haywire that I can only depend on God’s Providence for directing my steps to the most edifying end. (James 4:13-17 is italicized below).

Thus, if the Lord wills…

Gonna’ buy a van. Gonna’ do the van life for a while. Gonna’ travel. Wanna’ see more of America before it’s totally gone – right now what we see as America exists only because of cultural inertia. Where? How long? Do what along the way? Don’t know you. Waiting on the Lord.

Nonetheless, I got a taste of leaving yesterday. ABSOLUTELY HAD TO GET OUT OCC yesterday. Had to, even just for a night.

Went down to Roosevelt Lake. It’s 55 crow-miles east of Phoenix, at a vector of 75 degrees (due east is 90).

Of course it’s not a natural lake. It’s made by a dam. That dam’s called the Roosevelt Dam. It was first constructed in 1905, with improvements occurring throughout the years. Not to get too far off-topic, but, this was the first giant dam constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation. It was the first of many hundreds of dams built across the West for the purpose of creating giant reservoirs to grow the cities of the West. Hoover Dam’s the most famous one. But, there are many more.

(And more getting off-topic… which is ok because I’m using parenthesis now… I’d argue Teddy’s regime was the first real New Deal that his fiendish cousin FDR gets credit for. Why? Because Roosevelt Dam, and all the other dams built by the Bureau, represent a turning point for the American federal government in expanding its role – beyond Constitutional limits I’d argue – in the political-economy of the States. That role got bigger, costlier, more meddlesome, more powerful etc. That’s the essence of the New Deal: more government.)

But I’m not ripping on the dam. I’m not ripping on the concept of the Bureau of Reclamation either. This is a slippery slope (which I won’t get off-topic now for.)

The dam is situated at the confluence of Tonto Creek and the Salt River. It can capture roughly 12,000 square-miles of Arizona-high-country rain and snow. This reservoir helped make a giant Phoenix rise out of North America’s hottest desert.

And, yesterday, the lake was overflowing. The blue waters are at 105% capacity now. The land immediately surrounding the lake was emerald green – literally. So were the mountains to all horizons. There were even ephemeral islands with saguaros within the lake. Imagine that: saguaro islands.

I didn’t stay long. Just one night. Just long enough not to see OCC walls at sunset. Just long enough to get drenched by sunshine. Just long enough to recharge.

Just long enough to fall asleep thinking about how cool it would be to have an ATV on a trailer while traveling. I promise you I’d find the very best roads across Arizona. I’d take some fine photos. Wondering what it would be like to look down upon Roosevelt Lake from a mountain 5000′ above conjured such ruminations.

A kayak would also be co0l..

So, maybe there is still romance for me out West. Good. I like romance.

But, all things according to God. Always.

And no photos yesterday. Didn’t care. Finally feeling spring was enough.


James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.