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Steve Lunetta: My Fall vacation

Posted: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Timeshare. Worst investment you can make. At least, that is what all of the financial planners tell us. The only problem is, we like ours. Trish says that if we didn’t have it, we’d never go anywhere. I think she is right.

We paid about ten grand to buy ours over 15 years ago and we have travelled to many new and amazing places like Cancun, Oregon, Washington and the most scenic parts of California.

And, now that we are getting rid of kids, we can start to travel much farther. There is a great deal to see in this amazing country as soon as we start to look beyond our little slice of heaven here in Santa Clarita.
Sedona, Arizona, is one of those amazing places. Just a little south of Flagstaff off I-40, Sedona seems to be in another world. Surrounded by some of the most amazing red rock formations in the country, Sedona transports you back to another time.

Walt Disney had a cabin here and got the inspiration for one of his theme parks rides — Big Thunder Mountain — from the surrounding countryside.

Trish and I did a timeshare exchange and wound up at a resort just outside Sedona last week. I was not expecting much since the only thing I knew about Northern Arizona was that there was a big hole in the ground.You know, that big depression or gorge or canyon or something.

Sedona is a very unusual place. Many shops sell maps to “vortexes”- spiritual sites where your karma can commune with your ego, get your yin and yang in order and feel oneness with Mother Earth. Of course, that’s after you pony up $7.95 for the bogus “map”.

You can also buy mystical stones that build your metaphysical self while you get a tarot reading from the person at the counter. I always wondered where old Democrats go when they retire. Now, I’ve found it.

There are many other legitimate things to see in and around Sedona. One of these was the abandoned Indian pueblo called Tuzigoot that is now a National Monument. Tuzigoot. Sounds like a kid’s snack that you buy in the checkout line at Ralph’s.

When we arrived, I asked the ranger if she was furloughed due to the budget impasse. She said, “oh, yes! I got a chance to go home and visit my family in Arkansas.” I responded that this was good but did she get paid for the days off?

“Yes! It was so nice! I really enjoyed the time with my family. Enjoy your day at Tuzigoot!” she said with a smile.
Well, isn’t that special? Our national parks were closed, vacations were ruined, rangers were sent home to enjoy time with loved ones, and the American people were stuck with the bill. Thanks much, Mr. President. We can see that the management of the Federal Workforce is in good hands.

But, on to Tuzigoot.

Turzigoot was populated between 1100 and 1425 A.D. (Note: that is not C.E. or ‘Common Era’ as the PC Nazis would have us say) by the Sinagua Indians who eventually became the Hopi Indians. Or, so we think. Actually, we really don’t know if they became the Hopis or what they called themselves. Archaeologists called them the Sinaguas.

That’s pretty funny, if you think about it. People in the future could name us something different too. Republicans might get named “true and noble defenders of the Republic.” Democrats might get named “free spending pot-smokers who eventually end up in Arizona selling crystals.” It could happen.

The majority of the site is just low-lying stone walls on the top of the hill. The pots and beads have long-since been removed and now sit in museum displays and private collections.

Time has washed away all of the details of the daily life of the Sinagua people. No language, no writings, no art, no pictures. Just these walls surrounding dirt and weeds.

But, I stopped to think. At least we have stone walls to look at. The surrounding abandoned western ghost towns were built a mere 150 years ago and are already dissolving back into the earth. The wooden beams are slowly turning to dust while the western life is being forgotten, replaced by map-sellers.

What do we build that lasts? What legacy do we have that will stand the test of time like those old Indian stone walls? Something to think about, my friends.

Time to start planning the next vacation. Maybe New Mexico?

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Placerita Canyon and can’t get his new Mystical StonesTM to work. They still won’t tell him tomorrow’s stock prices. He can be reached at


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