Sunday, May 2, 2010

Leupp 4-29-2010

By John Aldrich

It's now obviously a few days later, and we've returned home, but let's return to the food run narrative with a look at the Leupp run.

As we left things on the evening of the Dilkon run, the wind was still howling, Interstate 40 was shut down, and the power was out in Winslow. We all had great hopes that the wind would subside during the night, but alas, that was not to be the case. As the night progressed, souvenirs from the shake roof of the motel accumulated in the parking area, and red sand piled up in our room thanks to the not-so-tightly-sealed door. I'm told that the power came back on around 9:00 p.m., but I was sound asleep by then.

This is what's left of Super 8's sign along with a challenging word jumble that you're welcome to try to decipher.

Our base motel, The Lodge, is located at the west end of Winslow, and we have our group breakfast at the Flying J on the east end of town. In the morning, we could see trucks moving on the Interstate, so the wind had subsided enough for it to reopen, but when we pulled out of the motel, it was clear that virtually every truck in the United States was stuck in Winslow. Every open space, parking lot and roadside was choked with big rigs. Traveling through town rather than by the highway, we reached the Flying J where things were even more congested. Linda had planned to use an alternative route to Leupp that didn't involve the Interstate, so we weren't all that concerned.

After returning to The Lodge, we lined up for our departure. By then, the congestion at our end of town had subsided and we took the bold move of  entering westbound traffic on the Interstate. The exit for Leupp is only six miles west of Winslow, so this seemed like a slam dunk.

But here we are - - - a stone's throw from the Leupp exit and the traffic is at a dead standstill. The wind has again forced a closure of the highway. After a period of time like this we made a break for it, using the shoulder of the road to reach the exit.

Here is the view after exiting the Interstate - - - trucks as far as the eye could see. Nothing moving on the highway.

The Leupp food run is held at the Senior Center where Lola Bahe has been both director as well as our program coordinator. Lola's contagious enthusiasm, oganizational skills, and great cooking all serve to make this a memorable food run location.

These clasped hands represent the spirit of the Program as a volunteer, a sponsor on her first food run, gets to meet her Elder.

Linda Myers and Ray Coleman put their heads together outside the Senior Center. Ray is responsible for organizing the logistics of the deliveries for these three food runs.

Phyllis Upchurch, a volunteer from Georgia, has received this ceremonial basket as a gift from her Elder. Harry Begay is explaining to her the extensive symbolism that is contained in this traditional Navajo artform.

Following the inside activities and the meal, Elders' vehicles are loaded with their food boxes, produce, and other gift boxes. After this Elder's truck is loaded, Jerry Sedlevicius bids her a farewell.

As you might discern from the blowing skirt, the wind remains a factor. However, in this southwestern part of the reservation there doesn't seem to be as much sand so the earth isn't as inclined to levitate. To the east we could see that the earth and sky were still one.

The combination of wind, cool temperatures, and possibility of rain forced Linda to make a major decision regarding the Birdsprings food run the following day. More about that tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. The traffic is unbelievable! I couldn't decipher the sign LOL What an experience with the red sand everywhere. The pictures are wonderful, especially the hands, Linda and Ray and Phyllis. Sounds like you all had challenging times. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to next one.