Well, I thought I would take my own trip to see what the faeries of the Sonoran Desert were up to at Hannagan Meadows in Arizona. Their first visit was with their wonderful friend, Marilyn. Now, I decided I wanted to go check it out myself and see what super fantastic fun we could have together. My awesome friend, Elisabeth, said she would hang out with me just incase the faeries were too much for me to take care of on my own.
Whew they kept us super busy …. the faeries requested we pack every thing imaginable that could be fit into a car with the back seat flipped down and believe you me a whole lot can fit there. Even Elisabeth’s husband, Rich, asked us, “Uhm … how long did you say you were going up to Alpine for …. three weeks?” Elisabeth just giggled and said, “Nope. Just four days!” Rich just shook his head and laughed at us.
On the way up to Alpine which hosts the beautiful lodge of Hannagan Meadows, we encountered some rough terrain that reminded us of the rocky fences of Ireland. The Sonoran Desert Faerie Dust Clan asked Elisabeth to stop the car, “Please can we go play amongst the rocks. It reminds us of the trip we just took to Ireland with Genelle and how we would love to troop around the rocks and pick wildflowers.” Elisabeth turned the car around, “Okay faeries but the next stop we take is a pit stop so Shannon and I can go potty. We have been driving (really the “we” is Elisabeth who is a fantastically awesome driver) for hours and we need a rest.” The faeries danced and clapped and before we could even stop the car they flew out the window that was cracked open just a bit to let the cool 70 degree temperatured air come into the car. As we walked along the rocky path, one of the faeries, Beebee, squealed, “I found a four-leaf clover … oh aren’t we lucky?” and she handed it to me requesting I take a picture for posterity.
When we finally arrived at Hannagan Meadows, we all checked in and started unpacking our gear. The faeries said, “Hey guys, if you write about this you should take a picture of the sign outside the lodge for all to see so they know where we’ve been!” “True story,” I replied and Elisabeth grabbed her camera from her case and we skipped out to the sign to take some photos. If I had to describe my photo it would be something like, “The Vanna White of Hannagan Meadows” … (as you can see by my pose). Puck giggled, “Shannon, you missed your calling as a gameshow deva.” I heartily agree with Puck. We returned to the cabin and were met at our room by a wrangler by the name of Wild Bill. The faeries were starteled and hid in the fireplace (no fire was actually burning in the fireplace at that particular moment!) not knowing who he was. He explained that he did the horseback riding trail hikes if we wanted to partake (and that’s the truth).
Elisabeth and I excitedly signed up for the two hour horseback excursion for the next morning. We told the faeries they could either sit in the saddle with us or on the horses’ manes but not in their ears or tails so that they wouldn’t get aggitated and throw us off! Raven cawed loudly the next morning at 6:30 a.m. waking us from our sleep … I asked Elisabeth if she had ordered that particular alarm clock and she giggled again, “Yes.” We met Wild Bill at the stable and saddled up. I had the privelege of being offered a ride by the horse called, Ada-way (prounced like “that-a-way”). Elisabeth met her horse, Willow. Wild Bill hopped up on his horse, Cisco, and we all headed out for the trail. By the end of the ride we were all quite sore and some of the faeries had stayed back at the cabin sleeping-in … they said, “it’s our vacation too.”
While I was riding horseback on the trail, trying very hard to manage my horse who wanted to eat every fern and dandelion on sight!, I looked down and low-and-behold there was a magical pouch of faerie dust. No wonder my horse, Ada-way, was so hungry … being around the faeries makes one very, very hungry. I’m just glad Ada-way didn’t try to eat my shoes while he was going after the fern. I knew I needed to take a photo so that my readers would have proof of the faerie’s visit but I must say that riding and photo taking at the same time don’t mix especially when you are trying to guide your horse … so here is a photo but it is blurry … you will get the point I hope!
Barely having enough time to eat lunch before the faeries asked us to go to Luna Lake, we all hopped into the car and went to see the water. I reminded the faerie dust clan of the no noise making policy of the lakes because of the fishing and this time there was no
nectar to get tipsy on so they remained in observation of the rules (not startling any nearby fish or angering any fishermen). We met a fellow faerie pal at the lake named, Jake. When we met Jake, the chipmunk, he was quietly meditating upon the serenity of the water upon the glassy top of the lake, wondering, “where will I locate more food before winter heads in?” Just before the water could inform Jake of this answer, the faeries hollered, “JAKE! Hey buddy … we are so happy to see you.” Well Jake I tell you was not so pleasantly thrilled at his question’s answer being interrupted but did stop to take photos for us.
Needing some more sustenance, Elisabeth and I decided to head to Big Lake where we knew some delicious raspberries were in season. The S.D.F.D.C. was all for this adventure knowing they would get to partake of the tasty morsels as well. “Ok guys! You have to pick your own if you want to taste any so don’t go wandering off!” The faeries pouted but decided this was only fair and everyone participated in helping pick lots of tasty ripened berries.
After much laboriousness and persevering, all of us managed to grab a small basketful of wonderful wild raspberries grown by Mother Naure herself. I asked Puck, “Have you tasted any of yours yet?” He shook his head looking skeptical. “Why not?” I asked. He stated matter-of-factly, “Not until either you or Elisabeth do. I don’t want to be the first one poisoned. I didn’t join you to be a guinea pig.” Puck has rather a skewed point-of-view sometimes. We just grinned, and Elisabeth and I both popped a raspberry into our mouths. Obviously, three days hence, if I am writing this story, we were not poisoned! Puck, then agreed to try one, at which point he promptly ate all of the raspberries in
his basket! We tried to warn him of overindulgence, but heed our warnings he did not and ended up with a tummy ache! He moaned and groaned and said, “They were poisoned. I am going to die!” We shook our heads and had him go rest in the car until we had finished up explaining to him that a faerie his size was not meant to eat an entire basket of raspberries on his own in one sitting! Our readers will be glad to know he quickly recovered and was able to participate on the rest of the adventure. Quick thinking Elisabeth grabbed some dandelion greens that were growing in the forest and had Puck nibble on them to help dissapte his tummy ache. Yay Elisabeth!
As Elisabeth and I busily picked, Button flew up to us, “Guys, we think we may have found some of the dwellings of our relatives … can you help us locate them?” Well, the only way to locate faeries sometimes is to dress up like one! It is a good thing (even though Rich laughed at me) that I packed a faerie outfit for just such an occasion. It was like an undercover mission. Button, Belle, Puck and Beebee lead the way into the forest. We came upon a housing den of Big Lake faerie dwellings! Unfortunately, no one was home … the note on the tree-house indicated, “Off to England for Faerie Festival. Imminent return around the 19th of August.” Darn! We missed them but we did get to take some cute photos of the location! Belle, brilliant as always, suggested we leave a gift of the faerie dust pouch with a note saying we had been by to say hello and sorry we had missed them. “Great thinking, Belle” I declared. All the faeires dipped their fingers and toes in the mud and left prints on the packet saying hello.
Elisabeth and I were exhausted and told the faeries … “We need dinner and a break and then off to bed for all of us! ” “But!” the faeries moaned like five-year-olds not wanting to stop playing. “No buts.” Pouting they gathered into the car and we all headed back to the lodge not knowing what awesome adventures awaited us the next day. I asked our natural alarm clock, Raven, NOT to wake us up so early the next day. Instead the chipmunks came chattering to the cabin windows asking, “Can the faeries come out and play?” Fortunately, it was 9:00 a.m. the next morning and not 6:00 a.m.
We all decided to go on an Elk hunt … to shoot them … NOT with a gun silly! but with our cameras. We spent four hours deep in the forest tracking the Elk family. The faerie wildnerness scout, Scout (aptly named), went ahead and called out, “Tracks! I have spotted tracks! It won’t be long now before we see the family.” We all jittered with anticipation although Belle was nervous that she might get trampled by one of the Elk members. I told her, “Silly, Belle, you can fly. Elk cannot.” …. “Oh yeah, Belle, laughed nervously. I forgot.” All of a sudden, a loud snort was heard in the distance and over the fence began leaping the Elk elder and his family! Triumph! “Scout you did it!” we praised him. Well, if you have never seen a faerie blush it is quite a sight let me tell you. They turn red from the tips of their toes all the way to the tips of their ears!
At the end of the wondorous yet short excursion as we headed out of town, we came upon the like-ness of “Big Foot” (legend tells
from the mouth of our wrangler Wild Bill that he had been seen wandering those woods for many years). The faeries all begged Drivin’ Deva, Elisabeth, to let us take a picture with his twin statue. Although sleepy from all the driving, as a nice hostess, Elisabeth watched as the faeries gathered around Big Foot’s feet and arms and I met them by the statue where she was kind enough to snap our photo together.
Once we finished visiting the Elk and picking berries and hunting for faeries and trooping around with horse folk, we all decided to head back home to Tucson for a good night’s rest. We checked in with the Spirit of the iPod to find out what song would best be fitting the theme of the trip and the song title that popped up was , “Believe!” …. thank you kind friend of faerie for following us on these adventures! Keep on believing.
P.S. The faeries told me to post one last photo of the trip …. I told them I didn’t want to but they insisted. The story had a section in it when it talks about the faeries pouting when they had to get ready to go to bed for the night. Well, if you ever wondered what a faerie looks like when he/she pouts, I was captured in just such an emotional state by Elisabeth who happened to be snapping photos when I went on the faerie hunt and we were unable to locate any faeries of the Hannagan Meadows Clan who were in England.
(Words & Story by: Shannon Sullivan
Photography by: Shannon Sullivan & Elisabeth Black)
Faerie Adventures by: S.D.F.D.C. – Sonoran Desert Faerie Dust Clan
Thank you to our readers!)