Before heading up to Grand Canyon (south rim this time) we made a stay-over for a few days in Flagstaff. From there I knew we could head out in a few different directions in Zippy (tow car) to see some sights.
As I’ve mentioned, much of this is repeat for me, but one place I had not yet experienced was this meteor crater, simply known as Meteor Crater. It’s only about a 40 minute drive from Flagstaff, near Winslow, and is touted as being the best preserved meteor crater on earth. I can tell you it’s very impressive in size… about 3/4 mile in diameter, and 560 feet deep. I had to stitch this image together because I neglected to pack my wide angle lens. ? You can follow the blue link above to read more about it.
The following day we set out early for Sedona. We followed someone’s advice and went up to a hill near the airport for sunrise, but I found that location would have been far more impressive at sunset. (In November anyway.) The cool thing about sunrise though is that numerous hot air balloons popped up on the horizon, which happens frequently from what I hear. Come to think of it, a hot air balloon would be an fantastic way to see this beauty!
There are an incredible number of INCREDIBLE hiking trails surrounding Sedona. Some literally begin from the city streets. They range from easy to extreme, with everything in between. We chose an easy one first so my good ‘ol hiking buddy, Sadie, could join us. Her tired old arthritic legs just don’t carry her very far anymore, but her heart is still in it and she loves to go along. Brins Mesa Trail is about 4.5 miles (in and out) with an elevation gain of about 950 feet. The guide books call it moderate, but I’d say it’s on the easy side of that. And the whole darn trail is surrounded with some gorgeous landscape.
After the hike we drove around the outskirts of Sedona, taking in many of the well known landmarks. A road closure kept us from getting to a few of them, but you can’t help but be in awe of the landscape.
As we were nearing sunset, we headed out to Doe Mountain Trail, chosen because of the promised views from the top. It’s only 1.2 miles up and back with a 426′ elevation gain, but there’s lots of walking you can do once you reach the top. Dogs are allowed, but Sadie had already exceeded her endurance for the day so she happily lazed the time away in the car while we did the climb, and walked the mesa taking in the wonderful views. We were glad to have headlamps as darkness was setting in as we wound our way back down the mountain.
I should note that Sedona is worthy of more than a day. One could spend weeks taking in the hikes alone. Neither John, nor I, are shoppers… especially in pricey boutiques, but the town of Sedona has plenty of that to offer as well. And art galleries. Lots of art galleries!
While we were camped in Flagstaff, John scoped out (and booked) an outing to the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course. What a fun and challenging way to spend an afternoon. Obviously I didn’t take my big camera on the course, but I did manage to pull my cell phone out for a shot from time to time.
Kudos to the organizers and staff. They were well organized, made a fun and challenging group of courses, and focused on keeping everyone safe.
By the time I got through the green, silver, blue and red courses my back was killing me. (The red course was that extreme!) I think John was hurting a bit too, but he wasn’t about to stop. So off he went on the black course… harder and higher yet!
I’ve got a video of him up there… kinda fun, probably freaky to some… but I can’t load it. Needless to say he made it through the black course… with a proud smile on his face. I did hear a bit of groaning for a few days to follow, but I’m sure he had no regrets.
From Flagstaff we headed to Grand Canyon… south rim. Another repeat for me, but not for John. Lots of images and a few tales to come in my next post. Stay tuned!