Sunday, April 13, 2008


After leaving Petrified Forest National Park, we planned to find a campsite for the evening then drive to Grand Canyon in the morning. Due to a mix-up, Sarah thought Brian wanted to go to Sedona the next morning before going to the Grand Canyon. As a result, we decided to camp along the road between Flagstaff (the gateway to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon) and Sedona where there were several forest service campgrounds that were rated highly by our guidebook. There turned out to be several problems with this plan. The first was that Brian hadn’t intended to go to Sedona at all. The second was that the campgrounds were down a very windy and dark road and turned out to be really hard to find. The third, and biggest problem, was that it was Saturday evening and when we finally found the campgrounds, they were all full. Ugh!

By the time we found the last of the campgrounds, we were nearly in Sedona and it was an hour’s drive back to Flagstaff. Our guidebook promised that there were private campgrounds in the area, but the only one we could locate was for RVs only. Since we haven’t figured out how to make Caroline pass for an RV, we had to continue on. We were exhausted from a long day of driving and sightseeing and hungry since it was well past dinnertime at this point. We ended up staying at the cheapest motel we could find, which in Sedona isn’t really cheap at all. Oh well – lesson learned – next time we’ll plan better before trying to find a campsite late on a weekend night.

After a full night sleep, our moods had much improved and we decided that since we were in Sedona, we might as well check the area out. It was warm enough out for short sleeves. We hadn’t been that warm in months!

We went to Red Rock State Park first. Sedona is known for the red rocks that surround the city (it’s also known for vortexes and possible alien sightings, but that is another story…). It was just after 8 am and we had the park almost to ourselves. We took a several-mile stroll through the park, which was quite peaceful with lots of chirping birds and very few other people.

The rocks really were a stunning red color.

The walk went past a brook where there were trees housing some loud songbirds. We looked for a blue heron, but didn’t get to see one.

The House of Apache Fire stood in the middle of the park. It was built originally by the president of TWA and his wife, who designed the place. Before it was finished, they divorced and construction stopped. At various points, construction started and stopped as the house changed owners. The house had an enviable location on a bluff and was visible from most of the park.

Off in the distance, we could see more majestic rock formations. Unfortunately, the sun wasn’t in the right place to do them justice in a photo.

After leaving Red Rock State Park, we started slowly making our way back to Flagstaff. The drive passed through Oak Creek Canyon and had more beautiful scenery.

All this sightseeing made Brian hungry, so we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. Brian decided that not just any blizzard would do, so we split a mint Oreo blizzard in size super-humongous. It was the largest of four sizes and we spent a while debating whether it was a quart of ice cream or a half gallon. At any rate, Brian was pleased.

This was pretty much the end of our Sedona tour. Next stop, the Grand Canyon.

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