Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why Arizona is Cool and Everyone Should Visit

It was home to one of the world's most influencial architects, who built from the local rock and wood, with roofs of canvas. It remains a premiere learning facility and cultural center.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West in Scottsdale.

You can learn just how industrious and resourceful the earliest inhabitants were, first hand.

There are blood red rocks as far as the eye can see.

Red Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon outside of Sedona.

Oh, and some truly clever people decided to build an entire city in a canyon, using the canyon walls as a perfect roof.

Walnut Canyon National Monument just outside of Flagstaff.

You can appreciate the power of Mother Nature from the foot of a volcanic crater.

Sunset Crater Volcano (complete with lava fields) outside Flagstaff.

Some other clever people realized you could build your house right around the big rocks in the middle of the yard. Why build a floor or a wall if the rock already makes one, right?

Wupatki National Monument also outside Flagstaff.

If you ever wanted to see what it looks like when a 150 foot piece of rock traveling at 40,000 miles an hours colides with the Earth, they have something that might impress you.

Meteor Crater, again with the Flagstaff.

If you ever dug Land of the Lost as a kid, you might find the badlands not so bad.

Petrified Forest National Forest in, well, Petrified Forest.

And you can't forget that ginormous hole in the ground. I'm not kidding. It's really big.

Grand Canyon National Park in Grand Canyon (are you starting to see a trend here?)

And don't forget to get your kicks on Route 66.

Route 66 between Kingman and Oatman, just before the Nevada/Arizona border.

Because you just may find yourself in a one horse town...ok, so they were mules, kick me.

The Wild West town of Oatman.

If you are still reading (and have been keeping track), yes, we were successful in making our National Park Golden Eagle Pass worth the fee in just one trip. We may or may not have taken about 700 photos in 7 days, but who is counting - especially with all that amazing scenery!) We also may have hiked every trail in every national monument/park we visited. Except for the Grand Canyon, we stayed on top, because a little bug has bit me and now I want to train and hike that sucker rim to rim. I'm serious.

Sedona was a highlight and a completely unexpected experience. Flagstaff has a great downtown with cute cafes and shops - my favorite breakfast of the whole trip was at the Cafe Espress. But, they also had the worst Howard Johnson motel of all time...don't go there... ever... unless you don't mind bandaid pieces in your towel. Me, I guess I am just picky that way.

Finally, as a little traveler's tid bit for my fellow Californians during this time of high gas prices, not only is the gas in Arizona a bit cheaper, it is a different formulation of gas. So B's gracefully aging beauty that gets ~17 mile per gallon in CA, ended up getting about ~24 miles per gallon in AZ! (Our gas has been oxygenated so that it burns cleaner, but I'm starting to think it may just balance out with such a difference in efficiency.)

And purely as an aside, since this is a post about Arizona, B and I both had a very good night at the penny slot machines in Laughlin (our last night of the trip). We each played $3, B cashed out over $7 and I cashed out close to $23!!!!


The Stitchin' Sheep said...

Fun! I'm so jealous. I've been thinking lately that we need to start planning a mini-getaway for when things start to calm down in the winery for P. Surely there are some things to be seen in this country!

mle said...

Wow! how fun is that! I'm glad you had such a great vacation! AZ looks gorgeous.

christine said...

Thanks for the great pictures. I've only been in the most northeastern corner of Arizona, so I missed all of the sites you included pictures of. That meteor hole is awesome!

Did you take Jenny with you?

Julia said...

I lived in Arizona for 1.5 years and went to Sunset Crater and hiked the Grand Canyon, but have never done any of the rest of that stuff! I am jealous. If you are an AZ buff (and there is so much more to see - Monument Valley, the Superstitions, etc.), you should subscribe to Arizona Highways (I do). It comes out every other month with info on amazing places to go with spectacular photos. Definitely check it out. And please, please, please send me a link if you put photos on line.

Nonnahs said...

Love the pictures! (I can hear B telling you to be careful while he was taking the one of you at the Grand Canyon rail- hee hee.)

knitzalot said...

Sounds like a fun trip!

Mouse said...

Excellent photo diary! Thanks for the fun pictures of your trip! I had no idea that there were different 'formulations' of gas for different places, but that makes sense.

Cora said...

Can I come when you hike rim to rim? I've always wanted to do that! I love AZ with it's red rocks and to die for sunsets. Useless trivia, but my folks lived near Flagstaff on the Navajo reservation when both my bro and I were born. No local hospital, so we were born in Gallop, New Mexico.

Nasus said...

That is disgusting! (bandaid pieces) Wow, the Petrified Forest looked amazing. And I'd join you to hike the Canyon (hopefully, not non-stop but with some overnight backpacking involved?) BTW did you know about the energy bill passed in 1992 that planned for 30% of the US to be dependent on alternative fuels by 2010? Apparently, it was announced today that it got pushed back another 20 years(not realistic to have 3/4 of the population owning ethanol-driven vehicles within the next few years.)

amanda cathleen said...

Great pictures! I wanna go now! *L* I don't think your hotel standards are too high, that is gross! ew!

margene said...

You visited many of the best spots in the Southwest (outside of Utah!). Thanks for sharing your trip.

Judy said...

Oh, Arizona. I lived there for eight years and am looking for a way to live there again someday.

The Howard Johnson's in Flagstaff is the only restaurant I ever walked out of halfway through a meal because it was so completely unsatisfactory. Not only was the food horrible but the staff was clueless and rude.

There are some good yarn stores in AZ, did you find any?