Thank you, lugg. I'm sorry you were unable to make your trip to this area. It really is a very interesting place. As I mentioned earlier, the weather has been perfect. Light-jacket type weather, if any jacket at all. This is a nice change from my last visit about fifteen months ago when it snowed heavily for several days and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to leave in time to make my flight out of Phoenix. Fortunately, the weather cleared and, though the trip down to the valley was a bit scary to me the snow plows had the roads cleared in time.
This is the perfect time to also be down in Phoenix. The weather tends to be mild, but come summer it is brutally hot with temperatures climbing to the well over 110 degrees, reminding you that it's the desert. Whether I'm in Flagstaff or down in Phoenix, I am constantly drinking water to keep well hydrated.
Full marks for making an interesting report out of a bus trip. It is not easy getting good shots from an aircraft. Flying in bad weather is never fun, although it can be exhilarating. Just makes you realise the power of nature.
Sedona has changed so much since the '70s it is all but completely unrecognizable to me. The first time I was there it was the sleepiest of sleepy little hick farm towns. I went back 20 some years later and there were huge outlet malls and fancy restaurants and hippy voodoo shops selling crystals and whatnot. A real boomtown retail circus. Hard to imagine a town more transformed.
I agree with you about the change, fumobici. The only other time I've been there was in the winter of 1995. There was hardly anyone visiting at the time, but I could see there'd been a lot of recent building growth. I almost didn't drive down to Sedona this trip, but the rocks and views are beautiful. I expected to see change, but was surprised to see masses of people wandering the area during the middle of a week in March.
I really like the Flagstaff community with its laid-back atmosphere. Everything is very casual, and there seem to be a lot of environmentally conscious and health-minded type people living here.
One of the locally owned gardening centers hosts special family events before certain holidays such as Christmas and Halloween. In the spring, they have a huge Easter party with egg hunts for little children, a petting zoo, bouncy house, and pony rides. This years event had a large attendance, but everyone seemed in a good mood and waited patiently for the egg hunt to begin.
Here's one of the gardening ladies reminding the little children to only pick five eggs each, to make sure there's enough to go around.
The garden center employees were very well prepared. Here they are getting out more plastic eggs to hide for some of little children who hadn't yet found their quota.
Wouldn't it be great if there were more buildings like the old bank building?
Yes, for sure. I had actually thought the same thing. Its style "fits" in this southwest location, but wouldn't in many others. It looked like it was under renovation. I need to find out what's going on there.
Wonderful images htmb. I enjoyed going through this thread very slowly and was in awe of the natural beauty of Sedona and surrounding areas.
We have many coniferous trees in the area I live in as well but ours do not have the beautiful fullness that I see in your photos. I also never associated pollen to them, always thought it was from deciduous trees. I will have to take notice when spring arrives here.
Enjoyed the picture of the Quint! They are massive vehicles.
Thank you, mich! I loved your "Quint" comment. Of course, you must know your fire trucks.
Pine pollen and red cedar are like toxins to me. I knew I wouldn't be doing much in the way of activities when I made my plans to visit Arizona, thus the title of this thread. However, I had no idea I'd be sick much of my visit. The combination of lingering bronchitis, hay fever, and the high altitude made for a physically uncomfortable time. I made the best of it though, esecially after I was introduced to NyQuil. I had never taken it before and it helped my symptoms some and allowed me to get some much needed sleep.
I have a few more pictures to post before ending this thread. I'm back home now, so hope to get to them soon.
Hello, Htmb & huge apologies for taking so long to post again in this marvelous thread.
I greatly appreciate these views of the sw US, particularly Flagstaff. I spent the night there on a trip with my brother & his daughters. We drove in at night in search of a motel, but also drove around a little bit with the windows open, deeply breathing in the balsam-scented air & enjoying the balminess after hours driving west from Oklahoma. What a pleasure to find that same soft & scented air in the morning. This was in July, so probably no pollen issues such as you suffered.
Gorgeous shots throughout. I love the stately white birches(?).
A question: have you mailed off the deep blue pottery you undoubtedly bought for me?
...bixa, that's just standard factory ware, but I did like the colors. I'm sure you can get more beautiful pottery in Mexico. I did, however, purchase a gift certificate to that place for a special birthday person.
To wrap up this thread, I left Flagstaff early the morning of April Fool's Day. Rather than fly the local prop connection to the Phoenix Airport, I prefer to take a shuttle van for the 2 hour and 15 minute ride. After taking off from Phoenix, somewhere before New Mexico, I fell asleep. When I awoke it was to see lush, green landscape.
I was looking south and the glare was very strong. Unfortunately I didn't have much luck taking pictures, but I could make out a wide river. Perhaps the Mississippi? The landscape also appeared to be more irregularly patterned; different from the western landscapes photographed on my flight out.
In the distance i could see a very large body of water. I have no idea how far south we were flying, but i wondered if it could be Lake Pontchartrain.
Thanks, nycgirl. I looked through your southwest reports for pointers before this last trip. It's so different from the east, isn't it. Once I ventured west of the Mississippi River for the dirst time many years ago I finally understood the term "wide open spaces."
Great photos and report htmb!! It has inspired me to do an Arizona report as many of my friends/family from Germany have similar misconceptions about Arizona just being desert (which your report helped to dispel or just remind of). Oak Creek Canyon is quite the curvy road coming down from Flagstaff to Sedona isn't it? But well worth the views!
Kerouac-would you believe that of all places Arizona was were this German girl learned to ski?? However I only ever skied the White Mountains (3 hrs NE of Phoenix) it is a little bigger mountain and I love it.
Reading this over again has reminded me of a few things: 1) I was sick as a dog the whole trip, 2) I need to consider flying out of Tampa on the next trip, since it's a direct flight, and 3) I slept most of the way back because I was still sick, the plane was delayed for mechanical reasons, I had taken a little medicine that knocked me out for a few hours, and I had three seats all to myself. 4) Because the plane was delayed I missed my connection in Charlotte and had to spend the night in a motel.
A lot has happened in Arizona since - new house and another baby on the way - so I need to book a flight soon.