The scenery on the drive from California to Arizona got a bit repetitive, and unfortunately I fell asleep for awhile (sorry, Nick!). I only woke up as we got stuck in traffic skirting around Phoenix. Oops. I’m sure it was a fascinating city.
The desert landscape slowly changed as we drove further north. Then we arrived in Sedona – wow. Arrive is really the right verb for this part of the country. It isn’t a slow build up of pretty sights, but rather an almost sudden ‘arrival’ at the foot of the red rock formations that seem to leap up out of the ground in sheer faces. And the colors are amazing – every shade of red you can imagine stacked together with oranges, purples, browns. The town itself followed the same color scheme – the beautifully built adobe houses tucked into the greenery between the mountains might inspire a paint selection at the local hardware store – burnt oranges, chocolate browns, eggplant purples. The sun was getting lower on the horizon and the colors were starting to soften even more as we drove through.
Sadly, everyone seemed to have the same idea as us – to camp in one of the state parks nearby. Every campsite we passed was full, so we weren’t able to explore the town as much as we would have liked. I was getting tired and hungry so we made a few calls and decided to stay at a KOA in Flagstaff, closer to tomorrow’s destination (the Grand Canyon). Luckily they still had a few sites available when we got there, as two buses of schoolkids had just pulled up and had nearly all the tent sites reserved. Amidst the rowdy crowd, we got our tent pitched just as sun was setting and a mean wind picked up. Exhausted by this point, we barely dragged ourselves over the road to the Ruby Tuesdays at the local mall. It certainly wasn’t the gourmet cuisine of a posh restaurant in Sedona, or even one of the cute diners on the Route 66 portion of Flagstaff, but it was (huge) food and a beer. And Nick hasn’t really had the US chain restaurant experience…
For Rex, Arizona was a homecoming of sorts. Though we got him in Oregon, he has an AZ license plate. The picture on the plate is of the Grand Canyon – ok, it’s pretty impressive. But really, is that all the state has to offer? Maybe their slogan should be ‘Arizona…we’re deep’. Not sure how well that would go over.