Arizona--Grand Canyon and Sedona

Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
Trip End Jul 12, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DAY 30-33, Friday to Monday - Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona

Spent the last three days seeing nature's beauty in northern Arizona. Being centrally located in Williams is both a blessing and a curse. The quaint historic Route 66 town is about an hour from the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park and an hour and a half from Sedona in the opposite direction, necessitating a lot of driving. We split up two days in the Grand Canyon with a visit to Sedona. Everyone has heard a lot and seen many pictures of the Grand Canyon, so we will only upload a few of over 200 pictures we took there. The pictures, as expected, only give a two-dimensional impression of three-dimensional vistas . . . so they never do justice to the real views.

Sedona was GREAT. We didn't know much about Sedona beforehand and considered skipping it. Glad we didn't. What we knew before was that it had many art galleries and was famous for its "vortexes" and all the New Age hype. We planned a rest day after the 12-hour first day at the Grand Canyon, but with the afternoon free, we decided to drive down to Sedona.  The ride to Sedona on 89A was an adventure traveling through the awesome ponderosa pine forests of Oak Creek Canyon and dropping right into the striking red rock cliffs surrounding Sedona. Since we only had a short time there, we took a tour of the scenery on a 4X4, rather than hiking to some of the highlights.

The Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona ROCKS! At this point, it is a highlight of our trip. Since 1960, this company has provided tours that take you to places you won't see if you are driving in your car. Our Combination Broken Arrow/Scenic Rim Tour was thrilling. Broken Arrow gets its name from an old western movie of the same name filmed in that area. It was 100% off-road FUN leading us over the red rocks while the magnificent canyon walls surrounded us. These big pink open-air jeeps were well outfitted for the rough ride, with ultra-thick padded seats, seat belts, padded roll bars, and soft foam handles. You have to hold on tight almost the whole ride, especially the heart-pounding descent down the "Road of No Return". We went over rocky dirt roads and up down huge "slick rocks" at a 45% angle. On the Scenic Rim, we ascended 2000' to the top of the Mongollon Rim for views of downtown Sedona, the Cowpies vortex, cliffs covered with "desert varnish", and a number of rock formations with names such as Kissing Rocks, Meeting of the Chiefs, and Gunsite. Our driver Jess, a former forest ranger, explained the geology, plants, and animals we saw on the tour. We loved it!

Seems like gun shows are popular here in Arizona. There was one going on in Phoenix and also one in Sedona.
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