We were out the door bright and early today – 7:29 am to be precise. We were anxious to get to beautiful Sedona. We met the Ingrams from Canton, Georgia as we checked out; they were vacationing with a big group of Georgia folks.
I passed someone. That’s pass #10. Route 66 out of Williams isn’t a great road.
We’re trying to pass through as many Route 66 towns as possible – even if the Route is the Interstate at the time; we just exit and drive through the towns. Parks, Arizona was our first such pass through for the day. We saw only one business – Maurice’s.
Belmont provided a peek at the Camp Navajo Army Depot and a nice view of the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks. We were in the Coconino National Forest during this part of the drive.
We reached Flagstaff at 8:17 am. 6,906 foot elevation. I never realized this part of the country was at such a high altitude. It makes for much cooler temperatures. The top hasn’t been down on the car lately, and our tans are fading. Flagstaff probably has some good sights to see, but we didn’t see much – just a few nice old buildings. The folks in the Visitor’s Center were not very helpful – just didn’t seem interested in us at all. The people working in Visitor’s Centers have usually been very helpful and informative.
Highway 89 is a two-lane road from Flagstaff to Sedona. It is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable drives we have EVER taken. It is FAR superior to go to Sedona from Flagstaff than up from Phoenix – much prettier and much better and varied scenery.
We stopped at an Oak Creek Canyon roadside park for a few photos. It was very green there – much different from the terrain we have seen since the LA area. Highway 89 is a very windy road, but there are guardrails. Harry Turner told us where to turn off to get a good view of Oak Creek as it flowed along near the highway. As we got closer to Sedona, we began to see big red buttes; Sedona is known for its red rocks. The views at Slide Rock State Park and Midgeley Bridge were great.
The Sedona city limits sign appeared at 10:15. Sedona is exceptionally beautiful as everyone knows who has ever been there. Boz had visited previously on a trip with Miss Brittany, but this was my first visit, and it was a treat. The setting is amazing with red rock buttes all around, and it is a clean, modern town.
A lot of folks come up to us at gas stations, and we met Kevin and Walt in Sedona. We gassed up and headed south to Jerome since Jenny at the Route 66 gift shop in Williams recommended that we go there. We wanted top get a look at Jerome and some lunch and then return to Sedona for sightseeing and a Jeep tour.
We drove through Harry Turner’s hometown, Cottonwood, and then Clarkdale before we saw Jerome perched on the side of a big mountain. Jerome is an old copper mining town. The old buildings have been maintained, and it has become an artist’s community. We really enjoy seeing towns like Jerome as they are not overly commercialized as so many old places are.
After a very good lunch at the Jerome Grill (Micala was our server), we walked around town and enjoyed the old buildings. We met Leszek Szewjkowski on the street with his camera. Leszek is from Poland. It was interesting to talk with him. Poland has only been free for 14 years. He says the Polish people are really hard workers, and he believes Poland will continue to improve and develop as a stronger and stronger country. Leszek says Poland supports the USA, and he noted that Poland has had bad neighbors over the years — France and Germany. Leszek was headed back to Poland the next day with an engagement ring that he bought in the US. The young lady does not know it’s coming, but Leszek’s confidence was high that it would be well received.
When we spotted some beautiful Sedona area photographs, we stopped in the American Landscape Gallery and met the photographer, Tom Norvid. We were really taken with his work – amazing colors. Tom says he never uses filters and never adjusts the color on any of his work; he just takes advantage of days with great natural light. Tom’s story is an inspiring one. He was a pharmaceutical executive in Massachusetts for many years. His was a very stressful job, and he gave it all up to move to the Jerome, Arizona area to pursue his love of photography. Quite a leap of faith, but he is happy and very successful as a landscape photographer. He left the stress back in Boston.
The sky was a bright blue when we entered Sedona at 10, but it was overcast as we drove back into town at 1:45. No rain, but the overcast sky really detracts from such a beautiful place.
We knocked the dirt off the car at the Arizona Car Wash where we met Sharon as we waited for our cars. We drove straight to the touristy area of Sedona, and we met Melissa at the office of the Pink Jeep Tours. She recommended that we take the “Broken Arrow” tour. We scheduled it at 5 pm, as the tours are better early in the morning or late in the afternoon due to the impact of the light on the terrain.
Scott, Amy, Beverly, and Clarence told us to be sure to drive up the Airport Road in Sedona, so we took their advice. There is an overlook area there with a great view. We took a few photos, and a group from Columbus, Ohio asked Barbara to take a photo of their group with their cameras. There were nine of them, so it took a little while. I came over and took a shot with my camera and told them we would put it on our web site. That led to an explanation of what we were doing on our trip, and they asked a lot of questions. They then asked to take OUR picture, and they did. I was able to get a shot of them photographing us.
Back to the touristy area we went. We did a little shopping and grabbed what turned out to be dinner (ice cream) at the Black Cow Café – known for its homemade ice cream. We bought a New Mexico Christmas ornament, as our goal is to pick up an ornament in each of the 50 states. We are limiting ourselves to this one souvenir purchase in each state; our photographs are our souvenirs.
We arrived at the Pink Jeep Tours office early, and we had a very enjoyable conversation with Leetha. We also met Denise and one of the guides, Mike. Leetha informed us that we would have their absolute best guide, Mike Peach. She described him as a Cowboy Poet. Leetha also told us the story of how the Pink Jeep Tours were started. The whole thing was started 45 years ago by a realtor named Don Pratt. Mr. Pratt was selling real estate in the area, and he took prospective clients out to see property in a Jeep. One day he realized he was doing more and more touring and less and less selling, so he decided to start Pink Jeep Tours to make money from the demand for tours of the areas where cars cannot go. The rest is history. Several people across multiple states recommended The Pink Jeep Tour when they learned we were going to Sedona. (More information is available at www.pinkjeep.com.)
Mike Peach called our names at 5, and we buckled ourselves into our Jeep. There were five of us – Deborah, Marion, Don, Boz, and me — and Mike Peach, driver, guide, humorist, and more. It was an extremely informative two-hour tour, and Mike was very entertaining. The scenery was great, though it would have been much, much better in bright sunlight. The real highlight, however, was the four-wheeling. Mike drove us up and down cliffs that I didn’t realize a Jeep could climb. I still don’t believe we made it down one without tipping over. Bozzie Jane and I had never done anything like this, so it was a special treat.
Earlier in the tour, I had asked Mike if he had one story about something special or unique that had happened during his 18 years as a Pink Jeep Tour guide, but he didn’t answer the question until the tour ended. He then delivered one of the great poems that he has written, and he told us two wonderful stories of special experiences. It turns out Mike moonlights as an entertainer for various groups. The day before, a group had the Governor of New Mexico speak to them in the morning, and Mike was the evening entertainment with his “Cowboy Poetry.”
Everyone with whom we came in contact at Pink Jeep Tours was as nice and helpful as could be. When you go to Sedona, we encourage you to take a Pink Jeep Tour. Drop in and see Melissa and Leetha, and be sure and ask for Mike Peach as your guide. And, take the drive between Flagstaff and Sedona!
There are a lot of really nice, expensive resorts in Sedona. We didn’t stay at one of them. We stayed at the Sedona Real Inn – very nice, but not a big fancy resort. Unfortunately, something was wrong with their phone system that kept us from accessing the Internet, so we were yet again unable to post to our Daily Journal.
The lesson for the day is that we don’t all see things the same way. Many of the rock formations in the Sedona area have names; quite a few have more than one name, because one person sees one thing while another sees something different. It really is amazing how different we all are. What one person sees as beautiful, someone else sees as ugly. What one person sees as serious, another sees as funny. We’ve observed the differences in the way different people see things throughout the trip in a variety of ways. Perhaps it’s because we have more time to focus on such things, but we’ve been more aware of different viewpoints on this trip. It would be mighty dull if we all saw everything the same way.
May 2, 2003
7:29am 49 degrees 36187 as we leave the Fairfield Inn
We just met Carol and unknown Imgram possibly from Canton, GA. There are a bunch of people at the hotel from GA on a 16 day odyssey.
When you leave Williams, you need to be on I 40 and then you go a little ways and exit # 171 and then you’re back on 66.
It doesn’t tell you which way to turn, but we turned left and are on a little frontage road.
We just passed a car; that’s probably # 9.
36202 7:55 and we appear to be in the town of Parks
We took a picture of Maurice’s in the town of Parks
The road is not so nice along here, but not as bad as California.
Back on I 40 at the other end of Parks
We’re at Bellmont 36211 8:04
We took a picture of the Canton Navajo Army Depot
Nothing to photograph in Bellmont
We did find something to photograph—the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks
We’re in the Coconino National Forest
We saw the same train twice so that means she gets a double scoop or the topping of her choice.
So you’re back on I 40 for a ways and then you exit at 191 on the outskirts of Flagstaff and that puts you back onto the “mother road,” the main street of America, the Will Rogers highway, the Lincoln highway, and various other names.
Arizona Divide, whatever that means. We’re way high in the air. 36217 8:12am
We exited at 36219 8:15. There isn’t any Route 66 sign since we left Williams. They did better over in the Seligman area.
Barbara said there was signage. I withdraw.
Flagstaff city limits 36220 8:17am elevation 6906 established in 1882
I took a big trash pile picture in Flagstaff. Lowell Observatory is here.
36230 9:05 and we’re taking 17 just a little ways until we hit 89 to Sedona.
36239 9:25 we just finished getting some pictures
The pictures we just took were of Oak Creek Canyon.
Highway 89 is a real windy road but has guard rails. It’s no where near like the road to Oatman.
It’s completely different terrain since we’ve headed south from Flagstaff. There are big tall trees as we drive along 89. There’s a creek running all along to the right side of the car. It’s very pretty and impossible to photograph.
Bozzie says there are huge imposing buttes the other side of the creek.
Harry told us to get off at the west fork of Oak Creek which was, if you saw Don Hole’s Cabins you’ve gone about a mile or two too far. We went back and it was $5 to park, and we were too cheap to park.
36251 9:55 we’re passing Slide Rock State Park; it’s very beautiful.
We took a number of pictures at Midgely Bridge
Entering Sedona city limits 36256 10:15am
Sedona is just exceptionally beautiful. It is new, modern looking, clean. It has beautiful scenery and has developed into a beautiful community with great resorts.
We met Kevin and Walt at the gas station.
The other side of Sedona on 89A is very attractive, but it’s nothing like the far side. Most people who probably come to Sedona from Phoenix never see the far side.
The south side of Sedona, the direction headed toward Phoenix, is also more desert-like while the others have more mountains and trees and water. They’re totally different.
We’re in Cottonwood, the world famous home of Harry Turner, 36276 at 10:55.
36276 crossing the Verde River
Clarkdale 36281 11:05am; we see the J in the side of the mountain that stands for Ja-rome
Jarome 36285 11:10
The sign says Jarome, billion dollar copper camp.
We wanted some fried or baked cactus appetizer, but we chickened out. They say it’s a lot like zucchini.
Tom Novard, the photographer, certainly has an interesting story. He was a pharmaceutical executive living in Maine or Massachusetts and gave it up to move to Jarome, AZ and do his photography. Apparently he’s doing well; it’s beautiful work. He says he doesn’t use any filters but he has these incredible vibrant colors which he says just comes from getting the light and the shadows right. It was very interesting to talk to the guy from Poland. He said that Poland has only been free for 14 or 15 years, and he thinks the Polish people will end up doing very well. They work really hard and he said they support America. He commented before I ever asked him anything about it that they haven’t been lucky with their neighbors, Germany and France. They haven’t been good to them over the years. He was here for a month and about to get married. He bought an engagement ring and the woman doesn’t know about it yet. He’s going to try and come back and spend 90 days in the US next year.
Jarome is a good-sized artist community. There’s a lot of galleries and art stuff.
Back in Clarkdale after we got some old service station pictures 36291 1:10pm
We just passed Nescow Goulch? 36293 1:13pm
Back in Cottonwood 36293 1:14pm
Verde River 36298 1:28pm after a stop at Walgreens for travel sized hairspray for Mom and mouthwash and toothpaste for me.
Sedona 36311 1:42pm. So far the view coming in from this direction is nothing compared to the other.
Melissa sold us our jeep tour tickets. We will tour at 5-7 pm. We drove up Airport Road as people had told us to do at Grand Canyon. We met a group of people from Columbus, Ohio. We took their picture, they asked a bunch of question, and we talked to them for the longest time. We gave out a bunch of cards. We didn’t get their names but hopefully somebody will e-mail me. We’re off 36320 3:00pm
“…that’s a sacred place and when animals do certain things there, you should pay attention because those are the spirits of the people. They can teach you things. One morning I’m up there and I just had one couple with me, and there’s a point where we step onto a big rock and then can’t go any further. We’re looking at the older part of the structure back there where they first started living. It’s a cliff dwelling and under a big overhang. It was the first thing in the morning and very very still as there was no one else around. As we’re looking up at it something caught my attention and I looked and there was a hawk feather just floating and bobbing in the air. It floated right out into the middle of the overhang, took a right hand turn into the structure. We’re standing there and by now our jaws are just agape because there’s been no sound or no real wind but this feather has just done this right angle turn and floated in there. They turned to me and they said ‘does that happen all the time?’ I had never seen anything like that before. And right then, a red-shafted flicker, which is a type of woodpecker around here, was flying across the mouth of the overhang in front of the dwelling. About the middle of the dwelling, it does an abrupt stop in mid-air and does a beeline right up to me and flies up in front of me. He puts his wings up and belly towards me and fans his tail out. They’re called red-shafted flicker because on the under side of the wing and tailfeathers, it’s a brilliant red orange color. He was doing a display of that. He did his display, hung in the air for a bit, and then tucked and went up onto a branch. This couple was just like ‘what’s going on?’ I told them to look for the female, and sure enough she twits and she’s in the tree. It was mating season and these birds become very aggressive in their displays when they’re trying to impress a female. This same species of bird damaged a shuttle nose cone at Canaveral years ago by punching so many holes into it you couldn’t use it anymore. Because it was a red color it sets them of. And what had set this guy off was that I was wearing, for the very first time, a new hatband that I had made from the skin of a black tail rattlesnake that somebody had run over on the road. What I think caught his attention, was the movement of that pattern that he’s used to seeing on the ground and wasn’t used to seeing it where it was. So he came over and did an aggressive display in front of it.”