Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Modern Day Version of Lewis & Clark...and Clark, Jr.

I like to call this The Summer of My Arizona Adventures. Before living here, or even visiting before I was married to an Arizonian, I had not ever really been to Arizona. Now, that probably sounds a bit strange being that I lived in a state just adjacent to AZ, but it was true. My only travels in the Grand Canyon state were crossing the very northwestern most corner of the state to travel to Utah from southern Nevada. Even after I moved here it was 3 years before I ever went to Phoenix or Tucson. I clearly don't get out much. But that had been the extent of my AZ travels...greater Yuma County, Phoenix, and Tucson. Until now. So, when we had the chance to go to Flagstaff at the start of the summer I was thrilled. Another part of the state I get to see! While up north, we also decided it would be a great chance to go to the Grand Canyon. Yeah, more Arizona! So thus began my AZ Adventure, Part 1.

Since I consider myself part Lumberjack (I received my Master's Degree from NAU), I had to visit the campus.

The family at the Grand Canyon.

(This wouldn't be the only big hole in the ground we would be seeing this summer.)

We had a great time in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon and thoroughly enjoyed a reprieve from the hotter than hell temps in Yuma. But, my story doesn't end there. Fast forward to the end of July and a trip I had planned with David (daddy wasn't included) to the SD Zoo got cancelled. My wonderful husband, sensing my great disappointment, whisks us away on another AZ road trip. We had so much fun on the first trip, why not go back for seconds!
AZ Adventure, Part 2 began with a prompt departure to Phoenix after Andy's work day so we could get a head start on our adventure the very next morning. From Phoenix we headed back to Flagstaff.

Then we went to Meteor Crater, east of Flagstaff on the I-40, near Winslow, AZ. Our 2nd big hole in the ground sighting.

This picture is supposed to look as if David and I are standing on the floor of the crater. Really we are standing in front of a picture of the crater floor. Were you fooled?

We continued east on I-40 to Holbrook. That's David and Andrew on a piece of petrified wood.

After Holbrook, we turned south and drove through Snowflake where we had lunch at an adorable roadside cafe. After our meal it was back on the road through Heber-Overgaard towards Payson. Along the way we stopped at a mountain lake, Willow Springs Lake, just a 1/2 mile off the highway. David had no fear and walked right into the water!

This is Tonto Creek, on the Mogollon Rim, near Payson. Andy and his family camped here when he was younger.

The boys are feeding fish at the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery.

Trout, I think.

It was the first visit to a fish hatchery for David and I.

We bunked down in Payson for the night, and the next morning headed down the rim for the valley. My whirlwind tour of Arizona was over. For now.
While I did not discover any unchartered territories with a young native american girl as my guide, I felt like a modern day explorer. It was exciting to see so much I had never set my eyes upon before. This young band of explorers will certainly be back on the road to adventure again soon.

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