Travelogue: Red Rock & Roll

While doing some pre-move cleaning I found a spiral notebook in which I had written my travel notes for a trip we took to the Southwest.  I tore the pages out; but most likely they will be lost forever as we pack them for our move. Sooooo, I decided to digitize the notes… and add photos, for the win! Herewith, I bring you,


Vienna –> Phoenix

Took the taxi to National [Airport] — [paid a lot more that expected. Abut $40 — yikes!

We left at 7:30 for a 10:30 flight. Not bad — Matt snoozed at the airport

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

while Michele used her Palm [Pre] to while away the time.

We each had aisle seats, at at first it looked like we’d both have no middle seats…but Matt ended up with a married couple in 14A&B.

The US Air flight had no in-flight entertainment, so we both read. Matt snoozed some more. 🙂

We arrived in Phoenix at about 12:30 local. It was about 102°!  We got our car (a Chrysler Sebring), but the rental guy was a real PITA [pain in the a**]. Sleazy. Kept trying to talk us into an upgrade. Anyway, we got our car and off we went.

Our chariot through the Red Rocks.

Our chariot through the Red Rocks.


I realized I forgot the tour books and AAA maps, so we stopped at a Circle K (or something like that) and got a map. Then we located a Barnes & Noble (in a “big box” store shopping center).  Kind of incongruous in the middle of a desert!

Well then we stopped at a Carl’s Jr. so I could get some lunch (Matt was fasting). THEN we were on our way…at least to Sedona.

PHOENIX –> sEDONA (7/4/2009)

Up I-17, then AZ-179 to Sedona. Nothing too unusual, but the sudden appearance of the red rocks was exciting. Before that, it was cactus (Phoenix) and than scrub and small trees.

See them? See them through the window?

See them? See the rocks through the window?

The drive through the main part of Sedona was, well, fun — all the roundabouts. It felt like England.

We used the GPS to locate our hotel: The Southwest Inn “is ahead,” it said. We check in around 4:30 or 5:00-ish.

We asked for dinner recommendations & settled on D’Lish, which was right next to the hotel.  It was great! Vegan pace;l Matt had a “cup” of curry lentil soup, I ha the grilled veggie wrap.  They were GREAT.  Also, Matt picked up some kombucha. [Note: D’lish is now closed, but here’s a link to Yelp entries for D’Lish.)

We came back to the room & settled in. Matt “took a soak” in the Jacuzzi. Went to bed at around 10:000-ish. Sooooo tired.

Sunday july 5, 2009

Hitting the trails in Sedona:  Started out with a continental breakfast at the hotel and made it out by about 8:00 AM.

We drove up Dry Creek Road” and got our Red Rocks pass, then drove a bit and hiked on Dead Man’s Pass Trail (really!). It wasn’t too hot out, but as the morning wore on, it got hot.

Next we went to Doe Mountain Trail. It’s pretty steep, so we only went partway up. We sat on a rock for quite some time there (it was in the shade). Saw a rock formation across the road that looked like an old Native American with a pointed hat on.

The face was watching us...

The face was watching us…

Next we went to Fay Canyon Trail and walked a fir bit. It was getting really hot, so we turned back.

For lunch I got a vanilla date milkshake and Matt got a fruit juice blend …back at D’Lish! We talked to the owner about the place and other things (healing, medicinal treatments, etc.).

The we took the Loop Roads. Went to Red Rock State Park and saw the movie about Sedona. Drove around some more — the road turned into an unpaved road & we had memories of Salisbury, England! (What if we got stuck in the road??) Luckily the road became blacktop again — no worries.

We had an early dinner at D’Lish (again!) before our Earth Wisdom Jeep Tour.

Ridin' the Rocks.,

Ridin’ the Rocks.,

Kevin was our guide.

Our trusty guide.

Our trusty guide.

We saw almost all of the main sites, including Al Pacino’s house! Keven even played his wood flute for us. A great tour. [The end of our tour was at sunset, so we got an iconic shot of Cathedral Rock.]

Moonrise over Cathedral Rock.

Moonrise over Cathedral Rock.

Early to bed and up early to gop to ….

Sunset crater &  wupatki (4/6/09)

Up early for breakfast, then took of for points north. First we stopped at Airport Mesa [in Sedona] — and the Airport Vortex.  There was a Disney Discovery tour bus at the overlook. Afterwards we saw the sign for the Masonic Temple up there and the Shrine of the Red Rocks. The Vortex energy was very strong there.

At the Airport Vortex.

At the Airport Vortex

We hung out there for a while then took off up AZ-89A North through Oak Creek Canyon.  Lovely drive.   But first…

…we went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  It was built into the red rocks.  Pretty amazing!

What a view from those windows!

What a view from those windows!

Back to 89A North.  We got lost looking for a AAA office in Flagstaff. Apparently I put in a wrong address & we ended up on a residential street. OH WELL….

So we continued on to Sunset Crater.

It was pretty freaky, all the black cinder ash and hardened lava. We took a 1-mile loop in the park. It was hot but there was lots of wind and occasional shade.

A little life amid the cinders.

A little life amid the cinders.

900-year-old lava from

900-year-old lava from the volcanic eruption

Then on to Wupatki, site of some ancient Navajo ruins. It was HOT! HOT! HOT! there with absolutely NO shade. We walked the path through the ruins.  Saw a blowhole — a vent in the earth’s crust that blows cool air (if the air pressure is lower outside the hole). That was the only cool place on the site!

Do you see any trees?

Do you see any trees?

On the way to Wupatki, we stopped at the Painted Desert overlook.  Off in the distance was the Painted Desert.  Truly magical. It almost looked like a pink mirage.

Had to see the Painted Desert, but it's there.

Hard to see the Painted Desert, but it’s there.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped at the “amphitheater” to watch the sunset [and moonrise].  (Kevin had taken us there the evening before during our Jeep tour.) It was more peaceful.

Fortunately the moon was full during our visit.

Fortunately the moon was full during our visit.

Then we drove across to where we could look at West Sedona and the rocks beyond. We going tomorrow AM.

[This is where that particular trip record ends. Hope you enjoyed this part.]

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