We started our day with the hotel’s famous “hot breakfast”… Well… I wouldn’t have gone as far as to say it was famous or hot.. but it did fill the hole. So we left Wickenburg and headed north towards Sedona. Upon leaving Wickenburg the road immediately started gaining altitude.. Altitude became the word of the day because this part of Arizona is high! For some reason I always had a vision of Arizona of being flat, desert, cactus and up towards the Grand Canyon.. canyon like… Well, that vision of Arizona has been blown out of the water. Parts have cactus but a fair whack of the state is huge mountain ranges!
Anyway, as I was saying we started to rise.. and rise .. and rise. In fact the drive from Wickenburg to Prescott was very windy. At the base of the range quite shrubby and desert like, but by the time we stopped for morning tea half way up the range it was alpine and cool.. Totally different!
At the top of the range we drove through this town called Jerome. It’s a town perched on the edge of ridge top! Very European! Tiny roads, houses hanging out over the side of the mountain and over the tops hanging out into the street! Nothing like I would have expected to see in the US! From Jerome we drove down the range and into the Sedona valley…
You could have felled us with the view! Sedona is as pretty as anywhere in the Canyon lands and is very accessible (unlike some of the Canyon parks). The town is built on and around the canyon cliffs. All the houses blend in to the back drop so from the lookout (where we headed for a good look-see) you almost can’t see the town! Really, really well done. The cliff walls are deep reds, topped with some grey green vegetation… As I said as good as you can see anywhere and much closer than the Grand Canyon (as an example). We stopped along the scenic drive for some lunch and a paddle in the oak creek.. icy water but crystal clear… Green trees on the creek bank and towering red cliffs above… Spectacular
Our day ended with us driving from the gorgeous Oak river canyon (that leads into Sedona) and up to Flagstaff (the gateway city to the Grand Canyon). We were all pretty worn out from the day so we stopped in at a supermarket, grabbed some rissoles for tea and went hunting for somewhere to stay.
In hindsight we chose poorly.. A school group were all staying at the motel we stopped at.. so dinner was punctuated by kids having fun in the motel’s pool. We all thought there would be no sleep for us but as it turned out the kids were well behaved and we didn’t hear them. M+I also got some of the domestic chores done (washing) and D+I had a game of pool to finish off the day (I lost). Hobbit watching rounded out a very long but spectacular day in the Sedona Valley.