I’m writing this three days later, so there is a serious possibility that these memories will be stale… Oh well, maybe I’ll get some comments from my wife and parents to help fill in the blanks.
Quinny got up early this morning! 5:00 AM. A 5PM afternoon nap of 90 minutes didn’t help us out here at all. We tried to push him over to Grandpa and Grandma’s room right away, but he didn’t want to have much to do with that. At one point Jenny and I were so mad at him that I took him out to the van to let him cry it out. Eventually Jenny was able to take him over to breakfast and let Ethan and I sleep for a little while longer.
The continental breakfast at the hotel was pretty good. After some food, we headed back up to the canyon to check out how it would look in full sunlight. The day was cold, but it was sunny, which was nice. Predictably, the canyon looks completely different in full sunshine.
We didn’t stay long, though. By 10:00 we were heading down 64 to 180 towards Flagstaff with Sedona our interim destination of the day. The trip from Tusayan to Flagstaff was quite breathtaking. One thing that’s nice is that all speed limits are 10 miles per hour greater than Wisconsin, so even though we were on 2 lane highways, the speed limits were 65 miles per hour. But the trip - now that was something else. Up and down, windy roads, but we traveled between two mountains, so we saw lots of different terrain.
After getting some gas and directions, we continued south to Sedona. Now that is a drive! Sedona is only about 25 miles south of Flagstaff, but the terrain couldn’t be different than that of Flagstaff and locales north. The rocks turn red and you descend several thousand feet almost instantly. The road is so windy and steep that it takes about 45 minutes to make the trip.
We stopped in Sedona quickly for lunch. The place has grown quite a bit since we were there in 1994. There were shops there then, but the shops seem to have multiplied. It was difficult to get around with all the tourists walking around. It looked like Wisconsin Dells in peak season! Now maybe I’m being romantic, or maybe the fact that we were there in the middle of January made it seem more quaint in 1994, but I have to admit it was a little disappointing. The landscape was still just as impressive, though.
On the way out of town we stopped at a roadside trailhead to attempt an assault on Chicken Point, a 1.5 mile hike from the road. The rocks were breathtaking, but the terrain seemed more difficult than the NGS employee lead us to believe. The trail was very rocky and had a lot of up and downhill traverses. Ethan found a lot of rocks that he enjoyed climbing on, and Jenny and I enjoyed getting back to something close to the hiking we used to do back when we lived in Washington back in the late 90’s. Quin enjoyed his backpack that we purchased in Denver for him… When we finally got back to the parking lot, we realized that we took the wrong trail! I’m kind of glad we did, though, as this trail was much more interesting than the one we eventually discovered was the correct trail.
We finally left the Sedona area and headed towards Phoenix around 4:00. Directly after getting into the car, I asked Jenny, nervously, where my phone was. For some reason I had a feeling that I had left it on the van roof before we left. I located the phone quickly, however, and we continued on. About 10 miles later, I got a call on said phone from my parents who were driving behind me. My mom asked if my wallet had somehow fallen out of the car. She thought Quin had thrown it out of the window. I looked down to where I had been storing my wallet and noticed that it was gone, and my mind immediately went back to when we pulled out of the parking lot. I had set my wallet on top of the van and forgot to retrieve it before we left! Somehow it stayed there for 10 miles while we drove!!! We pulled off the road, did a U-turn, and traveled back about a mile where my dad somehow located my wallet in the middle of the road. After retrieving it from highway traffic and returning it to me, I discovered that a credit card and another card were missing from one of the compartments. We walked up the road a ways where I caught a glimpse of something on the road which I quickly identified as my credit card. After two cars passed by, it was blown to the side of the road where I was able to retrieve it, slightly damaged. The other card was an XBox Live recharge card which I paid $35 for and inexplicably haven’t activated yet, so I was half ready to leave it. For some reason, however, I decided to look the other direction from the car to see if I could somehow find it. Sure enough, I caught it out of the corner of my eye on the other side of the road. I crossed, two more cars passed, and the card was blown to the side of the road again. So as far as I can tell, all of the contents of my wallet are accounted for after I had left it on the roof of my van while driving down the highway! How’s that for luck!
The remainder of the trip to Apache Junction was blessedly uneventful. We arrived at mom and dad’s place around 6:30. It’s a very nice and surprisingly big place in a retirement park in Apache Junction. There seem to be hundreds of these retirement parks down here!!! After unpacking our car I realized that the left-front tire looked a bit low. I measured the pressure which was at 15 pounds… Have to check that out in the morning.
We were quick to bed this evening after the day’s activities. Not much to do the following two days which is just fine!!!