If you ever want to feel small while delving in to nature – drive to the many outrageously big canyons that grace our national parks. Including the Red Rock Canyon National Park in Nevada. There is where Hubby and I started a week long vacation to visit the Red Rocks of Nevada followed by many places, including the Grand Canyon and Sedona, in Arizona.
And, because I am often best telling a story through a lens versus the printed word, I offer you many a photo.
The excitement of the trip began days before we even packed when I was diagnosed with bronchitis and tonsillitis. Should we go? Should we stay home? Well, I hate to be told I CAN’T do something, so we packed and went anyway. By the time we hit the Nevada border I was glad I had stopped at my doctors for much needed prescriptions, including an inhaler. That little medication literally saved me later on in the journey.
When you drive in to Nevada from California it is hard to not notice the billboards for Vegas hot spots and note the lack of announcements for much of anything else. Yet after we found some quick bites to eat we wandered in to the Red Rock Canyon National Park. WOW! A mere 30 minute drive from downtown Las Vegas, it is a delightful place to spend an afternoon.
Tip #1 - When traveling with a cold be sure to bring all your "must have" sniffle supplies! Purchasing them on the road can be a hassle and also expensive!
After I had seen about as many red rocks as I could handle, we ventured in to Las Vegas and parked for the night at the Westgate Resort and Casino. This well appointed room was found on TripAdvisor who then connected me with one of their recommended third party sources. Easy as pie! Plus, I made some ‘dough” on both the cost of the room and thanks to a quick trip to the Quick Hits slot machine at this location.
I never heard of Williams, Arizona before. But, it seemed like a place to stop given two factors, 1) The signs for Route 66 2) There was a Dairy Queen located in the town. Now neither of those may be compelling reasons for you to want to stop. But, for me – it was worth it as Dairy Queen’s are not common in our part of California. And, I am a sucker for any store with Route 66 tchatchkes. I loved meeting the local people, many who gave us tips about visiting the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
Tip #2: Sometimes the best photo is found off the highway.
The majestic Grand Canyon! Despite my feeling like a ton of red rocks were resting on my chest – I managed to still enjoy the mighty Grand Canyon. (But, warning… it is up high! Like 7 thousand feet above sea level. ) All the photos uploaded on this blog were snapped on my iPhone 8 plus. They are unfiltered and uploaded as is.
Tip #3: And, sometimes the best photo is found in the quiet of a canyon. But, remember to pack water to stay hydrated as you hike, snap photos and enjoy the vistas all around you.
Tip #4 - Spend at least two days or more in Sedona, Arizona. There is way too much to see and enjoy in a single day
DAYS 4 & 5
Sedona is like no place I have ever seen. We entered this hamlet from a road that was recommended to us by a new “friend” from Williams. He said to take this longer trek to truly enjoy the scenery and be wooed by the mountains. By the time we hit our hotel – The Bell Rock Inn – I was in love with this area. The rocks formations are like no other ones I had seen on this trip. They seemed to be humongous towers from a movie set standing tall among the village. They were a backdrop to the town, the residences, the parks and schools. These mountains aptly called by appearance – The Cathedral, The Bell Rock, Snoopy, etc. – were to this part of the southwest like the Pacific Ocean is to Southern California – the grande dame!
When you visit Sedona be sure to go to the visitor center. There are several and each one is chocked full of great information. Sedona itself is known for its’ artist colony, healers and diversity. Among the maps and tourist info I even found guides for LGBTQ travelers and residents.
Sidenote: I always am curious as to the housing market in areas we visit. Compared to Southern California, most are cheaper than we are used to seeing. But, Sedona does present itself with a wide array of price points for housing, much of it pricey and some more affordable. I can see why many retire to this state. Although I may need a lot more convincing knowing the heat index is well over 90 degrees much of the year.
The food is also a mixture of Tex-Mex and “eclectic coffee house”. Don’t expect to see a Starbucks on every corner – they are few and far between. But, do wander in to the several local coffee establishments that will gladly serve you a very fine espresso or latte.
Without further adieu, I present you the sights of enchanting Sedona, Arizona…
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Oh, and in case you are wondering.. I am feeling much better! 🙂