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Old 6 Aug 19, 09:50 PM  
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BONZO
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Join Date: Mar 02
Transylvania to Pennsylvania and beyond! Day 5 – Sedona and Flagstaff

Saturday 13th July 2019

Cast list (the usual):

Me: Shaun, Intrepid Traveller

Her: Alison, Slightly less intrepid traveler, but planner supreme and finds the good deals!

Trip Report Index HERE

After the somewhat relaxing day yesterday, apart from the Old Town diversion, it was a day to get up and get going. One of the things we quickly noticed after booking the holiday was just how far travel was to any other town or major attraction – realistically everything was a minimum of 2 hours’ drive away.

With this in mind we set the alarm (although Alison was up at 3.45 and enjoyed the sunrise on the balcony)









and was out of the hotel doors by 6 am to visit Sedona, with a view to getting breakfast somewhere along the way. Sedona is marketed as a “New Age” destination with many yoga classes and healing stones, a bit of a spiritual place but for me it was the stunning scenery that beckoned. I learnt afterwards that it was only in very recent years the place was known for its relaxation and spirituality.

It was very warm - despite the early hour (proof in the next photo!)



Prior to leaving this morning Alison had picked out The Coffee Pot in Sedona as a likely place to have breakfast – tag line ‘Home of the Famous 101 Omelettes’. We found The Coffee Pot (a local rock landmark) and then the café. Although parking was limited out front we found a parking spot and headed in. Although a real local spot we were warmly welcomed and sat down in the outside courtyard and read through the very extensive menu. I settled on egg, sausauge, hash browns and rye toast and Alison had pancakes, egg and bacon – both with coffee. All very delicious.










We then drove the short distance to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This was perched on top of some large rocks in a beautiful and serene location a short walk from the car park. It appeared to be more geared up for tourists rather than those who want to pray but there you go. As this is America, there’s free golf carts from the car park if you are unable or unwilling to get up the steep incline to the building.

We browsed the Catholic gift shop and decided against any of the items on offer although they appeared very popular with people of faith.




We took a couple of photographs










and moved on towards West Fork Trail past slide rock state park, and onto Flagstaff. I had considered going to Slide Rock State park but being the weekend the place was absolutely rammed with no parking spaces for some considerable distance. The West Fork Trail had stunning scenery, real Western style landscapes.





We arrived at Flagstaff after doing a little stint on Route 66 and drove around for a while trying to find somewhere to park at reasonable price.



As we weren’t 100% clear on what the road markings and restrictions were we doubled back to the visitor centre. The visitor centre was in the Old Flagstaff railway station and to my delight I managed to see a freight train come through - some childhood fascinations never go away.









We pottered around the shops but nothing really grabbed us here, appeared to be mainly geared up for people travelling through or stopping on a Route 66 trip, I’m sure if I was a local trader I’d do exactly the same.


Feeling a bit peckish and dry we found The Hotel Weatherford, interesting looking building that was built around 1900. We didn’t want a full blown meal, just a snack so we settled down in Charly’s Pub & Grill on the ground floor of the hotel. The bar had a large stage at one end and I guess you’d call it some sort of “Honky Tonk” – in the western style, not the Dick Emery style! Great selection of beers here and after a sampler of one of the local beers we were on our way again.



We popped into the visitor centre to see what attractions where available locally and nothing really stood out or grabbed our attention. I had previously looked and thought the Lowell Observatory might be worth a little trip so that was the decision.

The Lowell Observatory was where Pluto was first discovered here in 1930. The odd thing is that Pluto is not a planet, it’s a “Dwarf Planet – why ?

For an object to be a planet, it needs to meet these three requirements defined by the IAU:

• It needs to be in orbit around the Sun – Yes, so maybe Pluto is a planet.

• It needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape – Pluto…check

• It needs to have “cleared the neighbourhood” of its orbit – Uh oh.

Here’s the rule breaker. According to this, Pluto is not a planet


It was quite hot and sticky by the time we arrived and just managed to get in on the end of a tour that had started which was lucky. The unlucky part was that the group in front consisted of a huge group of teenage kids, most of whom weren’t that interested in being here.

There was a couple of interesting bits, including the Percival Lowell Mausoleum on Mars Hill at the observatory.





After a bit more wandering around we stopped by the onsite café for a sandwich and cold drinks before starting the drive back to the hotel.

To alleviate the fairly boring drive we played a game of ‘spot the state number plates’ which carried on over the next couple of days! (Surprisingly there were a lot of different states we spotted!)

An uneventful drive back although we did spot a crazy golf course and a Cracker Barrel quite near to the hotel which brought back many happy Florida memories (and we started to plan those in for another day!).

Once back at the ranch (literally!), Alison had a swim and I wrote up some notes and had a snooze. The pool was really busy – it seemed a lot of new guests had arrived (possibly just for the weekend), so Alison didn’t stop long.

We showered, dressed and had a bite to eat in the lounge together with a few drinks before getting an early night after a long day.
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Edited at 10:03 PM.
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Old 7 Aug 19, 02:27 AM  
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Melbatb
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What glorious scenery! And sunset!
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Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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