Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Arizona Vacation: Road-tripping

While the idea of getting on Interstate 40 and driving due West sounds fun and appealing on some levels, since we didn't have unlimited time off for our vacation, we flew to Phoenix and rented a car to drive to see the Grand Canyon. I had to do all of the driving, but Daniel was a great navigator and (sometimes reluctant) passenger-seat photographer.

The thing about being a photographer who can't take the pictures while driving is that you become grateful for the pictures you get AND you realize that memories still stay in your mind even without photo documentation.

On the drive up to the Grand Canyon, we saw lots of Saguaro cacti along the side of the road and lots of rocky desert. We also could tell that we were getting into a higher elevation (and not only because of the signs that would say "Elevation: xxxx feet") and started seeing more mountains in the landscape.

One of the coolest views was as we ascended up a mountain range and then could see down in the valley . . . the Verde Valley . . . and it was so green down there (hence, the name). I don't know if it was the way the sun was shining on the valley or if my sunglasses were making the color pop, but it was a beautiful sight (and I wish I had a picture, but there wasn't a good place to stop).

We made it to Flagstaff and found our chosen restaurant on Historic Route 66 for lunch (more about that in another post) and then continued on our way up to the Canyon. The road between Williams, AZ, and the Grand Canyon National Park was pretty flat, although it probably had a gradual change in elevation. There were roads that went off of the main road, but for the most part, you couldn't see where those roads led to or whether people lived in those remote areas. Once we got closer to the park, we saw a little more commercial property and a small airport.

On the way back to Phoenix, we took a different route so that we could go through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. The road to Sedona (through the mountains and canyon) got very winding at some points, with hairpin turns that we had to take at slow speeds. I had to really pay attention to the road that part of the drive, but at one point we were stopped for a construction site and I was able to snap a couple of shots.

Stay tuned for more about Sedona and the rest of our trip to Arizona!

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