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-   -   Sedona and the Grand Canyon (http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carmen-forum/76201-sedona-grand-canyon.html)

Matt_Toronto 12-29-2016 06:54 AM

Sedona and the Grand Canyon
Everyone's been to the Grand Canyon or at least has it on their bucket list. I was just goofing around one day, reading up on it and how a reservation for accommodation in the park has to be made months in advance, when lo and behold before I knew it I started making reservations and a trip fell into place.

So fast forward and we land in Phoenix. We find a cab and I ask the the taxi driver to take us to the car rental office on Indian School Road. He finishes my sentence because apparently it's popular to rent off site due to the amount of tax and fees piled on to any rental made at the airport.

We arrive and I'm told that it's my lucky day, that the car I'd rented was not available and that we'd been upgraded to a Jeep Cheroke. Great. The car is brought out front, left running, we do a walk around, I get in and off we go. There's a Walgreen's about a mile down the road so I pull in and we go in for some water.

When we come back out I put the key in the ignition and . . . nothing. In fact it doesn't quite fit; it jiggles around in the slot and doesn't seem right. The sweat starts to build up pretty fast: it's close to 100 outside and now inside the car, and I'm starting to realize I'm in a bit of a jam, which is so stupid.

I go inside the Walgreen's and find a guy and ask if he has any idea. He's amused but cannot help. I go back to the car, fiddle a bit, and just cannot figure it out. I realize I have to make the walk of shame one mile in the desert heat back to the rental office, but I have no other option.

As I walk away my wife Helen says that "the fob was in the dash." I ponder this as I walk and look at the fob, and then it hits me: the end of the fob is shaped just like the keyhole. The fob is the key - the fob is inserted into the ignition and not the wimpy little key:

The "panic"part - and boy was I panicking - goes into the ignition.

I don't get around much - talk about fresh off the boat. Sheesh! :emb:

My idiocy aside, we get onto the highway and head north toward Sedona, and what a beautiful view. Miles upon miles littered with those Saguaro cactii, things I'd only ever seen in movies:


The drive is all uphill and eventually the Saguaro come to a complete halt, I believe due to the freeze line. Then we sail over the ridge and start seeing signs indicating "gulches" and "arroyos," things I'd only ever before heard of in movies - this is great.

Finally we arrive in the Village of Oak Creek, about a 15 minute drive down the stunningly beautiful Red Rock Scenic Byway from Sedona and our home for the next few days.

Bell Rock as seen from the Village of Oak Creek.

After unloading we decide to drive up to Sedona and stop off at the Chapel of the Holy Cross:


Driving back we stop off at Courthouse Butte to take in the sunset:


Susie Q Roo 12-29-2016 09:39 AM

I love Sedona and just about all of AZ! Thanks for sharing your pictures and I hope you have lots more, too!

Debbiec 12-29-2016 04:59 PM

Sedona is truly magical. I only spent 2 days there and I'm drawn to go back...

Matt_Toronto 12-30-2016 08:17 AM

On our first full day we went on the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour, which takes you out into areas where the scenery is breathtaking:




If you look closely at the two above photos there's a guy just below the white line that runs through the rock formation, while his friends wait for him slightly up and to the right. Talk about risking life and limb!


Pink Jeep is quite the concept: "Let's drive where no vehicle has any business driving!"


After the tour we had lunch on the patio at Hideaway House and looked out onto Snoopy Rock:


After lunch we hiked Fay Canyon, an easy hike in an equally spectacular setting that is more accessible.

Prickly pear cactus in Fay Canyon, Sedona

Susie Q Roo 12-30-2016 09:16 AM

You are SO making me want to go back there!

Debbiec 12-30-2016 02:48 PM

What fantastic photos!!! Is that not the bluest sky you'll ever see???


Matt_Toronto 12-30-2016 11:40 PM

Yeah when I think of Sedona I think of the colours red (rock), green (evergreens), and blue (sky).

The next day we drove up through the spectacular Oak Creek Canyon: the drive is a gorgeous one with lots of rock and pine as you ascend from 4,000 to 7,000 feet, topped off near the end by a series of switchbacks.

At the top is a Navajo market where arts and crafts are sold. We didn't have anything concrete planned for the day, and being so close to the big prize itself we decided to plow on to the Grand Canyon.

I haven't the words to describe it, and the pics don't do it justice. If you've been you know what I mean.

We entered from the south and stopped off at Mather Point.







Mnbruce 12-31-2016 11:24 PM

Great trip photos!

Matt_Toronto 01-01-2017 09:18 AM

Happy New Year everyone!

In two days time we had a reservation at the Thunderbird Lodge in the Grand Canyon National Park, and on the present day the plan broadly was to get up early, drive up to the Upper and Lower Antelope canyons in Page, AZ and then hightail it back down to Cameron, AZ for an overnight stay before heading into the park the next day.

Unfortunately for us the blue skies were replaced by clouds and the forecast called for rain: the slot canyons are dangerous when there are flash floods and in any event I just didn't feel like doing all the required driving. So we took our time getting up to Cameron and as an alternative entered the park from the east and went as far as Desert View lookout tower.

While the south entrance to the park is all about pines, the east is desolate desert with broken rock and scrub clinging to life:


I believe this is technically part of the Grand Canyon but outside of the Park proper: it is odd to look over to your right as you're driving to see this massive crack in the ground:


Desert View is an architectural marvel decorated inside with Navajo motifs:



Our stay for the night was at the Cameron Trading Post, run by the Navajo:


In addition to being a motel it also has thousands of square feet of items for sale, from the very expensive to the "best" that China can offer :D



Navajo blanket room:


Navajo tacos - Navajo fry bread with died tomatoes, chilies, shredded cheese - were very popular in the dining room but I couldn't bring myself to order one.

Our room overlooked the Little Colorado River and was very comfortable.

Matt_Toronto 01-02-2017 08:45 AM

We got up the next day and while the forecast called for rain it was actually partly cloudy with some strong sunshine peeking through. But the further we drove toward the GC village the more accurate the forecast became.

We stopped at many of the points along the way:


And while these pics don't show it the terrain can vary greatly from point to point.


Parking is a bit of an issue in the village so I had to loop around a few times before I found a spot in the Bright Angel Lodge parking lot. To our surprise our room was ready shortly after noon; the room in the Thunderbird Lodge was compact but suited our needs. And the building is conveniently close to the rim.


A bit of light rain fell but it wasn't so bad; on the upside a rainbow formed:


By late afternoon the clouds completely closed off the sky and a light drizzle persisted, so there was no opportunity to take in a sunset and possibly gaze at the stars. After dinner in the Arizona Room we turned in for the night.

The next morning was much the same: I got up early to catch the sunrise but there was a mix of sun and clouds that shortly thereafter resulted in a steady drizzle. So we beat a hasty retreat back to Sedona, driving through the rain the whole way.

Thankfully it cleared up throughout the day and we were able to take in a sunset view of West Sedona from atop the Airport Mesa:


Coffee Pot Rock at sunset:


Even though the weather didn't cooperate with our one night stay in the Grand Canyon National Park it was offset somewhat by the fact that we had already been in the park twice before on the same trip with relatively decent weather.

Matt_Toronto 01-03-2017 06:28 PM

On our last day in Sedona I got up early to get gas and the sky was back to that blinding blue. So after filling up I made a beeline for the airport and booked an afternoon helicopter flight with Sedona Air Tours. This was something we'd talked about prior to the trip and it just about fell through until the weather cooperated.

To pass the time before the flight we visited the petroglyphs at V Bar V Ranch:


I know these are archaeologically important but I found it hard to get excited over them considering all the magnificent Mayan ruins we've seen.

Later we bummed around in upper Sedona for a while:


Finally it was time for the flight - expensive but recommended.

Cathedral Rock from ground level:


Cathedral Rock from above:


Bell Rock from ground level:


Bell Rock from above:


After landing we hopped in the car for the trip back to Phoenix for an overnight stay before out flight out the next morning.

To sum up, it was a great trip, one that I'd happily do again with perhaps visits to Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley included.

Matt_Toronto 01-03-2017 06:34 PM

A 4 minute video summation of the trip:

Or here for full-screen.

Susie Q Roo 01-03-2017 07:25 PM

Just WOW! Thank you!

Ranger 01-12-2017 08:07 AM

Great pictures, We did this similar trip a few years ago, same route up and we stayed at Bright Angel.

They say pictures don't do it justice but you took great pictures, great memories. :clap:

EricLion 01-30-2017 03:13 PM


Originally Posted by Matt_Toronto (Post 2163793)
Everyone's been to the Grand Canyon or at least has it on their bucket list. Especially after finishing my marketing consulting course, I was just goofing around one day, reading up on it and how a reservation for accommodation in the park has to be made months in advance, when lo and behold before I knew it I started making reservations and a trip fell into place.

@Matt Awesome stuff bud. It's one of my dreams to check out the Grand canyon and Mt. Rushmore. So much stuff to do in the US. Wish them peace and success :)

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