Friday, February 24, 2012

Beautiful Sedona

Wednesday was a day of running errands- picking up mail at the Congress postoffice, a little grocery shopping in Wickenburg and lunch. The weather here has been just about ideal- bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. At night the temperatures drop into the 40's but when that warm sun comes up so do the temperatures. We only need a little heat in the mornings for about an hour and then soon some windows are opened and by afternoon some exhaust fans to keep us comfortable. Without open windows and fans the inside of the motorhome can get quite warm.

Thursday after eating breakfast we took off for Sedona, about 110 miles northeast. We traveled through Prescott onto Sedona on rte. 169. This was our third time going to Sedona but it still is breathtaking to drive into that area with the bright red rocks. I do think this is the prettiest Arizona area. We stopped at the National Park Visitor's Center to obtain the necessary permit that allowed us to park in designated National Park parking areas.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross built into the mountainside was our next stop. After finding a parking spot on the hillside we continued our ascent up to the Chapel on foot- it is quite a climb.

Once up to the Chapel the views are just magnificent.

                       Just below the Chapel is a "mansion" that has most everyone drooling over.

                            The Chapel has a very small sanctuary but is an interesting structure.

A few stops to take pictures and then we were downtown Sedona and it was lunchtime- how convenient! We ate at Open Range Grille, a restaurant that has big windows with views of the surrounding red rock mountains and the food was good, too. Before returning to the car we went to a camera shop to have my camera checked out, the lens cover had been balky at opening and on this day was not opening at all. The battery was found to be okay so the recommendation was that I should get another camera rather than to have this one repaired. (As it turned out Tom was able to get the camera functioning as it should when he worked with it later at the motorhome.) Getting back in the jeep we continued on through Sedona and up through Oak Creek Canyon. The rock structures change from the red rock to yellow rocks as we went through the canyon. The Oak Creek was flowing well- one of the few creeks in Arizona that actually had water. As we climbed up the canyon we saw patches of snow along the roadside. The canyon is covered with pine trees that does not allow the sun to penetrate to melt the snow. There is a viewing area that overlooks the canyon.

 Native Americans are at this area selling jewelry, pottery and other handmade items. I had to check out everyones' wares as I walked by. It was about 3:45pm and the vendors were packing up their wares to head out by the 4pm time of closing the viewing area.

From Oak Creek Canyon we returned back through Sedona where we picked up rte.89A that took us over a scenic route over mountains through the town of Jerome and onto Prescott. Jerome,a town created by a copper mine and now a artsy community, is situated on a mountain with narrow streets. We passed a truck pulling a small 5th wheel coming into town and wondered just how he was going to maneuver through those streets that was barely wide enough for cars. Driving along the sun was setting and the views were gorgeous. The eastern sky at one point was various shades of pinks and purples and then several minutes later the western sky had bright streaks of red and orange. Just beautiful. The roads we were traveling over were full of curves and had signs posted about anything over 40 feet not traveling over these roads. (In spite of the posting we passed a large, 40 plus foot, motorhome with a trailer hauling a pick-up truck. Can't people read the signs?) It was a great day full of beautiful scenery.

Today, Friday, we went into the town of Wickenburg and wandered about the shops, not looking for anything special. Wickenburg is a cowboy town and most shops have cowboy stuff- clothes, gear and housewares. We stopped at the postoffice in Congress again today to pick up some medical supplies we had sent here. Back at the campground we had a late lunch and then we went for our almost daily walk around the campground.