Arizona Adventures – Northern Exposure!

This post covers my Mom’s whirlwind visit to Arizona (before our Hawaii trip!) and includes the following destinations:

  • Sedona – Sat 4/2-Sun 4/3
  • Grand Canyon – Sun 4/3 – Mon 4/4
  • Flagstaff (two visits) – Sat 3/19-Sun 3/20 & Mon 4/4-Tues 4/5


I was really looking forward to visiting Sedona again, after my first visit with my dear college friend Michelle in 1995, and after being just a hop skip and a jump for nearly 4 months!  It didn’t disappoint.  I think Sedona is a magical place – those red rocks never cease to amaze!

I was surprised that the downtown wasn’t more ‘upscale’- in a way it was kind of a pleasant surprise.  We spent most of our day admiring the red rocks!


Very popular overlook adjacent to our hotel, which was perfectly situated on the Airport Mesa:

We enjoyed sunset with a nice couple from MA who got married earlier that day in that location!  Here’s a sample:

We had a fantastic Italian dinner at Dahl & Diluca.

En route to the Grand Canyon – Snoopy rock, Oak Creek Canyon, Kaibab National Forest:

Grand Canyon

We had the good fortune to go into the park twice during our visit, once on Sun afternoon and the second time on Mon morning.  Senior citizens get lifetime access to all National Parks for only $10 – we were happy to optimize that discount – thanks Mom!

It is truly awe-inspiring and beautiful.  I’m SO glad we decided to fit in this remote Seven Wonder! 🙂

A few key facts about the Grand Canyon:

  • Grand Canyon is 277 river miles long, in places a max of 18 miles wide (600 yards at its most narrow at Marble Canyon), and 1 mile deep (I would have thought it was deeper!)
  • Was formed by the Colorado River, which flows west through the canyon and averages about 300 feet width, 100 feet in depth and flows at an average speed of four miles per hour
  • Includes approximately 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 types of reptiles and five species of amphibians
  • It’s not the deepest or the longest – In 1994, the Guinness Book of World Records crowned the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Himalayas as the world’s longest and deepest canyon.
  • The FAA was created in the 1950s as a result of 2 passenger planes crashing in the Grand Canyon (in an attempt to get a great view)
  • The oldest rock layer (Vishnu Basement Rocks) in the Grand Canyon date back to 1.7 BILLION years ago – nearly half the Earth’s age!
  • You can find pink rattlesnakes in the Canyon – luckily we didn’t have any close encounters!
  • John Wesley Powell, who charted the Colorado River’s course in 1891 and 1892 in a wooden boat, was the first to consistently use the name “Grand Canyon.”

A few key facts about the Grand Canyon National Park:

      • Was made a national monument in 1908 and became a national park in 1919
      • Covers an area of 1,900 square miles
      • Is 190 miles long
      • Contains some 277 miles of the Colorado River is populated by five Indian tribes: The Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Paiute and Hualapai

Sun – South Rim, Visitors Center area:

Unfortunately I got a pretty strong case of altitude sickness – at least it was good for the diet as I had a very limited appetite!  If I go again, no alcohol at all!  🙂

Mon:  breakfast at El Tovar Lodge in the Grand Canyon Village:

En route to Wupatki National Monument & Sunset Crater:

Wupatki National Monument

Sunset Crater



Museum of Northern Arizona (3/20) – I spent some time here while Dave was attending a medical certification course.  The museum contains more than five million Native American artifacts, natural science specimens, and fine art pieces.  Funded in 1928, their goal is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

Little America Hotel – upgrade to a suite during our first visit and enjoyed a nature walk on the hotel grounds

Random pics around town:

Recently came across this crazy AZ factoids:

      • One law of the state of Arizona says that it is illegal to keep a donkey in your bathtub.
      • It is illegal to refuse a person a glass of water in the state of Arizona.
      • If you cut down a Saguaro Cactus, you may face 25 years of imprisonment.


Upcoming posts will include Hawaii (Wed 4/6 – Fri 4/15) and the last of our Phoenix touring around for this visit!  Our time in AZ is drawing to a close and we are looking forward to our upcoming travels:

Vancouver, BC – May and June
Chicago – July and August
Montreal – September
DC/Alexandria – October and November

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