Trip Report: The Wild West! Grand Canyon & Sedona – Fall 2015 – Part 2


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What about those rattlesnakes, lizards and  scorpions in the above picture, you ask? Read on… we’ll get there.

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Continued from PART 1 – Click HERE to read First!

Day 2 began with beautiful bright blue sky, that you just don’t get to see on the East Coast.

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We davened, ate breakfast and got an early start on our way to our featured attraction, the Grand Canyon. (no we did not take the balloon ride,  just a beautiful picture we took as we left the hotel)

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On the advice of the hotel front desk (who incidentally tried to sell us a timeshare – NEVER buy a timeshare!) we took the Sedona Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway towards Flagstaff rather than the highway for a more interesting drive.

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What is the byway? (From the website)

“Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive is about a 14 mile drive along Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona. It has been recognized as one of the Top 5 Most Scenic Drives in America by Rand McNally. Oak Creek Canyon is a breathtaking stretch of beauty on a winding road that climbs 4,500 feet from Sedona to the top of the Mogollon Rim.

The scenic drive can ascend the canyon from Sedona or descend from Flagstaff, AZ. Either route is equally breathtaking as you slowly descend or ascend through picturesque forests.

The canyon opens to the foliage of oaks interspersed with evergreen pines with the incredible backdrop of red-faced rocks and cliffs in the backdrop.

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Passengers have the viewing advantage.

The road is fraught with a few hairpin turns and switchbacks that require the driver’s full attention.

As we got towards Flagstaff, it began to snow.

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You’ve got to love the signs along the way though, like:

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and…

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and even…

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(yes, that is a mountain lion)

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We stopped over at this incredible Indian trading post that looked like it came straight out of a wild west movie.

And then, we reached finally reached the Grand Canyon!

 

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Words or pictures do not do this justice at all, but we’ll try…

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Did you know that the canyon is 10 miles across, rim to rim?

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On the advice of a Park Ranger at the National Park Visitor’s Center, we decided to take the South Kaibob trail down into the canyon

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Check out the picture we took from above before embarking down…

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It is a mule trail, also know as Brighty’s Trail or Bright Angel Trail – of the book Brighty of Grand Canyon

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It is an active mule trail – Beware of Mule ‘leftovers’ if you choose to try it, and beware that you may need to squeeze against the canyon wall to let tour mules pass

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Either way – it was still a highly recommended and absolutely worthwhile endeavor!imgsvr-fgdj-ashx

Safely ensconced in his front pack,

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our baby enjoyed every minute of the hike!

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Endless views at “Ooh-Ahh Point” – about 1 mile down the trail

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You’ve got to love the Arizona weather at this time of year…

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Snow on the top of the Canyon, and sunny and gorgeous as you go further down the trail and the sun gets high overhead

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And the irony of snow-covered cactus plants…

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…that’s another ‘Only in Arizona’ picture!

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Aloe Vera Plant – growing in the wild along the trail in the canyon

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On the way hiking back up, we found these geodes and minerals dotting the red- rocks (on the left of the picture below)

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We thought them to be very cool, and took pictures for our kids

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Close up of a geode embedded in the canyon wall…

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When we reached the top, we took the free shuttle bus back to our car and drove along the canyon towards the main highway.

We wanted to see more, but more importantly, I don’t know if I wanted to navigate the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway in the dark.

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We didn’t have much daylight left but here are some of the pictures we took along the Canyon on our way out of the park…

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One more cool shot we took was by a Native Indian Flea-Market type place alongside the road by the canyon. It was dark and empty, but we loved the sign:imgsvasdgdfdr-ashx

 

All this is from day 2… and there’s still more to come!

Stay tuned for Part 3 – Coming soon!

To whet your appetite:

 

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Stay tuned!

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One Response

  1. Therowners November 29, 2016
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