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The Great Arizona Odyssey
posted by John : February 28 - March 9, 2014


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This is Arizona


If you were planning a trip to Arizona what would you want to do? Maybe go to Spring Training? Lounge by the pool? Seems legit.

For you.

It's been a couple of years since Nana and Papa got a place outside Phoenix and the only Moosefish visit was Amy. She worked her bum off for a week cleaning, exterminating, and making the place liveable... just in time to go home.

This time we (I) had plans to see the whole Southwest in a week. It could happen... right? Remember how we saw most of Central Oregon in a week on the Great 2013 Oregon Road Trip? Letterboxing, volcanos, rock climbing, waterfalls. We did it all. So what was the plan for Arizona?

Start with a quest to find a saguaro cactus and wild burros. It was surprisingly mild weather and the cactus were both plentiful and strangely human. No burros, though.

Of course, we went to a Spring Training game. And of course it was the first day it'd rained in months. The game was called on account of lightning, but we made it back to the car safely.

After that, you'd think we'd take a break. Nope. Big rain meant a usually dry waterfall was flowing. In the desert! Bonus: Petroglyphs and yet more cactus.

Ok, ok. We've done Phoenix. Now... North, to the Grand Canyon. We drove through Sedona and the Oak Creek Canyon. The former was gorgeous, but touristy. The latter was twisty and carsick. Still, much better than just driving the whole way on the freeway.

The highlight of the trip: The Grand Canyon. Amazing. Just... amazing. Find a time and go. You must.

On the way back we stopped at a human-made spectacle, Montezuma Castle. Human ingeniouty is amazing.

Phew, back in Phoenix, but only for a day. The pool beckoned, but so did the mountains. I left that night to catch a ride to Flagstaff (aka, "Flag" if you're cool) to climb Arizona's highest point. Humphrey Peak is 12,633 feet tall and surprisingly cold for being in the desert.

The rest was legitimate pool time, just chilling under the blue skies that finally arrived. Well, those that had finished their homework were allowed to chill. Vacation doesn't mean the rest of the world waits for our return.

And so passed another great vacation. Special thanks to Nana and Papa that hosted, guided us, and put up with my crazy need for adventure. Don't worry, I'm sure someday I'll mellow out. Until then, you might want to vacation without us.

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