It Has Been a Roller Coaster Ride

The last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us.  There has been a good bit of fun, including visits to Jerome and Sedona, AZ, and some big disappointments.  But let’s talk about the fun stuff first!

As mentioned in our last post, we were staying in the Cottonwood, AZ area, and when talking to family and fellow travelers about the area, several people recommended a day trip to Jerome.  Jerome started as a copper mining town and at one time had a population of 15,000.  Today it is nowhere near that.  The population today is somewhere between 400 and 600 residents, and mining here is a thing of the past.  It is now a tourist destination with lots of unique little shops and a very artistic feel.  We aren’t usually into tourist towns, and going into and out of 100 stores is not our thing, so we picked the two that looked the most interesting, and weren’t disappointed with our selections.  Unfortunately, we aren’t sure of the names of the stores we chose, so you will have to explore for yourself if in the area.  The first shop we chose sold an assortment of artisan wool rugs, pillows, and other textiles.  They were gorgeous.  They were a bit out of our price range, but fun to look at, none-the-less.  The second shop wasn’t a bit out of our price range, it was VERY out of our price range!  It was a store that sold hand-made kaleidoscopes of every shape and size.  The craftsmanship was second to none and we were amazed at the detail put into each one.    The most impressive part of Jerome, though, was definitely the setting of the town.  The narrow roads and buildings are terraced on the side of Cleopatra Hill and it all looks like it could slide down the hill at any given moment.  It was a surreal setting and it was worth the 20 minute drive just to see how the town is situated on the hill.

Also, while staying in Cottonwood we took a day trip to Sedona.  We have heard for years about the amazing red rocks of Sedona, and with it being only a short 40 minute drive away, we had to check it out.  The scenery and giant red rocks are truly a sight to behold.  We did a couple of scenic drives around the area and took a hike to Chicken Point on Little Horse Trail.  We found the natural aspects of the area to be everything we had ever heard.  What we didn’t care so much for, though, was the commercialism.  Sedona is CROWDED.  We had two other hikes picked out to do ahead of Chicken Point, but couldn’t do either of them because all the parking lots were full.  Aside from the crowds, though, we also found that the area is teeming with OHVs (off highway vehicles, i.e. side-by-sides, ATVs, etc.) and jeep tours, and there is a large amount of air traffic due to airplane and helicopter tours. Even on a four mile hike, we couldn’t escape the noise.  We are sure all those things are fun for the participants, but it does detract from the solitude that you expect in a natural area like this.  There are still so many things we would like to do and see there, though, that we would go back if in the area again; it was just a little disappointing to have the constant noise.  One quick recommendation, in case you ever find yourself hungry in Sedona.  We had some of the best burgers we have ever had at a little hole in the wall restaurant called Senor Bob’s Hot Dogs.  Of course they sold hot dogs as well, but we both went for burgers and are SO GLAD we did.  Try it.  We bet you will like it!

Now for our disappointments.  The weather has caused us some issues in the last few days and we have had to cancel some much anticipated plans.  The locals all talk about what an unprecedented year this is and how they are getting so much more snow, wind, and bad weather in general than usual.  That’s just our luck!  So we first had to cancel a move to the Winslow area to see Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert because of snow in Flagstaff.  But even more disappointing than that…Back in September we booked reservations at Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon and were looking so forward to our visit there.  However, the day we were scheduled to go, they were also forecast to get 12 inches of snow, and Flagstaff (which we would have to drive through to get there) was supposed to get 22 inches.  Because we couldn’t be assured that the roads would even be open, much less in good shape when we would be traveling, we made the difficult decision to cancel our reservations.  We will have to save the Grand Canyon for another trip.  Neither of us are happy about it, but it has made Heather especially grumpy.  We are doing our best to learn to be flexible, take things as they come, and realize that it is all part of the journey, but that can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow.  On the plus side, since we didn’t make it to Grand Canyon, we have a few free days to take another shot at Winslow, Petrified Forest, and Painted Desert.  Stay tuned!

Go with us on our hike in Sedona in the video below!

Until next time!

4 thoughts on “It Has Been a Roller Coaster Ride”

  1. The only thing I don’t believe is that Heather talks to locals!

    Love that the images are now clickable!

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