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For our week in Sedona, we stayed in a timeshare condo in Cottonwood. While we didn't get to wake up to view of red rocks each morning, the Highland Resort was just off Route 89A and a short 15 minute ride up to the town of Sedona itself.
As you will soon see, Sonia and I enjoy our meals and, in fact, like to take pictures of them. I was going to create a separate section entitled 'eating our way thru Arizona', but opted instead to include the meals with each day's pictures.
We had an early flight out of Philly. We stopped for lunch on the way to Sedona and then took the scenic way up Route 179, thru Sedona before heading back south to Cottonwood and our condo. All the traffic circles were new since our last visit 9 years ago, and especially slow behind an extra large RV bus towing a car.
After and early mass at Immaculate Conception church in Cottonwood, we headed up to Sedona to check out the shops and get our bearings. After driving around the Upper Red Rock Loop road, we went back to Sedona for a great dinner at Dahl & DiLuca.
We visited three different National Monuments, which were located just off I-17, before taking a break for lunch in the old mining town of Jerome.
Lunch at the Asylum restaurant in the Grand Hotel. Supposedly this building was actually used as a mental hospital at one time. The restaurant itself was all decked out for Halloween!
The weather is a little overcast and we did have some drizzle. We visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the South Ranger Station/Red Rock Welcome center, and then back toward Sedona and the Tlaquepaque, Sedona Arizona's Arts & Crafts Village. Lots of shops and the Oak Creek Brewery & Grill for lunch. A little more sightseeing and then dinner in Cottonwood, at Nic's.
We started the day with a drive up to Sedona to take a morning Pink Jeep tour of the Broken Arrow trail. Lots of great scenery and an exciting jeep ride. They didn't take me up on my offer to drive! In the afternoon, Sonia and I hiked to Devil's Bridge -- a natural bridge formation just outside of Sedona. Despite some light rain on the way back, it was a good hike. Dinner after the hike at Bella Vita, which is located at the Sedona Pine 'resort'. We had stayed there back in 2006.
We've visited the Grand Canyon on several other occasions so felt pretty much at home. However, several things had changed since out last visit 9 years ago. There is now expanded parking at the Visitor Center, since most of the points to the west, beyond Canyon Village, are no longer accessible by private car. You need to take the free shuttle bus provided by the park. The bus is a pretty good deal. You can get off and on as often as you want and even walk from one bus stop to the next if you want to get in a little personal hiking along the rim trail.
Sonia and I had hiked the Bright Angel trail several times, so this trip we had decided to hike on the Kaibab trail. While a shorter overfall distance to the canyon floor, it is also a bit steeper. We didn't go all the way to the floor, since that is typically a 2 day hike. Sonia went to Ooh Aah Point, and Michael went was far as Cedar Ridge.
We also wanted to stay for the sunset to watch the changing colors on the canyon walls. This time it did not seem as cold as last time, but we were better prepared with multiple layers and even gloves. Once the sun was down, we made our way over to Arizona House at Bright Angel Lodge for a rewarding meal, after all the energy we had expended on the hike. We had an enjoyable meal before heading back. There was very little traffic on the first part of the road back except for two big elk standing in the middle of the highway! Fortunately they moved off to the field once I caught them in my headlights.
In the morning we made a run up to the Native American Craft market at Vista Point. Then while the rest of the group took a scenic train ride, Michael went on a hike to Cathedral Rock.
This was probably the best of the three hikes Michael did on the trip. It ended up being several miles longer than I planned, because the primary trail head parking lot was full. The alternate lot added about 4 miles to the hike by my rough calculation. Fortunately it was fairly easy hiking, evidenced by the fact that several bikers where also using the trail. One of the people I met on the trail warned me that the final stage of the 'hike' was really more of a climb, and he certainly was right about that. I thought that since I had hike the day before in the Grand Canyon, which is at a high elevation, without any problems, I wouldn't have any issues on this hike. However, the last part of the hike was fairly steep, so I may several stops to give my lungs a rest, while I took some pictures.
We hated to leave, but know that we will come back again. We've rekindled our appreciation for Red Rock country!