Picture Pages – Volume Arizona

Monumental Rearview

Without further ado, we put Monument Valley in the rearview.

Our plans in Monument Valley fell through due to a variety of less than ideal circumstances (packs of feral dogs, broken glass everywhere, nonexistent help to register for a campground that was built with a sardine can type layout in mind, etc). So we made the decision to push on to Flagstaff, AZ and adjust our existing hotel reservations there so we could have a couple of days to finish up some work and do some exploring there instead.



We spent the first full day attending to the business of being on the road and Lance plotted out a nice itinerary for doing some exploring on the second day. Our first stop was about 20 miles south in Sedona, AZ. Here, we visited the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park.

Amitaba Stupa and Peace Park

One of many Buddhas surrounded with offerings and prayer flags throughout the Peace Park.

Prickly Love

A sweetly shaped prickly pear. A heart with a crown of fruits to my eye.









Our second stop, after driving the scenic route through Red Rock State Park and making our way back north through Flagstaff, was Walnut Canyon National Monument, which is the home of several Hopi cliff dwelling ruins and has quite an impressive interpretive trail along the cliff walls where several of the pueblos are available to explore.

Walnut Canyon Hopi Dwelling

Walnut Canyon National Monument (Hopi cliff dwellings)

Tiny Cliff Dwelling

Lance demonstrating the ceiling clearance in a different kind of tiny house.










Pueblo Door

Door between rooms in a Hopi cliff dwelling.

Pueblo Door 2

The friendly Gollum?











We closed out the day at Elden Pueblo Ruins, which was more of an active archaeological dig just off of a highway and surrounded by businesses. Not nearly so peaceful a setting as the previous two places we visited, but still interesting to compare these ruins with those of the cliff dwellers. These were once occupied by the Sinagua between 1070 and 1275 AD.

Eldon Pueblo Ruins Sweat Lodge







A short two hours north of Flagstaff, our next planned stop was the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. We arrived and chose a campsite and still had plenty of afternoon light to check out the views from the top. We both hiked and drove parts of Hermit’s Rest Road and did our best to capture the grandeur with our little camera and a little evidence of smog from faraway cities on a relatively clear day.

CO River View

Looking west. The Colorado River, one vertical mile down, is just visible in the upper third of the photo (just left of center).


A ravine from the top.










Juniper Bud

There were smaller details, too. Like feathery juniper blooms.

Mule in Shadow

A mule deer just below Hermit’s Rest tries her hand at camouflage.











River Reflected

The canyon reflected in a relatively placid section of river. Once again, this is a vertical mile from where we were standing, so not the sharpest image.

The next day, we hiked the South Kaibab Trail from the trailhead near Yaki Point to Skeleton Point, which is 2,040 feet below the rim and over halfway to the bottom in terms of mileage (3 miles). It was even more astounding to be inside the canyon and seeing previously faraway features coming into sharper relief with every step.

Ooh Aah

A nice young gent offered to take our photo at Ooh Aah Point, which is the first waypoint on the trail, one half mile down.

Cedar Ridge

This is the view from Cedar Ridge, which is 1.5 miles down and halfway to our turnaround at Skeleton Point (beige rock just visible between the lowest two limbs).












Agave Bloom

An agave bloom in the canyon.

Rock Squirrel

A very patient, and somewhat curious, rock squirrel. Thanks for the pose, buddy!











Mule Train

Giving right of way to a mule train.

Happy Trails

Happy trails! Thanks for all the extra obstacles (read: landmines) in our path! 😉









We tend to "leapfrog" our way up and down trails. When I'm bringing up the rear, I like to try and get action photos from time to time while we are on the move. :-)

We tend to “leapfrog” our way up and down trails. When I’m bringing up the rear, I like to try and get action photos from time to time while we are on the move. 🙂
PS There is no finer trail partner than this. ❤

Skeleton Point

Skeleton Point, three miles down the South Kaibab Trail. The camera battery died here, so this is the best shot I had. :-/



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