Posts tagged Arizona
We woke up Tuesday morning and toured a bit of Flagstaff, AZ. It was a great looking town, but provided some interesting surprises including Katelyn being scammed into buying some “local” earrings. See her side of the story here:
We otherwise just walked around and snapped some shots before moving on.
We were anxious to get moving and see some of the scenery so we drove to Sedona, AZ to check out the sites. Here’s a video of some of the drive:
Getting to Sedona was our first non-GPS frustration, but we managed with a combination of gas station directions and good luck. Thankfully, Katelyn and I have done pretty well at seeing the bright side of frustrations and keep ourselves laughing. Here’s an example of how we do this:
Once we enjoyed some time in Sedona, we decided to try to make it to the Grand Canyon before dark and get some good pictures. We weren’t quite sure what to expect because neither of us had been there, but we prepared to be amazed. We got a little lost and confused actually getting to the canyon (we didn’t think it’d be so hard to find something so incredibly huge), but we made it! (For any Radcliffe players reading this– check out my sweatshirt!!)
The Grand Canyon is in fact, very grand, and was really breathtaking.
This photo below is especially for you, Mom!
We drove around to some other vistas around sunset and took in more sites before we ran out of daylight.
After we were done, we drove to Page, AZ, a small town right near the border of Utah and spent the night in a motel. This little town was pretty quiet, hampering our plans to be social and meet some locals, but thankfully Katelyn and I are still creative and always able to find fun in the most unexpected circumstances.
The next morning we woke up and decided to just see where the day took us. We headed towards Lake Powell, which ended up being only a few miles from Page. We stumbled upon a deserted park area with an awesome view of the lake and the surrounding landscapes.
We found these amazing rock/sandstone formations and had some room to hike around and explore. We were less than prepared for intense hiking, but still managed to climb around.
I managed to make it to the top of the tallest formation around us, and got an awesome 360 view of the area.
The solitude and peace of the area were amazing (one of the benefits of touring areas on the off-season). The sun was shining and warm, and we spent some time just relaxing on the rocks.
We’ve been taking a lot of pictures obviously, so I wanted to get creative. You gotta spice it up right?
After getting our fill of Lake Powell, we decided to get a move on and drive towards Monument Valley to get more of a taste of the southwest. Apparently Monument Valley is where a lot of the western movies were filmed, and it was conveniently en route to our final destination for the day (Boulder, CO), so we could hardly resist stopping for some more photos and scenery.
Monument Valley was also gorgeous. This part of the country was honestly hard for me to wrap my mind around. It was hard not to feel like I had walked into some dream world. These landscapes are so unique and different from everything I’m familiar with, yet they exude this incredibly feeling of nature and its power. It was also interesting to see a bit of the Native American culture. We visited a Navajo market, and I found myself incredibly curious about their culture and also just was hit by the reality of how little I know about their lifestyle, culture and history. I felt the same curiosity that I’ve had for other cultures in Asia and Africa, but realized that these cultures are in our own backyard.
Despite the intellectually intriguing conversation that was sparked between Katelyn and I about the situation of Native Americans, we still saw Monument Valley as the perfect backdrop to our next Roadside Dance Party. Although we got a few less honks than the first time in California, we still had a blast. We’re still hoping that one of these days someone will actually join us. (And we’re still shamelessly trying to get on the Ellen Show!)
We also stopped off at a few more places for photos with the scenic backdrop, but again, we’ve felt compelled to make our pictures more interesting.
Once we lost daylight though, we had to focus on getting to Boulder, which was a good haul.
We spent probably a good 13 or 14 hours in the car, hit some snow going through the Rockies, and kept ourselves entertained with lots of music, Dairy Queen (Reese’s blizzards are lifesavers) and other antics to break up the monotony and keep us laughing. We finally made it to Boulder at about 1am, tired but triumphant after a long but awesome day.
We woke up this morning to another beautiful California day, and after a final hurrah of soaking up the sun, drinking some of our favorite LA coffee, and hitting up Trader Joe’s for some road snacks and cheap California wine, we hit the road and began the actual journey east.
We cruised on I-40 most of the way, rocking out to some old favorites like Ace of Base, Robyn and other classics… yes, classics. Get ready for more videos on the way! (All videos thus far are on YouTube, just search for FeminineAdrenaline)
Before we crossed out of California we stopped at In-N-Out Burger, a California staple that we had been wanting to try for a while.
The place only has 3 options on the menu, but the place was packed. It’s probably comparable to the popularity of Wawa’s in Bucktown, except for fast food.
We got a dose of some “middle of nowhere” culture at some rest stops and gas stations on the road, complete with a pair of cowboys and Route 66 memorabilia. One gas station had a sign up requesting that patrons didn’t complain to the employees about anything “because it costs a fortune to run this place in the middle of nowhere”. Something I never really considered but can totally believe after driving for hours and seeing how sparsely populated this part of the country is. Katelyn and I are looking forward to parts of our drive when we’ll get to explore more of these places (like rural Kansas) where we can get a taste of what life is like and see some local culture. Everything is a huge reminder of how huge and diverse our country really is.
Once we hit Arizona, we were welcomed with a 75 mph speed limit and that, in addition to the good company (Katelyn and I are extremely compatible road trip companions), made the miles fly by and before we knew it we found ourselves in Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff immediately struck both of us as a cool area with a lot to explore. The only problem is there are huge piles of snow lining all the streets (I thought the only blizzards were in Philly and DC…?) and I arrived in my flip flops and short sleeves. We both thought we’d get a chance to hold on to warmer weather a little longer, but I guess it’s goodbye palm trees and hello winter because apparently it’s only getting colder from here.
We had to find a place to stay and we heard word of an international hostel and that’s where we are now.
As travelers, Katelyn and I were immediately struck by the hostel vibe like a breath of fresh air and were reminiscent of our previous travels and the overall travel culture that she and I have been so familiar with at different points in our lives. Our plans to mingle were dashed only because we’re too sleepy right now, but we’re hoping to explore a bit of Flagstaff tomorrow before making our way to the Grand Canyon and more adventures.