Saturday, April 7, 2007

We went to Arizona

Click on that tiny red X above to see our photos.

Our road trip was so full of amazing sights that on the last day, the Sinagua people's cliff dwellings elicited a "that's nice" from the children. Their ability to marvel had been strained.

Monday, we visited a mile wide meteor crater. Gusts of wind at the edge threatened to make us airborne, especially John. Suggestions that we tie a string to him and see how far he'd go were not greeted with enthusiasm. Afterward, we puttered around the downtown area of Flagstaff and took some hopefully haunted photos at the ghost-ridden old hotel.

Tuesday we went to the Grand Canyon. You can really get in some good marveling there. Towards the end of our visit, someone said, " Whoe, that's a really big bird!" and "That's a condor!" We saw a flock of California Condor that had been released into the wild 70 miles north eleven years ago. They occasionally roost on the Canyons' edge near Bright Angel Lodge, and we were lucky enough to be there for their visit.

Wednesday, we visited the Museum of Northern Arizona. The Museum was very lovely. A perfect mix of history, artifacts, photos and paintings. The building and setting were equally as satisfying. It is set in a Ponderosa Pine forest on the edge of a small gorge - see photos.

Wednesday night, we went to the Lowell Observatory nighttime program. Being the space geeks we all are, this was a high point. Lowell is, of course, the place where Pluto was discovered. We were allowed to look through the telescope, not once, but twice. We saw both Venus (slightly blurry but bright) and Saturn (looked just like Saturn, amazingly enough). I loved the young astronomers who ran the program. It was a 'If I had my life to live over,' kind of moment.

Thursday, we headed home, by way of Oak Creek canyon. Meg and I hiked here summer before last, and I was so happy to show it to Bill and the kids. We didn't have time to hike, but they got in some good stone-skipping. (again, see photos)

We ate in Sedona. Poor Sedona. The hills and canyons are spectacular, but the crowds and aggressive advertising make me reluctant to ever go there again. After lunch, we stopped at the aforementioned Montezuma's Castle cliff dwellings, and headed back home.