Thursday, August 13, 2015

Road Trip 4: Downward to Phoenix

I spend a couple of hours in the morning wandering and "old" Flagstaff.  No, this is not the Flagstaff of cowboy legends...  just the old downtown area, consisting of small stores and restaurants in buildings dating to the early 20th century.  It's a pleasant morning, but there isn't a lot to do, so I decide to get on the road to Sedona.

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As I leave Flagstaff, the road takes on the character of mountain roads in the Sierras.  It's narrow and winding, and along the way there are pine forests, walls of rock, and dramatic dropoffs.  The rocks are reddish brown, rather than the grey of Sierra granite, but otherwise the drive feels familiar.

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Sedona is amazing!  The main street is filled with busy shops and restaurants, but the bustling downtown can't begin to compete with the beauty of the surroundings.

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The road gradually straightens as I leave Sedona.  It continues to descend, and I once again find myself in desert.  From time to time I pass stands of Saguaro cactus that seem to stretch for miles. This feels like the desert of the old west.

My arrival in Phoenix is anti-climactic.  Traffic builds, and the freeway widens.  There are more onramps and offramps, and soon I am passing by shopping malls and car dealers.

There is a heat alert in Phoenix today.  When I arrive at my hotel, the temperature is 112 degrees. Improbably, there is a basketball court outside my room.  I think I'll skip shooting hoops today.  Maybe tomorrow.  But probably not.

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