Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How I Spent My Spring Break (Part 2--Flexibility)

Day 2 of my vacation in Phoenix with Son Tony, where we started out thinking we were going to do one thing, but ended up changing course.

Tony had arranged for us to drive to Sedona, where we'd meet up with a tour company for a day trip to the Grand Canyon.  It takes almost two hours to get to Sedona and the van was leaving at 8:00, so we got up early, ate breakfast, and got on the road. It didn't take long to leave the metropolitan area, and soon the road was a ribbon cutting through the desert plants.

We arrived at our meetup spot at a coffee shop about fifteen minutes early, then sat inside and tried to figure out which of the other people would be joining us on the trip.  Eight o'clock came and went, and Tony called the tour company to find out if we were in the right place.  He came back with some disappointing news.

There had been snow in the mountains on Monday which closed the Interstate and caused our tour to be cancelled!  They had forgotten to call and let us know.  Tony explained that we only had one day in the area, and we had driven quite a ways to get there.  Could the company do anything for us?

Forty five minutes later a tour van pulled into the parking lot. A souvenir insulated lunch bag that contained a bag of granola and a stainless steel water bottle was waiting on each of our seats. For the next five hours, we had our our own private tour of the Sedona area along with a personal tour guide, who regaled us with stories of the area's geographic formations, history, and culture.

Sedona is noted for its stunning array of red sandstone formations, the Red Rocks.  They're everywhere!  We made several stops to see them close up, and saw some of them from more than one angle.  We also drove to Montezuma's Castle National Monument, where we saw some wonderful Indian ruins with "apartment type" ancient cliff dwellings, and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built into the side of a rock.  The driver pointed out where all the good shopping areas were, and we stopped at a great restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we drove up the Scenic Oak Creek Canyon Drive (which was designated by Rand McNally as one of America's Top 5 Most Scenic Drives.)  When we got to the top, there was an overlook, but sadly it was closed because of the previous day's snow.  On the way down the driver stopped at an artesian spring that was right off the side of the road, where we filled our water bottles and sampled the cold, clear spring water.  We drove to the city airport, located on top of a mesa, where there was another wonderful view of the surrounding countryside, then through the Seven Canyons area with even more views.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end, so the van drove back to the coffee shop and dropped us off.  As Tony and I started our drive back to Phoenix, I remarked I didn't know how I could have had a better day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's awesome the company sent you your own tour guide! What beautiful country, it looks like amazing weather as well.

    Sounds like you had a magnificent spring break, good for you!