The scenery in Sedona is just as breathtaking as we remembered from our last visit many years ago. The town itself has grown substantially and become a major tourist destination. None the less we had a great time here as we found solitude while we hiked in the Red Rocks and boondocked under the stars in the Coconino NF.
The coffee scene was limited so we are not posting any highlights in that regard.
Departing for the Valley of the Gods in the morning. 0081,0082,0083,0084
We spent a couple of nights in Flagstaff or “Flag” as the locals refer to the city. This city of approximately 70,000 sits at 7000 feet above sea level in the Coconino NF with the San Francisco Peaks as the backdrop. The town still boasts a lively and well preserved downtown with local merchants, restaurants and most importantly good coffee. Flag is home to Northern Arizona University (The Lumberjacks). We have found that many of the towns we have visited that have a nice vibe like Flag have a university or college located within the city or town.
We visited three coffee roasters while in Flag. All were legit but our favorite was Firecreek Coffee Company. We have included photos from all three below.
While traveling our focus is to see new places, meet new people, try new adventures, however, as we wander we do need to deal with the mundane. For one of us that means doing laundry, for the other it means getting a haircut. Pictured below is Hermanis Ulibarri. A haircut from Mr. Ulibarri turned out to be anything but mundane. Mr. Ulibarri is 77 years old and has been “barbering” since his return from serving in Vietnam over 50 years ago. He has given haircuts to tourists from all over the world and has quite a following of French clients that spend time in Flag on a regular basis. Lots of interesting stories. Oh, and cash only if you stop in for a haircut on your next visit to Flagstaff.
Just a few miles east of Flag is the Walnut Canyon NM. We spent an afternoon there viewing some of the extremely well preserved ancient cliff dwellings. These dwellings were constructed by the Sinagua People during the 12th to 13th centuries. The dwellings sit 300 feet above the canyon floor and provided protection from the weather, animals and rivals. The Island Trail has been constructed so that visitors can descend 200 feet down into the canyon and actually go inside a number of the dwellings. Amazing to think of an entire community raising families, growing crops, hunting, storing water and food while living 300 feet above the canyon floor.
We are off to Sedona for some hiking in the Red Rocks and perhaps to experience the energy of the purported vortices!
In order to watch game three of the World Series, we spent a night in a hotel in Page. Go Sox! Page was established in 1957 to support the thousands of workers and their families during the construction of the massive Glen Canyon Dam, which took over ten years. The dam is over 700 feet tall and 1000 feet wide. The construction of this dam created Lake Powell which provides water and electric power for western states. The lake and the surrounding area are now a significant tourist draw for boating and OHV riding.
Leaving Page for Flagstaff, we journeyed through the Navajo Nation Reservation which spans 27,000 square miles across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The population of the reservation is about 350,000. We have never been on a reservation without feeling a measure of sadness. The housing on reservations consists of trailers and ramshackle cabins. The poverty is obvious. What we saw within the Navajo Nation in Arizona was no different. The B+W photos in this post were taken on the reservation. I did not include any photos of tribal housing as it would be disrespectful. You will also see the issue of uranium mining being addressed in the art below. Navajo tribal members have significantly higher rates of cancer and other illnesses from exposure to uranium that was mined within the reservation; slag was left on the surface for years and mines were not sealed.