Margaret's Crater Lake Summer travel blog

Entering Arizona

Not like Hot Springs where we were encouraged to take home spring...

The Painted Desert

Painted Desert Inn; now a visitor center

Such a fine sight to see

A short walk up the road in Sedona

Notice the moon at upper left

View from the campground (Sedona, AZ)


For some reason, I didn’t have high expectations for the scenery along today’s drive. Was I ever wrong! From the moment I left Albuquerque there were mesas and buttes everywhere. I had the general idea that a mesa is bigger than a butte but I had to look it up to be sure. Indeed that is the case. There are a couple of different criteria for determining when a feature is small enough to be considered a butte. In general, if it is taller than it is wide, that suffices….though some say a mesa has to be big enough to contain either water or game (which automatically implies water) on top.

As I neared Arizona there were fewer mesas but sometimes features I suspect are big enough to be considered plateaus. I knew I would be passing through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park but because I wanted to arrive in Sedona with time to get settled and hopefully take a short walk, I hadn’t planned much time for that park. I couldn’t just pass right by without taking a peek, though… and WOW. I had no idea the park would be so beautiful. I didn’t take time to hike there but I hope to return with time to do that someday. There just isn’t enough time to see everything along the way!

There had to be time, though, for a quick trip into Winslow, AZ….and sure enough Sooner Gnome enjoyed standing on the corner.

I’ve been trying to avoid sugar and fast food on this trip, except for of course some ice cream at Braum’s. In case you don’t know, Braum’s has a chain of stores based in Oklahoma. There are a few of their stores in Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas but the overwhelming majority are in Oklahoma where it seems there is at least one store in every town and many stores in big towns. Braum’s maintains quality control and maximizes profit by cutting out all the middle men – they grow their own feed for their own cows, then operate the dairies, processing plants, and retail stores that distribute their milk and ice cream. So I have splurged at Braum’s but today in Winslow (which is on old Route 66) I wanted to get my kicks with a cherry coke from Sonic. Who can resist cherry coke on Route 66? Besides, my clock said it was 1:58 so I thought if I ordered slowly enough I’d get the half price special that runs from 2-4. [I’m pretty certain there are only half the calories in half priced drinks.] At the drive through my clock said 1:59. When I asked the server whether drinks where half price she replied that didn’t start until 2. I thought she was really being a stickler so I inquired what time she had. She replied that it was 1:00 Mountain Standard Time. Who knew Arizona doesn’t go to Daylight Savings Time…except on Navajo land….nothing like adding a little MORE confusion. So anyway, I turned my clock back another hour and happily paid full price for my small drink. An extra hour is worth more than those few cents in my opinion! Even though I am not yet on Pacific Time I might as well be because Mountain Standard is the same as Pacific Daylight. HA! Tomorrow I will make sure all my clocks and watches are synchronized since I won’t have to adjust them again until heading east in September.

I drove through heavy rain and thunderstorms several times today but the strongest storm was just as I neared Sedona. There was hail but it was not large or hard enough to be damaging. In fact when it hit the car it splattered more than bounced. Still I didn’t get quite the scenic entry into Sedona I had anticipated. After the storm was over I checked in and breathed a big sigh of contentment. I had no trouble backing into the supposedly difficult site (I’ve backed in to much smaller sites than this one, and at worse angles). Since I fit the teardrop into this site I will be here for the next three days to enjoy hiking and sightseeing. YAY! That was quite a relief because I believe all the sites at the USFS campsites are full. I took a walk around the RV Park and up the road a bit this evening, and will hike tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be beautiful for the next couple of days so I should have plenty of photos to share. It is hard to imagine any could be prettier than the scenery from today. What a beautiful country we have!



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