Flagstaff, Arizona

October 23, 2010

Our next destination was Flagstaff.

To get there, we would have to get past a natural barrier: the Rio Grande river.

Anticlimactically, we passed right over it before I even knew it was there. So we went back to give it the proper deference.

And more nature lay along the road ahead.

First, there was the Painted Desert. Very nice.

Then, there was the Petrified Forest. Quite cool.

Plus there were some Petroglyphs. That’s not really nature, but it’s certainly different than Starbucks or a gift shop.

We then reached Flagstaff.

Flagstaff not only has a great name, but it’s a great place. It has both an urban and mountain feel. The buildings are old, but the people are young. The downtown is interesting and authentic.

One of the old buildings downtown has a yoga studio on the third floor with an uneven and creaky wood floor. Class is free for first-time visitors.

During my free yoga class, the instructor mentioned that there wasn’t much time left to go up the mountain and see the Aspens while they were yellow. I had left the East Coast a bit too early for leaf peeping, but now I had a second chance. So the next morning, after a leisurely morning of blogging in a cafe, Kettle and I drove up the mountain and found the Aspens.

We turned up a dirt road and went into the woods, then parked and took a 15 minute walk into the woods, taking pictures along the way.

I had taken Kettle’s leash off so he could run around. But when we returned to the car, I was no longer holding his leash. At some point I must have put the leash down, probably when I was taking a picture.

The leash was brown and would be hard to spot. And there had been no trail, so we had wandered around in a haphazard loop. Thus there was no clear route to retrace.

But I had the pictures in my phone, so we backtracked photo by photo. I would position myself so I was looking at the same view as in the picture, then I would look down for the leash.

In this manner, Kettle and I re-did our walk backwards. I eventually found the leash, at the site of the last (well, first) picture …

10 yards from my car.

Fortunately the only witness to this inefficiency was Kettle – and he was just happy to have gotten to take the walk again.

There are advantages to having a dog as your companion.

From there we went to the Grand Canyon, which Kettle had never seen.

Unfortunately the weather changed and by the time we got there it was raining and foggy. So our view of the Canyon was obscured by mist.

But Kettle wasn’t disappointed.

There are advantages to having a dog as your companion.

But we knew that.

Head on the sand at the Rio Grande

Maybe it's grander somewhere else.

The Painted Desert

Petrified wood below

Petrified wood right here.

Is this supposed to be a bone?

I refuse to look.

Cloudy Grand Canyon

Next stop, Vegas. Yabbadabbadoo!

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