Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flagstaff, Arizona (April 19, 2012- April 24, 2012)

Flagstaff, Arizona sits at 7,000 feet (2,130 m) elevation, located adjacent to the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in North America. The area around Flagstaff is considered a high elevation semi-desert and it is one of the prettiest cities we have visited in the past several months.

We parked at the Flagstaff KOA and found the folks there very congenial. However, like so many other RV parks we have visited over the past few years this one had many full-time residents living in their RVs.  It was obvious that more than 50% of the RVs had not been moved in years. Besides that, though, it was a very clean and comfortable place.

Our first day here we toured the town and stocked up on some essentials.  The downtown area is very quaint and has a lot of trendy places to visit. Unfortunately, Joyce became ill and had to see a doctor on our second day here so we decided to just relax for several days. That was a good decision for we all needed a few days of doing nothing.  The RV park was adjacent to a trail head and we were able to walk the boys through the beautiful and quiet forest.

The rest paid off for Joyce was feeling much better on Sunday morning so we packed us all up for a day trip to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks. Interstate 40/US Route 180 was built over much of what used to be US Route 66, The Mother Road.  It is mostly gone now, but portions of it remain and we got off the highway to travel those stretches a much as we could.  The two main portions were through Winslow, Arizona made famous by the Eagles 1972 song "Take it Easy" and Holbrook, Arizona home of the famous and iconic Wigwam Motel. The drive was very interesting and seeing a lot of places we've seen in books, on TV and in the movies made it all the more interesting.

We arrived at the Petrified Forest Visitor Center and toured its displays and petrified garden.  We found it amusing the boys would sniff the petrified wood as if they knew it wasn't always a rock.  The drive through the park is about 28 miles.  The last few miles are through the Painted Desert, another beautiful piece of this country. I must say this was another very beautiful park.

This is a roadside exhibit memorializing the Old Route 66. In the background there is a line of telephone poles where the original road was.  The road is gone and all that remains are the poles.  Farther back you can see I-40.

Our short stay in Flagstaff was coming to an end.  The next leg of our trip will take us through some very desolate areas so we spent Monday stocking up on vittles, fuel and anything else we did not think we could find in the very small towns we were about to visit. Our next stop will be at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park in Bluff, Utah.

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