When I was a kid in the 1960s, I read Dennis the Menace comics. One edition had the Mitchell family vacationing around America and the trip included Arizona. Or “Harry-zona” as Dennis called it. When they visited the Grand Canyon Dennis asked his Dad, “So who dug it?” Henry Mitchell patiently explained about the passage of time, water, wind erosion etc., and Dennis nodded along until his Dad was finished but said again, “So who dug it?” Now I sort of understand how Dennis felt upon seeing the Grand Canyon as we did today. (South Rim). It’s impossible to comprehend how so much time had to have elapsed to create this natural wonderment. Perhaps it was the start of Spring Break, but this was the second day in a row that we realized humanity was returning from hibernation.
But before we headed down to the South Rim, we stopped at the trail head of the Horseshoe Bend Canyon, (left photo), just outside Page, AZ. Once Dee took sight of the rugged, three quarter mile trial, her non-hiking shoes, she assigned me to be the single, official photographer. The one person least qualified to stand on a cliff edge and peer into a 400′ canyon. Once I realized my inability to come within sight of the canyon, I beckoned over three Japanese youths standing perilously close to the edge. The first understood, the second admired my Canon camera and the third, who happened to work for Canon, happily obliged me and took my required shots. Wonderful serendipity.
On the road to the Grand Canyon, Dee spotted a billboard advertising Helicopter Rides over the canyon. I quoted from Amy Weinhouse’s song, Rehab, Nooooh, no, no, no!!!” After the South Rim, we looped around the Grand Canyon National Park through Williams and skipped off I.17 to the joined towns of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona and their Red Rocks in the Coconino National Forest at late afternoon. We thought we were tapped out on terracotta colored rocks, but Sedona, particularly, is exceptional. An attractive, orderly small town with the architectural neatness I have come to recognize from Phoenix. Quality properties designed and focused specifically around the red rock vistas with a one way traffic system that includes walking, biking and horse riding trails. An outdoor world. Don’t bother coming unless you want to get outside and enjoy all this.
The last short stretch was down I.17 towards Phoenix/Anthem area, 30 miles North of Phoenix. A chance to save on our Hampton Inn and be best poised to get an early move in start. But, the apartment isn’t quite ready for a 9 a.m. key pick up. The “cleaners”, the “man installing cabinet knobs”. Cleaners? They are actually going to clean? I won’t spend my first day in Phoenix scrubbing my new home until it is me? I’ll take it!
That last drive down was all … green, green, green! Where did all the green come from? Green desert? The Valley, as Phoenix is know, must have had a wet Winter. The ubiquitous Saguaro Cacti standing to attention with ‘arms’ crocked skyward in desert embracing Spring. Dee and I dined el Mexican and el fresco, and luxuriated in the warm air that seems to just caress you. That is after we asked if they could turn off the over head heat lamps. Heat lamps? Phoenix … this just isn’t cold.
(Spring Cacti in Sedona)