We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Well, maybe not so much sojourn as it was 'passing through', but we did spend some time in both. I wish I could say we took in the sights, did a trail hike, maybe a Pink Jeep tour, stood in a vortex, watched the crazy BMX bikers on those thin Sedona trails, and ate at fine dining establishments. When you travel with seven people in rented van and you've got a schedule to stick to, you have to forego some of the finer things.
My goal was to get a feel for the Grand Canyon and Sedona for a longer trip in the future, while being able to see some of the impressive natural (and man-made) wonders that abound.
Sedona was stunning. Visually moving. It is not nearly as awe-inspiring as the Grand Canyon, it's just very pretty. The trip up 89A through smaller canyons, up switchbacks, along Oak Creek (which was full of swimmers and sunbathers) on our way to Williams, was full of even more nature's grandeur.
A view as we entered Sedona:
Chapel of the Holy Cross by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was a devotee and pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright. She had enlisted his son to build a church in Hungary, but WWII put a stop to it. So the plans were shifted to Sedona, where land was granted. I didn't get a chance to stop in, and could only see it from a distance. So I borrowed the picture beneath this one to give a better view.
The original homestead of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, who essentially built, and named Sedona. He had applied to be a US Post Office, and when he was granted this post he had to name the town. So he named it after his wife, Sedona. Schnebly moved quite a bit, even back to Missouri, before returning to, and dying in, Sedona. I'm amazed he built his home next to a parking lot. He should have realized it wasn't conducive to relaxation.
Snoopy Rock - so named for what I believe are obvious reasons...
A view from the middle of town.
On to Williams, Arizona - which was the last town bypassed by interstate 40, in 1983. I have a tremendous love for old Route 66 towns, and try to visit them whenever I can. Williams is full of Route 66 kitsch, which is fine. Trying to hang on to a legacy with such enduring roots is difficult. Williams is the site of the "World Famous" Sultana Bar. I'm not sure what made it "World Famous" aside from the fact that it was one of the last dinner theaters in the West (think can-can dancers), but it's also famous because when the railroad was being built, the Chinese workers built tunnels under all the buildings. These tunnels still exist (I didn't get to see them, though I saw the entrance to one in the Canyon Club) and were used for various activities such as gambling by the railroad workers. During Prohibition, the tunnels were used to traffic liquor - with one tunnel actually leading directly to the police station.
We spent a few hours in the Canyon Club, a classic honky-tonk bar with extremely friendly locals and a fun barmaid. It was a very nice evening for just hanging out at a bar which still offered a glimpse of what travel entertainment Route 66 may have offered.
One other interesting note - Hop Sing's Chinese restaurant in Williams? Don't eat there. Mainly because it's a medical marijuana dispensary now.
The ladies of the Red Garter were just hanging out the windows to welcome us.
Like your photos and descriptions. The West is a magnificent place and the red rock country you visited is some of the best. Zane Grey wrote about it a lot. The National Parks in the West give a pretty good representation of what it was like 150+ years ago but if you really want the experience just get off the beaten path a little. There a some hidden gems that take your breath away. One of my college roommates was on a mission--visit and camp in all the National Parks...took him 25 years but he did it.
I've spent the night in Zanesville, of all places. Named after Zane's father, who moved there from Wheeling, pioneering Zane's Trace - essentially a road. Later became part of the National Road, or US 40.
Never read any Zane Grey, though. I wasn't really a fan of Westerns.
Agree with you on the West, though. I've always loved visiting out there.
Driving is fun, but another alternative is to take Amtrak's Southwest Chief from either LA or Chicago and get off in Flagstaff. It is a nice drive down Oak Creek canyon to Sedona.
I enjoyed Flagstaff even more than Sedona. Be sure to visit Lowell Observatory where the canals of Mars were mapped and the planet Pluto was discovered. It is just outside of Flagstaff. My daughter was an intern there in college.