Sunday, November 9, 2014
After my conference ended, Jim joined me in Phoenix with a rental car that had been complimentary upgraded. We were taking a red camaro camping.
That first afternoon, we drove from Tempe (where I had lunch with a friend) to our camping spot. A free-to-use, middle-of-nowhere "campground" just off of 89A outside of Cottonwood-Verde Village. I'm going to recommend that if you wish to follow in our footsteps, that you do not take Bill Gray Road to get to your destination. It did not look like a fun/safe drive. Of course, we set up in the dark so didn't realize where we had ended up until morning, but we did know there were coyotes in the middle of the night and the milky way was visible (I have thing for stars). It turned out to be a beautiful spot in the desert.
The next morning, a tourism office pointed us to the "ghost town" (not really) of Jerome with some lovely views of the valley, before we headed up scenic 89A to Sedona proper.
Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ is gorgeous. These photos are an awful approximation of the lovely rocks, but I also have a soft spot for weird topography. Heading South on Rte 17, we stopped at the Chapel of the Holy Cross which had a nice view of the Cathedral Rocks. We found our way to Cathedral Rock Trail that brought us much closer. The trail was a rather grueling 1.5 miles with a 600 ft ascent, and 2/3 of it is done in a near vertical climb with footholds carved into the rocks. Just a bit of adventure to top off the day!
Sedona, Arizona, 1 day
Tucson, Arizona, 3 days
White Sands, New Mexico, 1 day
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1 day
Roswell & Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1 day each