(Flagstaff, AZ) Hi 77 Lo 40 – Today was another sunny, beautiful day, so we spent the day checking out Sedona. Sedona, the town of red rock formations and a favorite destination of new agers and spiritualists, is about 35 miles south of Flagstaff on AZ Hwy 89A. It’s amazing the difference in terrain in this area compared to Phoenix and Tucson. Most of the drive was through thick pine forests.
As we neared Sedona the road turned very curvy with a lot of switchbacks, and suddenly we started to see the red rocks the area is famous for.
Downtown Sedona is typical of any other tourist town, with lots of gift shops. But most of the shops in Sedona are of the upscale variety. It was very crowded today.
We usually like to do “touristy” things on weekdays to avoid the crowds, but our schedule isn’t cooperating at the moment. We had planned this trip for Monday, but we’re getting the new tires installed on the truck on Monday and I want to be around for that.
We drove through town without stopping and proceeded south on Hwy 179, the Sedona Scenic Highway. A little ways out of town is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a small Catholic church built into the side of a mountain.
We were lucky to find a parking space, it was so crowded. We walked the short, but steep uphill path to the chapel, and the view from up there was incredible!
Someone with a whole lot of money owns this house.
This is the view of the chapel from the rear.
Inside it was very small. They don’t have mass in the chapel anymore, but they have prayer candles and encourage you to spend as much time as you want to pray or meditate. Of course, that was impossible due to the crowds.
We continued along the scenic highway. There were scenic turnouts every mile or so, offering different spectacular views of the different rock formations and mountains.
Gotta include the “Wish you were here” shot.
As we zoomed in on this formation…
… we could see a group of people hiking a trail up the side. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)
We doubled back to Sedona and turned west to continue on Hwy 89A to the small mining town of Jerome. It wasn’t long we were out of the red rocks area and back into the more “normal” looking Arizona terrain.
But we were soon climbing back up into a mountain range to Jerome. Jerome was started in the late 1800’s as a copper mining town. The population peaked at 15,000 in the early 1900’s, then dropped off to almost nothing, technically making Jerome a ghost town. The current population is a little more than 400.
We stopped in at the Jerome State Historical Park. The visitor center and museum is in the former Douglas Mansion, which was built in 1916 by a family of influential mining entrepreneurs.
From the parking lot there was a pretty awesome view of the valley below.
We watched a 30-minute video of the history of Jerome and browsed the mining exhibits. By then it was getting pretty late in the afternoon so we headed back to Flagstaff. But not before having some dinner at a Sizzler Steakhouse on the way.
Another great day of making memories! Tomorrow looks to be another busy one, so come on back and see what we get into.