Saturday, June 26, 2004

AZ 97 blog -- item from the past.

June 17, 1997. (Actually, I’m cheating here, since the trip in question happened in late May, but I’m extracting this from a letter I wrote about it in June of that year.)

I won’t bother with the logistic details of our recent trip to Arizona (and briefly, Utah). As befitting these non-narrative (anti-narrative?) times, I’ll boil it down to the neat stuff. Namely:

The desert landscapes of Phoenix, with big cacti, Joshua trees and palms. Also, the big cacti along the highway.

Ed and Lynn's -- our hosts in Scottsdale -- ever-active whippet, Bosco.

The hills of Scottsdale, which looked like baked potatoes.

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, southeast of Phoenix. Plenty of arid-zone plants, and the animals that love them, mostly lizards and birds.

Montezuma Castle Nat’l Monument. A fanciful name, not remotely Aztec, but cool Indian ruins.

The well-appointed SW style rooms of the Cameron Trading Post Motel, Cameron, Ariz., and its lovely garden.

The view from the Desert View on the eastern side of the Grand Canyon, because that was our first one.

Coyotes on the road. They haven’t all been shot, poisoned or run over.

Learning that owls live in palm trees.

The mighty Glen Canyon Dam, and the book I bought about its creation, A Story That Stands Like a Dam.

The gentrified downtown of Flagstaff.

The ungentrified downtown of Cottonwood.

The delicious tap water of Page, Ariz. Must be straight from Lake Powell.

Rainbow Bridge Nat’l Monument, and the boat ride that got us there.

The Downtown Diner in Flagstaff. Excellent breakfasts.

The twisty, Swiss-like state road 89A, through Sedona, Cottonwood and Jerome.

The San Francisco Mountains, north of Flagstaff.

Bashful Bob’s Motel in Page, which is a real, honest-to-God tourist court.

The volcanic Sunset Crater Nat’l Monument. Lots of chilled lava.

The Indian ruins at Wupatki Nat’l Monument, in a red-soil, Martian sort of landscape.

Watching four German tourists near the Grand Canyon try Dr. Pepper, obviously for the first time, and watching them grimace.

The Heard Museum in Phoenix: many fine Indian artifacts.

The Grand Canyon Cemetery, with its Old West tombstone feel.

Driving alongside the Echo Cliffs.

Ice Cream at the Sweet Life, located at the corner of “Route 66” and San Francisco St. in Flagstaff; and at the Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale. Route 66, big wanking deal.

The clean air of northern Arizona.

The Arizona moon.


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