Return from the West

Central AZ Scenic View 3

Return from the West

It has been a long, gray, gloomy, wet winter/early spring in the Midwest, and we’re still going through its dreariness. In addition, as we’ve shared here, we’ve had a lot of sadness in and around our Internet Monk family. I’ve been ready for a retreat for some time, and this past week we took some hideaway time in Arizona.

The travel and details of the trip turned out to be a bit crazy, and we won’t actually get home until well after this is posted, but I thought I’d share some of the pictures from our trip. These pictures, as you see them, represent only initial edits and enhancements, but I think you will see some of the wonders of this land to which we escaped. Most of our time was spent in central and north-central Arizona, so these won’t be the typical desert pics.

I almost forgot: Thank you, thank you for all who contributed posts this past week to make our getaway possible.

20 thoughts on “Return from the West

  1. Sedona is where the New Agers too weird for California go to set up shop.

    And there’s a model railroader in Jerome whose website I’ve been following.

    I also remember my first experience of the Mogollon Rim, driving from Flagstaff to Phoenix & Tucson back in ’89. Going south from Flagstaff, you’re driving pine forest, then more pine forest, then more pine forest, then you go off a mile-high cliff and when you hit bottom, everything’s sand and saguaro cactus. It’s that abrupt a transition from the Coconino Plateau of North AZ to the Valley of the Sun and Sonora Desert of South AZ.


  2. CM,

    If you haven’t been to Sedona you have to go… if you have you got to go again…. people are very laid back, scenery is great.

    My wife and I will be going to Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon/Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend/ Page/Monument Valley beginning May 9th. Can’t wait to lose the cell phone, see the night sky for what it really is and relax.

    BTW – really love the ride on 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff.


  3. I’m very familiar with Route 66. When I was a kid in the Sixties, my family used to go east on 66 on a lot of summer vacations. Whenever I drive east on I-40, I take old 66 whenever it diverges from the 40.

    Cross the Colorado at Needles, then Kingman, Ash Fork, Williams, Seligman, Flagstaff, Meteor Crater, Winslow, Holbrook, then exiting AZ to Gallup (where Route 666 branches off north), Albequerque, and points east, all mapped out on the old AAA “Triptik” card booklets.

    If you’re familiar with the Pixar movie Cars, in the map montage scene where I-40 gets put through and kills Radiator Springs, the route showing 66 and I-40 is based on the main divergence in NW Arizona, where 66 cut north through the Havasupai Rez and past Grand Canyon Caverns (then called Dinosaur Caverns).


  4. Flaggstaff mountains, cool nights, brilliant stars, clean fresh air

    Headless, you could do a lot worse than Flagstaff. Good choice!

    (I was told by someone from that area, that the Indians used to go to those mountains for prayer retreats; that those mountains were considered ‘sacred’ by the Indians)


  5. Watson Lake puts you near Prescott, on or near the Mogollon Rim where the northern highlands drop into the southern low desert. Rocky terrain, highland pine forest, near the New Age Woo-Woo colony of Sedona and in an area (according to YouTube videos) rich in recent Ufology and cryptid lore.

    I’m thinking of retiring to Northern Arizona myself in a few more years — most likely Flagstaff area on old Route 66.


  6. Going West is on the menu for my son, a USCG officer, who is driving on the northern route 90 (I think) up to Seattle to take a ferry to Alaska to report for duty there.
    He is driving his fiance and her brother (who makes his home in Vancouver) and they intend to make numerous stops along the way to see the sights and on their list is the Yellowstone and I am so thrilled for them.
    Our family has flown over this country so many times, but that is not what is remembered . . . . it’s the journeys by land that stay in the mind and in the heart. The vastness of this country, its diversity, its great beauty, all are taken in on such a journey by land travel in a way that becomes a part of one’s identity, in my opinion.

    Glad you had a journey West, Chaplain Mike. Sounds like it was restorative after a season of sadness. Nothing like returning to the nature to get peace and perspective. May the healing blessings of your journey stay with you for a very long time.


  7. We loved the BW trail, but couldn’t make it to the top because there is still snow at the top that prevented us. Tried to drive up on the road, but it was closed as well. Can’t wait to go back another time and see the view from the summit.


  8. CM, thanks for the pics. You captured some of the rugged beauty of the area. Visit Az. once year and I love it. The Williams Mountain trail is not an easy hike, at least to me and due to a injury to my leg , I will not be able to hike it as in the past. This is a reminder to do things you want to do when you can, if possible do not wait. I never get tired of seeing the Grand Canyon . I am always glad that are more literate and inspired people than me, I would have named it the Big Hole or the Wide Gap. I think Grand Canyon is better.


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