Thursday, February 16, 2006

Holbrook, AZ to Sedona, AZ

Holbrook, Arizona. Hmm, not exactly a familiar name. And there is a reason for that. Reason being, there ain't nothing to see in Holbrook, save for the Wigwam Motel ('Have You Ever Slept In A Wigwam?') Hard Times Holbrookand remnants of Route 66 road side infrastructure. Delapitated buildings with faded signs. Closed up motels with 50's style blown out marquees. The landscape itself is a featureless relatively flat desert, only here and there are small outcrops of red rock protrude the monotonous landscape. Back in the late 1880's, the town did have it's share of fun though: 26 people were killed in gun battles, in a town whose population probably did not exceed 500. Until Sheriff Perry Owens (no relation to Buck) straightened them all out in 1887 that is, by gunning down 3 outlaws all at the same time, in their own house no less.

And so it was that we left Holbrook behind that sunny morning. But not before we had made a quick stop at the local lumber yard, to pick up a 20x24 piece of quarter-inch plywood, to be used by Anne for a backing for her art work. Back onto I-40 we went, west bound, sailing right past Winslow, Arizona only famous for "Standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see" from the Eagles song "Take It Easy". The local Chamber of Commerce has even erected a statue to commemorate the momentous line, but we didn't bother to stop and see it. Onwards to Flagstaff Arizona, whose snowless San Francisco Peaks (4000 m) can be seen from 80 km away. Then south on I-17 to Hwy 89A, descending from a plateau at 1800 m to the valley below at 1200 m. As the canyon widens the views get more and more beautiful, with red peaks and spires all the way around the viewer. Finally, after 30 km of descending slowly down the winding and twisting canyon road, you arrive in the little town of Sedona. Well, little, at about 10,000 inhabitants or so. This is a haven for residents from Phoenix trying to escape the summer heat. Because of the elevation difference, temperatures here are about 10C lower than in Phoenix. So if it is 45 in Phoenix, it is only 35 here, which you might say is downright cold.

While driving from Holbrook to Sedona, the wind picked up and became stronger and stronger until I feared dust storms would engulf us. Fortunately, it never reached that point, but nonetheless the ferocious winds made walking somewhat unpleasant.
View from our suite
The motel we are in is the only prebooking I did prior to leaving (except for Motel 6 the first night) It is a suite, with beautiful mountain (actually canyon wall) views on three sides. We did a little hike into the canyon, then went back up and joined the crowd strolling mainstreet, before we curiously found ourselves at the local Goodwill Thrift store buying hats. Mexican dinner was the food fare tonite, and we enjoyed the live flamenco guitar music with our dinner, until the band members abruptly 'up and quit' at 8:30. What's up with that? It appears anybody visiting Sedona is near senior citizen age and 8:30 is mandatory bedtime. Oh well, we'll try again tomorrow.

Today's GoogleEarth KML file is here

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