Casey didn't have to work Thursday or Friday, so we took the opportunity to do some sightseeing in the area.
On Thursday, we visited Meteor Crater, the best preserved meteoric impact site in the world. It was $18 to get in, and it was a little commercial and hokey, but the guided tour (included in cost of admission) allowed us access to the rim and the old mining camp. On the way back, we hopped off the Highway to check out the town of Two Guns, an abandoned Ghost Town that's said to be cursed, but it looked super creepy, so we got back on the highway fairly quickly.
When we got back to our Airbnb rental, we ran into our host, who generously offered to take us exploring around the area. We drove out to Merriam Crater to watch the sunset, and our host pointed out Roden Crater, which is about to become a public art exhibit. This unplanned adventure was for sure one of the highlights of our time in Arizona, because it was an opportunity to experience the area through the eyes of someone who clearly loves being there.
At the suggestion of every single person who heard the word "Arizona" mentioned as part of our itinerary, we visited Sedona. The drive down 89 from Flagstaff into Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon is stunning.
The town of Sedona itself is very touristy, full of t-shirt and rock and mineral shops. We did manage to find Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, where we enjoyed some decent food and a tasty beer (the Snake Charmer IPA had a good balance between a citrus flavor and aroma with just the right amount of bitterness in the finish). Overall, though, Sedona wasn't our favorite.
I decided to write a haiku about our experience in Sedona.
- On Saturday, we visited the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful, but I wish we had done a little more research on the best way to access the hiking trails. Most of our time there consisted of driving to scenic vistas. Once we found the Kaibab Trailhead, we had to drive a little further to the next scenic vista so we could get on a trail and start walking.
I also wrote a haiku about the Grand Canyon.
- We learned you can purchase a National Parks annual pass for $80, which pays for itself if you visit more than three parks in a calendar year.
- We stopped at Cameron Trading Post for dinner, and had our second ever Navajo Tacos (basically a taco pizza on top of fried dough).
- Sunday morning, we met up with our Airbnb owner and the guy who lives next door, and hiked The Sproule, a volcanic crater in Coconino National Forest near where we were staying. We saw two herds of pronghorn, which was the perfect way to end our stay at Roadrunner Ranch.
If you haven't done so recently, I totally recommend putting yourself in a situation where you are without your creature comforts. I used my phone less, was present more, and I built my first ever fire. I also really enjoyed the screen-free, undistracted quality time Casey and I were able to spend together. It's amazing how much unplugging can recharge you! Also, there was a super cool cat named Pesky who lived on the property. Obviously, as soon as we found out it was okay to let him inside the house, we did.
(Obviously) I also wrote a haiku about Pesky.