Arizona / 2018
The day after Christmas, Austin and I woke up at 3am, before the crack of dawn, and loaded our car with all of our crap. We were greeted with heavy fog and patches of drizzle once we got outside of Oklahoma City and stayed with us all the way through Texas’s panhandle. I had my “oh my God I don’t like this, I don’t like this” moments while holding onto the door handle and tensioning up. But we made it out alive. Once we got closer to Albuquerque, we hit snow and more clouds, which Austin was pretty excited about it. The closer we got to Arizona’s boarder, the more blue sky we started to see. About 30 or so minutes into Arizona, we had clear blue skies with the occasional cloud. We had quite a long day, but the music, sights, and each other’s company was enough to keep us happy and excited. We arrived at our Airbnb in the evening, and treated ourselves to some Olive Garden.
Our first full day in Flagstaff was our busiest day. We left the Airbnb around late morning, and drove through town. There are two routes you can take to get to the Grand Canyon, one of which goes through the Coconino National Forest and the Kaibab National Forest. This route was more scenic because of the forests, so we quickly decided that this was the route we’d take. We also stopped in the Coconino Forest about two or three times to take photos.
The Grand Canyon was amazing. The saying “Pictures don’t do it justice” is definitely true for beautiful sight we saw. And there were so many people there speaking different languages. Tiny snowflakes fell down on us throughout our stay there, and snow and rain clouds started rolling over the horizon and the canyon. I had visited the Grand Canyon with my family when I was 6 or 7 years old. I remember it being beautiful, but I had been longing to see it again so that I could look at every detail. Austin had been to the Grand Canyon with his family when he was 5 years old, and then again last year when he traveled for work.
On our drive back home, we saw two or three snow storms on the horizon, dropping snow on the mountains. As it turns out, that snow storm caused a delay, and what should have taken maybe an hour and a half, took us 5 hours total to get back to Flagstaff. I looked up at the sky and saw thousands of stars, and my jaw dropped. This city girl hardly ever sees that many stars, even when she’s in the country parts of Oklahoma.
We were exhausted of course, but it was all worth it.
The next two days we took kind of slow. We decided to drive to Walnut Canyon, which is not too far outside of Flagstaff. The drive was really pretty, and we got out at the entrance of the canyon so Austin could fly his drone and I could take some photos. In order to see the canyon, a few miles of hiking was required since we couldn’t drive close enough to the canyon. We decided not to go in, because there was almost a foot of snow on the ground which would get our Vans and Converse soaked, and I was really cold if I spent too long outside.
This day was our last full day in Flagstaff. We drove to Lake Mary, which was frozen for the most part. There were plenty of hooligans out on the 1-1 1/2 inch thick ice. We could hear the ice cracking underneath their weight from the parking lot up by the road.
The rest of the day was very laid back and relaxing, and we got our stuff packed up and ready for the drive back home the next morning.