Southwest – Day 10

Overlooking Sedona, New Mexico

Southwest USA

Retirement Trip

September 2019

29 Days – 6,500 Miles – 19 States

7 National Parks

Several State Parks – 6,000+ Photos

1 Trillion Insects Squished by Car Windshield

 From 108 Degrees to Snow

From 282 Feet Below Sea Level to 12,000+ Feet

Bison, Elk, Prairie Dogs, Lizards, Wild Horses

Elvis, Aliens, John Wayne Westerns

Walking In The Footsteps of Forrest Gump

And More! 

Elvis has arrived!

Winslow, Arizona to Williams, Arizona via Sedona

Mike’s parents loved to vacation in Sedona, Arizona years ago.  Even when they were in their 70s, they would load up the car and drive all the way here from West Virginia to spend a few weeks.  We have postcards and some souvenirs they brought home, but we thought it would be nice to see some of the areas they were so fond of for so many years. Our destination today is Williams, AZ, which is very close to the south entrance to the Grand Canyon – tomorrow’s destination!

From Winslow, we traveled west about an hour to Flagstaff before taking the curvy Oak Creek Canyon road south to Sedona.
The first hour was spent westbound on I-40 between Winslow and Flagstaff AZ. 
This is the interstate that bypassed much of Old Rt 66 and dried up so many small towns.
Near Winona AZ, we stopped for a moment and caught this long train (left) in a scenic setting.
We’re still traveling in the shadows of Old Rt 66.
More of Old Rt 66 near Flagstaff.
Just west of Flagstaff, we turned south on Rt 89A through Oak Creek Canyon toward Sedona.
The curvy road ahead is popular with motorcyclists.
As we entered Oak Creek Canyon, there was a scenic pull-off with locals selling hand-made items.
A view of Oak Creek from one of the overlooks.
Another overlook facing south toward Sedona. 
A bit of the road we will be traveling on is visible down in the bottom of the photo.
We learned a lot about geology on our trip. 
Beth was looking through some of the Native American items for sale.  
About 20 vendors were set up for the day.
Beth and Mike at the scenic overlook.
It’s getting cloudier by the minute. I think our 10-day dry spell is coming to a close.
We continued our drive down Rt 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. 
Breathtaking views at every turn.
About 10 miles north of Sedona, our 10-day dry spell came to an abrupt end.
Maybe this will wash off some of the bugs on the front of the car.
As quickly as the rain started, it stopped just as we were entering Sedona.
Within 5 minutes, the sun was out.
Downtown Sedona is a very busy tourist destination with lots of small shops.
We passed on the shopping and focused on scenic and historical stops.
According to my research, the best view for photos of Sedona is on the Airport Road.
Near the top, there is a parking lot and a short walk to the overlook.
I asked if Area 51 (of UFO/Govt Cover-up fame) is nearby, but he pretended not to know. 
It was worth the drive up here.  Magnificent view of Sedona and the surrounding area.
A little closer up view of Sedona and the red rocks.  We drove in from that valley to the right.

One of the places we definitely wanted to visit was the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic chapel built into the buttes of Sedona, Arizona. It was inspired and commissioned by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was inspired by the newly-built Empire State Building in the 1930s.  After an attempt to build such a church in Budapest, Hungary was aborted due to WWII, she decided to build the church in her native region.  Since it is on Coconino National Forest land, it took a special use permit sponsored by the late Senator Barry Goldwater before construction could begin.  It took 18 months to complete, and was opened in 1956.  It has won numerous architect awards and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sedona.

The church has shuttle carts that bring you up from the parking lot to near the entrance. From here, it’s just a short walk up the ramp.
Along the walkway, we passed this statue of Saint Francis, by Bruno Groth.
View inside the chapel. 
View out of the rear doors.  Surrounded by beautiful red rock cliffs. 
The chapel overlooks Sedona and the Red Rock Canyon.  Breathtaking!
I could not find a price for this large house just below the chapel, but similar homes in the area are around $5 Million.  Wow!
Lots of different types of cacti growing in the area.

Driving back into Sedona from the chapel is a very scenic route.
More Sedona scenery.
Coming back into Sedona. 
We passed by the Sedona United Methodist Church – also surrounded by red rock cliffs. 
After lunch, we turned north to re-trace our steps through the Oak Creek Canyon we drove in on earlier.
  Clouds looming up ahead again. Luckily, the skies cleared enough to not rain on us again. 
The road up through Oak Creek Canyon is quite curvy, even compared to West Virginia.
(See next photo)
This is what our GPS was showing as the “road ahead”.    Ha! 
Nearing the north end of Oak Creek Canyon on our way to Williams and tonight’s hotel. 
At Flagstaff, we went down a long gravel road looking for an arboretum, which turned out to be closed on Tuesdays.  Oh well. We still saw plenty today. 

Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona is located along Rt 66 and I-40 about an hour south of the Grand Canyon and a half hour west of Flagstaff. There is a large train station here, with a branch line that takes passengers up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon twice daily. 

After checking into our hotel, we drove down the street to downtown Williams. 
Main Street is Old Rt 66.  Pretty historic town.

Most of the town is based on Rt 66 themes. 
Poor lighting for a photo, but the sign says it all.   
I-40 spelled the end to many towns along Rt 66, but Williams survived.
Old gas station along Rt 66 in downtown Williams.
Inside the old gas station. 
As we were walking down the street in Williams, who should appear but the King himself.  ELVIS!!
Thank you. Thank you very much. 
Only on Rt 66! 
Main Street was lined with souvenir shops selling anything even closely related to Rt 66.
I managed to refrain from buying a T-Shirt!  (It was tough, though)
Dang – we have got a room here for $3.50.  
Only about 60 years too late.
After looking around Williams, we decided it was suppertime.  This place looks interesting!
Looks like a nice, clean place.  Let’s eat!
Beth and I split a huge salmon filet.  Healthy and quite filling.
But —  we left room for pie!  Mmmmmm.
Lots of pies to choose from.  We’re making up for missing Pie Town a few days ago.

After supper, we headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow, we explore the Grand Canyon (South Rim).

Hope you can join us.  Lots of walking and lots of photos!  See you tomorrow.

Mileage Today:  187 Miles

Trip Total:   2,527 Miles