As we spoke of our plans for our road trip, people with a better, more detailed knowledge of the area than ourselves spoke one word in unison.
Opinion was undivided. Sedona was a must-see and definitely worth a detour. Sure enough, it was built into our route between Prescott and Grand Canyon.
Having driven over the top from Prescott, via Jerome, we gasped as the sight of Sedona’s red rocks came into view.
OK. Now we knew why everyone had said we should come here.
Our first stop was the Tourist Information centre, which was as welcoming and informative as every other one of these volunteer-run facilities has been. The gentleman offered us plenty of excellent advice about where to see the best views and how to get there.
We followed his advice to the letter, of course.
It being a Saturday afternoon, we weren’t alone, naturally, but fortunately we managed to park the car and escape the worst of the crowds and see the most wonderful views of the rocks.
The chapel built into the hillside was a popular spot and it was here that I found a little bag to collect some of the red earth which characterised this area of Arizona.
Sedona wasn’t our final stop for the day, though. We had miles to go before we sleep… Driving along this long stretch of road, we could only imagine the huge hole that lay between where we drove and that hill in the distance.
Soon, we were entering the National Park area, noting that every one of the fire warnings was set to “extreme”. The figure of Smoky the Bear, who stands at the entrance to these parks was proving particularly popular today.
Whenever we have one of those “Golden Pass” moments; when Mary shows the card which not only entitles her to free entry to a National Park, but includes us as well, we say a quiet “thank you” to the US Parks Authority. In addition, I can’t help looking at the Park Ranger and thinking of Yogi Bear and BooBoo!
Because, we are here.
More photos tomorrow, when we go and take a proper look at the biggest hole in the ground we’ve ever seen.