Showing posts from May, 2018

Southwest Vacation - Arizona Part 3, exploring Walnut Canyon and Flagstaff

After the Grand Canyon, we were fine with sticking closer to home.  I had found quite a few interesting stops in the general area, but we all agreed driving more than like 15 minutes was not going to happen.  The closest place was Walnut Canyon National Monument.

An ancient Native American tribe in this area, the Sinagua people, built homes into the rocks at around 1100 to save themselves from all the complications of living near volcanic eruptions (nearby Sunset Crater had a series of eruptions in 1040).  They only stayed in these cliff dwellings for about 4 generations (100 years) and then moved on.  There were little constructed rooms all over the cliffs.  It was fascinating.  And beautiful.  We were happy to be able to interact with the scenery.

Tristan discovered his eye for photography and took tons of pictures with my old phone.  He's got a really great instinct for framing photos and pays attention to foreground/mid-ground/background all at once.  He did it all: from textu…

Southwest Vacation - Arizona Part 2, the Grand Canyon

We all woke up relatively early to make the 1.5hr drive to the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon.  We were hoping since it was early on a weekday we wouldn't have to contend with too many crowds.  Granted, we've never been to the Grand Canyon so I don't know what "busy" looks like to the park, but it seemed crowded.  Not so busy we didn't enjoy ourselves though!!!

The drive there was pretty, and I was able to capture a dust devil so that was fun.  Our friends had to turn around and go back into town to get gas since we were on a back country road through the Coconino National Forest, which doesn't have gas stations.  We took that opportunity to pick up more snacks and drinks.  No biggie, still found parking :)

Brennan was not going to go anywhere near the edge and I didn't want to force him.  He and his buddy ran around to find vegetation growing in unusual places.  They also were very interested in the overly tamed squirrels that will eat right …

Southwest Vacation - Arizona Part 1, the journey to Flagstaff

The trip from Albuquerque to Flagstaff took us straight through The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.  We were able to get out of the car and walk across the desert, collecting bits of petrified wood that were scattered all over the place.  Brennan got a little freaked out when a dust devil suddenly sprung up and blew right into us, but thankfully it didn't last very long.

The ground felt springy because it was super dry volcanic ash particles, which are even tinier than clay or silt.  We couldn't leave footprints unless we tried really hard.  It was interesting.  And very windy and dry.

Tristan brought back quite a few petrified tree bits... in his carry-on, which we found out about in the security line lol.  They let him keep them all, even the super sharp axe-looking one.  Thanks for understanding, TSA agent! ;)

Noah, Tristan and Josh were happy to get out and climb all over cliffs and rocks.  Brennan and I kept away from the edges and admired the new flor…

Southwest Vacation - New Mexico

First, let me tell you about the day before we left.  Tristan had come home from soccer practice Tuesday and complained his eye was hurting.  We hoped he was dealing with allergies since they had just cut the grass, and sent him to bed with allergy eyedrops.  It didn't feel better the next morning and it looked horrible.  His eye was killing him and we wanted to get it checked out by professionals, but were stuck in airports the entire morning.  We landed in Albuquerque after a long morning of travel, including a time difference of 3 whole hours.  We were all exhausted and starving, having been up since 4am, but it wasn't even lunch time yet in New Mexico.  Josh dropped Tristan and I off at an urgent care by the airport and took the other two with him to check in to the hotel.  As luck would have it, the urgent care was empty at 1030 on a Wednesday so we were seen right away.  Apparently, during his soccer tryouts the day before, he had scratched his cornea.  He got it flushed…