Oak Creek from an overlook

Part 9: Flagstaff and Environs

In the late afternoon, we headed westward once more and reached Flagstaff at dusk. We had read about the Monte Vista Hotel in our guidebook, just one block off Historic 66, and decided to inquire about staying there. It worked out well, and in a few minutes we were unloading our baggage into a room on the third floor formerly assigned to the 70's musical group, Air Supply. The hotel is basically rather threadbare and shopworn, and therefore inexpensive. It is right in downtown Flagstaff, a town that caters mainly to the thousands of students of Northern Arizona University. In its heyday, when it was the latest best hotel in Flagstaff, it housed on occasion, lots of movie stars, like Clark Gable and Debbie Reynolds. The doors of each room bear brass plaques honoring stars and groups.

The next morning, we breakfasted at Macy's, the well known little organic cafe and bakery on Beaver Street. Good coffee and pastries. Then we set off for the Museum of Northern Arizona, several miles to the west of downtown. This is a is a fine outfit, a museum of ideas. There are things there that everyone likes. Some go for the fossilized creatures and the small dinosaur skeleton, the culture lovers, like ourselves, enjoyed the overview of the Northern Arizona geology and the history and artifacts of pueblo culture, the displays that pertained to the various periods of the civilizations of the ruins we had just visited. There were fine displays of the older and newer pottery as well. After perusing all of this for several hours, we repaired to the bookstore, where we bought a few items, and the museum shop, which has a marvelous selection of jewelry and pottery, etc. etc. etc., where we gaped and drooled, and bought an item or two.

We set off once more for downtown Flag, and went to New Frontiers, a fine organic grocery store where we had great tuna fish salad sandwiches with sprouts and such on whole grain bread with yogurt-green onion potato chips and big bottles of Hansen's sasparilla soda. Fortified, we headed off in the direction of Sedona, taking the Oak Creek Canyon route. We stopped at one of the view sites and walked the trail to admire the chasm, and then, stopped again at Slide Rock State Park , a local swim hole along Oak Creek, where we walked along the red rock canyon until it was impossible for us to go further.

Candace pauses at Slide Rock State Park on Oak Creek

-- A few miles more brought us to Sedona, which for a mile or so is totally devoted to tourism, and not a pleasant place at all, so we retraced our route to Flag, the Beaver Street Brewery and the Monte Vista Hotel.

Proceed to Part 10: Wupatki, Grand Canyon South, Return to Santa Rosa or to
Part 1: Santa Rosa to Zion
Part 2. Grand Canyon North
Part 3: Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley
Part 4: Hovenweep and Mesa Verde
Part 5: Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon
Part 6: Taos and Santa Fé
Part 7: Canyon de Chelley and the Hopi Mesas
Part 8: Homolovi and the Painted Desert
Top of this page Part 9: Flagstaff, Sedona

(E-mail to Art or Candace)