Arizona 2001


 Arizona Road Trip

In October of 2001 Mike and I went on a two week road trip around the state of Arizona. "911" had just happened and not many people were traveling by air or car. Most of our stopping places we experienced "all alone" with few tourists around. The Grand Canyon was like a "ghost town", we were able to make last minute reservations at one of the park lodges. We discovered Sedona almost by accident on this trip, now one of our favorite vacation spots. Arizona has diverse beauty, from the snow covered mountains in Flagstaff, to the hot rugged terrain near the southern border and of course the Grand Canyon.

We stop in Tatum, NM not far from the Texas
State line. "Metal Art" is found thru out the town.

This school sign is an example of the metal art.
We purchased a metal "Westie" to place in our yard.

The flat terrain of west Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Roswell, NM and the UFO museum is our first stop.
Mike had to check out all the UFO weirdness.

Mike at the entrance to the UFO museum.

Kathie wanders thru the gift shop surrounded by space aliens!

We spend the night in Roswell.

We continue west stopping at the
Malpais Nature Trail
in the Valley of Fire recreation area.
Valley of Fire recreation area

This area is a harsh but beautiful landscape formed from the Carrizozo lava flow developed from vents in the valley floor in one of the youngest flows in the continental U.S. The lava flowed south down the Tularosa Valley, burying everything in its path except the older sand-stone hills called kipukas. The flow is 2 to 5 miles wide and 44 miles long. The lava is 165 feet thick at its thickest point and has a surface area of 127 square miles. No actual volcano is the source of the lava flow. Instead, the lava emerged from vents in the valley floor. Little Black Peak, seen through the sighting tube, is thought to be the last vent that opened. This was a very unusual and interesting stopping spot. The black looking rocks in the field are lava.

Mike standing in the lava field.

The topography gets more interesting as we drive west
toward Socorro, NM.

We visit the VLA (very large array) visitors center.

VLA dishes behind Mike.


The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.

The VLA is used primarily by astronomers from around the world. It's also occasionally used for atmospheric/weather studies, satellite tracking, and other miscellaneous science

We spend the night in Pinetop, Arizona
located in the heart of the scenic White Mountains

Driving west from Pinetop, AZ.
Lots of breathtaking vistas.


Next stop - Tonto Natural Bridge State park
This is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.

We hike this steep and beautiful trail.
Lots of stairs.

From the top of the trail looking down to
our destination below.

Kathie on the trail.

Continuing to Williams, AZ. and then
on to the Grand Canyon.

A giant Kokopelli at a stop near Camp Verde, AZ.

Getting close.

We arrive at the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon.

Kathie on the Canyon rim.

Another rim view that first evening.
The view overwhelms our senses through its immense size; 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide,
and 1 mile deep. WOW.

We get lucky and find lodging on the rim.

Kathie at the lodge restaurant early the next morning.
We plan a hike into the canyon.

A park bus takes us close to our trail head.

Kathie near the South Kaibab trail head.

South Kaibab Trail

The South Kaibab Trail is the alternate superhighway into the Canyon, the primary one being the Bright Angel Trail. Both of these trails are well maintained and offer some spectacular views of the Canyon

Kathie begins the trek downward.

Kathie on the edge.

A view of the trail below. Lots of switchbacks!

A reminder of the danger of overheating.

Kathie along the shady part of the trail.

The morning sun sets the rocks ablaze with color.

 Our end point! Time to head back up.

Looking upward from where we have come. Notice the hiker?

Kathie heading back and up....

..still going up

Mike takes a computer break after the hike while
Kathie naps.

Kathie in a unique tree along rim trail.

Our "private rim one around!

View overlooking Bright Angel trail beginning just west of Bright Angel Lodge.
Day hikes range in distance up to 12 miles (round trip).


Lookout Studio, .
Built in 1914 by Mary Coulter

Hopi House.
One of five buildings at the Grand Canyon designed by
architect Mary Coulter.

Map of South Rim

The car is packed up the following morning
before we explore the rim trail.

Kathie walks along rim road.


View of the Canyon!

Scenic train that runs from Williams to the
Canyon pulls in.

Kathie checks out the view.

Canyon in morning sun.

Kathie on trail.

More Canyon.



1936 survey marker on canyon rim.

Kathie using the compass.

Shadows of clouds on canyon walls.

Mike at canyon edge.

Kathie along trail.

More canyon.

Looking down on the Bright Angel Trail.

Canyon area view.

Time to leave. Waiting for the bus.

Heading to Flagstaff with Mt. Humphreys in view.
Highest peak in AZ. at 12,633 ft.

We take the Sedona exit.

On top of Oak Creek Canyon looking south.

Geology of Oak Creek Canyon

Canyon road shot from car.

Reaching the canyon bottom we drive into Sedona.

Our first view of the red rock formations.

Red rocks are backdrop to Sedona.

Sunlight on the rocks of Sedona.

Near Boynton Canyon trail head.

Trail starting point.

Boynton Canyon from distance.  Enchanment Resort behind trees.

Boynton Spire

We hike past the resort on our way to the canyon.

Trail thru vegatation.

Canyon rocks.

Mike and Kathie, "mighty hikers".

We rest with fellow hikers at a "vortex".

End of the box canyon


Bear Mountain.

Boynton Canyon walls.

Looking like a storm.

More canyon walls.

More beauty of the canyon while clouds move in.

Kathie and Mike in their rain gear.

We finish our hike in the rain.

The sun reappears as we drive away.


Going home, the fun is over


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