Category: George’s Photography

Arizona May 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012 – Trip to the Grand Canyon

Pictures

We flew from Orlando to Kansas City and then to Phoenix.  Pretty uneventful.  Picked up the car rental and drove up I 17 to Flagstaff.  Very neat and beautiful scenery.    We drove from 1000 feet elevation to 7000 feet elevation.  As we went north it changed from desert with cactus to scrub to green with pine trees.  We aren’t in Florida anymore!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona was fabulous.  We took 89A which is a switchback mountain road thru the Coconino Forest.  Very impressive scenery.  Sedona itself was the average ticky tacky touristy place.  Susan said “upscale” I said St. Augustine.  We did the obligatory wandering in and out of shops, Susan tasted some wine (go figure).

We went shopping at the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village which was a beautiful shopping area authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village.  We had lunch at El Rincon .  Their specialties were Chimichangas and Margaritas, we tried both and it was delicious!

Susan talked George into at least one winery tasting, so we stopped at Page Springs Winery.  The wine was delicious and the winery was very nice, nestled on the side of a creek.  They said that the grapes love the “stress” of the difference in temperatures (80 and 90s during the day and down to the 30 and 40s at night.)

We returned to Sedona for a Jeep Photo Tour.  While waiting, we decided to get water and had to order two large ice cream deserts.  One way to beat the heat and get a bit of energy back…

The Jeep Photo tour was interesting.  Seems that there are restrictions on where they can stop.  A couple of times we wanted to pull over and get out but somehow that was not permitted by the US Forest Service.  Always appreciate the US Government looking out for us…  We did manage to travel around and get some great photos.  Harold McCoy from A Day in the West was our tour guide and he really knew his Red Rock area! Nice spurs Harold!

Driving back to Flagstaff on the switchback mountain road in the dark was fun.  The GPS map was lit up pink and look like intestines showing all the switchbacks in the road!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The drive from Flagstaff to the Painted Desert was about an hour and a half.  We drove through Winslow.

Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,

and such a fine sight to see

It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford,

slowin’ down to take a look at me

 

The approach was pretty nondescript.  But, man-o-man the views from the rim of the canyon were terrific!  The road then led to the Petrified Forest.  While the colors may have not been as bold, the sheer quantity of petrified trees was amazing.  And on the way out there was a place selling petrified trees that had about an acre of them.  Amazing.

Half way back to Flagstaff we turned south to see the Meteor Crater that was created over 50,000 years ago.  Pretty neat.  Not as spectacular as the earlier views.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grand Canyon day!  We took the Grand Canyon Railroad from Williams Arizona to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was a 2 ½ hour trip through gorgeous country.  We splurged on the Observation Level on the way up, and then First Class on the way back.

At the Canyon we were on a tour bus that took us around for a few hours.  The Grand Canyon is awesome!  There really are no words to describe the immensity and beauty of the canyon.  Our Navajo bus driver said that she believes that we have these “Wonders of the World” so that we may go visit them and reconnect to nature, forget all our troubles and connect to the land and our spiritual side and refresh ourselves.  She is very wise.

When we got back to Flagstaff we found a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place Los Altenos that was really good and authentic.

Today was a great way to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today we drove from Flagstaff to Scottsdale.  We stopped at the Montezuma Castle Indian ruins.  Very neat.

We got to Scottsdale and it was 102°, even in the shade.  We stayed at the Valley Ho hotel.  Very ‘60’s.  The bath tub is open to the whole room.

We had an early dinner at Frank and Lupe’s Mexican restaurant.  One of the best moles I have ever had.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Back to Florida

We put 750 miles on the rental car and had a wonderful time, whew!

Everglades

George and I escaped for a few days and headed south to the Everglades to see a little of old Florida. 

Our destination was the Big Cypress Swamp which is a large National Preserve protecting a portion of the Everglades. 

Our first stop was at Clyde  Butcher’s Gallery.  If you are not familiar with him, he is often referred to as the “Ansel Adams of the Everglades.”  His work is stunning and it was pleasure to see it in person.

We stayed at the Port of Islands Resort in Ochopee.  Being that is it is summer, the place was deserted, so we pretty much had the resort to ourselves… ok by  us!

We drove into Marco Island one day to check it out… honestly, I found it creepy.  A island about 5×5 miles in size packed, using every inch of space for condos and homes for Northerners to vacation.  In June it was pretty much deserted.  We heard that in one week during the winter, a Publix made $1 million dollars.  Just tells you how crowded it gets during the winter.  The beaches were beautiful with white sand, but I can just imagine how crowded they probably get too.

We also drove into Naples one day and took the tourist trolley around town.  I thought Naples was very beautiful and full of nice shopping, restaurants, art galleries, etc.  But I can imagine how crowded it gets during the winter also.

Our last night we went into Everglades City and ate at the Seafood Depot.  Loved the area, very laid back, beautiful scenery. 

We would love to go back to the Everglades and spend more time on the water and maybe do a Clyde Butcher swamp tour!

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Alligator

Alligator

Savannah

Susan is attending a conference so George tagged along and enjoyed Savannah’s photo ops.

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Worldwide Photo Walk

I participated in the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk.  Our group wandered through DeLand Florida. 

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