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Experiencing Arizona by Car

Author: Shipmatesforlife (More Trip Reviews by Shipmatesforlife)
Date of Trip: October 2007

We took advice from the locals and drove further up the hill to the Sedona airport, which is the best spot to view Sedona and to see the sunset. We went to the little café at the airport itself and I repeat (little). We had a drink and an appetizer. The place may have been small and rustic but the prices were high - just like their location. After we imbibed in that, we drove back down the airport road to the look-out point. It was crowded with people having the same idea as us.

sedona sunset rocks arizonaWe watched the sunset and I even (after just realizing the camera had the capability) took a small panoramic movie of Sedona. Wish I would have realized this at the canyon. After the sunset we drove further down the road and went to a recommended Cantina. We sat at the bar, had a beer and split a delicious sandwich. Sometimes the locals really do know their town and give good advice.

We left there and went back to the hotel. Must enjoy the accommodations since we paid for them. We watched Dancing with the Stars. This was the night Maria Osmond passed out but I accidentally hit the channel changer on the remote just prior to the passing out and did not locate the correct station until the show resumed and they said she fainted. Figures! I'm sure we'll see it on re-runs.

Another great day in Arizona - gotta love this state!

Tues. 10/23 Sedona/Scottsdale: We got up around 7:00. We showered and packed up our stuff - yet again. We checked out at 8:00 and headed for the recommended breakfast place in the area, the Coffee Pot, named after the shape of the rock formation located behind their building. We had no trouble finding it since there were lots of cars there. This was on the main street and on the way out of Sedona. We sat on the patio which was a little cool at first but warmed up after a while. We got a rather large omelet which we had to finish because we could not take left-overs with us.

We left the restaurant around 9:25. It was a beautiful, sunny day and getting warmer by the minute. Our next stop was Jerome, AZ, a city recommended by my niece. We took 89A out of Sedona toward Jerome, "America's Most Vertical City" and "Largest Ghost Town in America". The historic copper mining town is located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff.

stream arizona woodsWhat a ride. It's about 20 miles from Sedona on a two lane highway with scenery that was magnificent. John stopped several times to take pictures - one especially great picture of a stream running through the woods.

We stopped at an Information Center in Cottonwood to verify we were heading the correct way to Jerome. (Yes, John is not afraid to stop and ask for directions!!) She directed us to Historical 89A by-passing the town traffic and thus providing a more scenic drive. As we drove we could see a very small "J" painted in white on the mountain ahead of us and assumed that was the city - a correct assumption.

During the drive there were many turns in the road and the "J' kept getting larger and larger. I assumed that meant we were getting closer and closer to Jerome. We finally arrived at the little town of Jerome and parked in a small parking lot overlooking the valley. It was getting much warmer now so I changed into capris and short sleeve shirt while sitting in the car! No one even noticed!!

We walked and walked up and down steps and inclines. We went into the many little shops stuck in every nook and cranny of the windy road that kept going up and up. We continued walking to the top of the hill and went into the old Catholic Church. It was very plain but beautiful. We agreed we had seen enough of the little town so we walked down the windy road to our car.

As we were leaving town we noticed a large sign welcoming us to visit a "ghost town" that was adjacent to Jerome. "Well," John said, "let's go!" This was definitely a "guy town". They had an operating saw mill that fascinated John along with the old weather-beaten guy who was operating the mill. We found out later that "old guy" owned the entire area around the mine and he was the same age as me!!

After a wonderful (???) little tour of junk, outhouses, old cars, old dental office, deserted mines, etc. we got back into our car and drove back through the town of Jerome staying on 89A. We thought this would take us back the way we came so we could get on 17S. Wrong….

We were on 89A south going toward Prescott and there was no turning around on this road that wound around and around and down the mountain. Thank heaven we were on the inside lane. John wouldn't look to his left. It was a drastic drop. We decided to just go with the road and go to Prescott, a little deviation from our plan but we were on vacation and we were seeing Arizona. After quite a drive we finally made it to Prescott and were heading to 17S and the road back to Scottsdale.

When we got on 17S we stopped around 12:45pm at Sunset Point rest stop again. Then onward toward Scottsdale. We were a little apprehensive about the traffic going into town but we lucked out and only had a very brief stall on the 101 just before our exit at Chaparral Drive at 3:44pm.

We arrived at the Day's Inn (yet again) around 3:52pm. We check into our room which was very spacious and on the first floor. At least we didn't have to lug the bags up the steps. We brought our luggage into the room along with everything of ours from the car. Our next chore was to get everything we had brought and bought back into our bags and still be under the 50lb weight limit. But first we decided to make a drink and hit the pool. It was not as nice as the Hotel Scottsdale but it was paid for and it was only for one night. I sat in the sun and John got into the pool. We were only there for a short time since we were to be at Linda's at 6:00. We did take a little time though to hit the hot tub, and then back to the room to get cleaned up.

We were running a little late and encountered a traffic jam but made it to her house around 6:15. We had a great visit and told her all our travel escapades. I asked Linda to check us in on Frontier and to print our boarding passes for us. We found out it is best to check in as early as you can to be sure you get a good seat. We said our good-bye's with a promise to keep in touch. We got back to the hotel around 9:00. We decided to pack and get everything ready for the morning. We then crashed. Our last night away from home.

Wed. Oct.24 Scottsdale/Airport: We got up around 6:30 and did the final packing. As I was doing my hair John went to get coffee at the complimentary breakfast. He came back to the room and waited for me then we both went to have breakfast. It was nothing fancy but was sufficient. After we ate we went back to the room, packed the car and walked to the office to check out.

Next we had to fill up the car with gas and return it full. We decided against going to the gas station on Chaparral since it was out of the way, convinced we would pass a gas station on the way to the airport which was a 15 mile drive. (ya think??) We used the AAA trip tick to get back to the airport hoping we would see signs to return the car along with a gas station. We drove and drove, no sign of gas. We stopped twice and asked locals - that was a mistake. I don't know if they didn't understand our question but they gave us bogus directions - no gas station. So we drove on into the airport following signs to the car rental return. We then drove past the car return building and hoped we would see a station and sure enough, several miles down the road we spotted one. John filled up the tank with gas $2.67/gal. Now back on the road with a full tank heading for the airport and the car rental return.

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