Day Fifty
Day Fifty

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT to Cottonwood, AZ
August 1st, 2004

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Brian & Theresa - Sedona's surroundings
Brian - The heat
Theresa - Driving through the thunderstorm outside of Flagstaff
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
Miles Theresa Drove
328 (3827 Total)
Sunny, thunderstorms, low 100's in the sun
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Cows, horses, quail
Dead Horse Ranch Campground
Oceano, CA

Daily Didactic
The day started in a drizzle of rain at Bryce National Park. We are often the only ones in a given vacation spot that seem to appreciate the rain, because rain means more reasonable temperatures. We climbed in the bus and headed for what looked like a great shortcut in our road atlas, backtracking east on Highway 12 to the town of Cannonville, and heading south from there for what looked like a dirt road toward Page, Arizona. The road is significantly shorter than taking the main roads and looked like it had a couple of points of interest. It was also washed out. In retrospect, probably not the best road for us to be on anyway...

After our hour long detour to our washed out road, we passed back by the entrance to Bryce heading west at about 8:30. We headed south on Highway 89 and spent the rest of the day on it, and it's ambitious alter ego Highway 89 Alt. We crossed into Arizona just after Kanab, on Alt, and drove a beautiful section of road from Fredonia to Marble Canyon. It climbs out of the desert up and over the very green and wooded Kaibab Palteau, before descending rapidly and dropping you back off on the desert floor right next to the Vermillion Cliffs. It winds along next to the tall red cliffs, past an interesting little pullout right after a town named Cliff Dwellers, before reaching the very scenic Marble Canyon through which an amazingly green Colorado River passes below. The pullout in Cliff Dwellers is curious because it is a collection of large rocks at the bottom of a section of cliff, some of which have rocks built up next to them to make them into "dwellings". There are some Navajo artisans sitting in the biggest, selling arts and crafts. Also curious is that, about the time we came down off of the Kaibab Plateau, the temperature was 100 plus degrees.

We tooled along through Navajo country, around the east Grand Canyon entrance, and climbed into Flagstaff through an awesomely windy and wet thunderstorm. We had remembered liking Flagstaff, and with a temperature a good 20 degrees cooler than it had been only 50 miles north, we still appreciate it. Like the seasoned travelers we are, we threw that all away and plunged down into the gorge that leads to Sedona, raising the temperature back to an exciting 100 degrees. Brian had been through Sedona fifteen years ago and remembered liking something about it. Theresa had never been, had heard a lot, and just wanted to see it. Brian realizes now that what he liked was the incredibly pretty red rock canyons and mountains/hills around Sedona, Theresa thought this was great too. Sadly though, Sedona reminds us of many many tourist towns we've been to that clearly used to be little and unique and now have been overwhelmed with the same trinket shops that tourists apparently want to see everywhere they go. We got a bite to eat, and understanding keenly how weather works, dropped further in the valley to the town of Cottonwood (raising the temerature at least five more degrees) before calling it a night at the pleasantly named Dead Horse Ranch Campground.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

Morning in the pleasantly rainy Sunset Campground Too Pooped To Pump in Cannonville
Tunnel on the road west from Bryce Red hills on the road west from Bryce
Arizona welcomes us back Arizona Highway 89 alt south of Fredonia
Outside of the town Cave Dwellers, ''dwellings'' The bus, keeping it's distance
The more substantial rock dwelling, housing artisans The Colorado River, just north of the Grand Canyon at Marble Canyon
Mens and Womens Restpueblos She almost lost Brian this time
The law Brian experimenting with the ''driver and passenger, outside the window looking in'' shot
Serious thunderstorm, just outside of Flagstaff Dropping down the gorge into Sedona
Sedona, where you can outfit your Hummer... ...and your psyche...
...while staying moist.

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