Texas Plus:

February 24 to March 1

(Holbrook, AZ to Sedona, AZ)

Click on the photo for each day to view that day's photos.

Day 44 - February 24, 2024

Before leaving Holbrook to head for Sedona, I stopped at the Wigwam Motel to get a few shots of some old cars in the parking lot. Next stop (after Bud E. made a friend with a giant rabbit), was Winslow, Arizona. As virtually everyone in the known universe knows, the Eagles had a line “Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona” in their first hit song, “Take it Easy”. So, the town has capitalized with a corner dedicated to the Eagles. It is complete with statues and a flat bed Ford. Winslow is also on Route 66 so there is also some of that.


But that’s not all. There is an old hotel there, the La Posada. It was a beautiful hotel on the train line that runs from Chicago to LA. The hotel was scheduled to be torn down when a family bought it and restored it. The Amtrak train still stops there twice a day, one westbound and one eastbound between Chicago and LA. The hotel is beautiful and full of art. The rooms are all named after famous people that have stayed there. Actors, musicians, presidents, even Albert Einstein. It is quite the place. Then the drive to Sedona. A few shots of our home for the next week and one of Sedona. There will be a lot more of Sedona in the coming days.

La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ

Day 45 - February 25, 2024

It was quite a day. Not a pile of photos but quite the day, nonetheless. First, Trisha Joy, who I met in Newfoundland in June of 2022 on my cross Canada journey after Joy passed, joined me in Sedona. She will likely travel around and tour with me for a couple weeks before heading off again.


Then Randy and Arlene from Gleniffer came for a visit. They are spending a couple weeks in the Phoenix area and decided to make the trip to Sedona. We went on a little car tour of the town, stopped at a funky, artsy, gift shop. We also went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built in 1956. It is built into the side of a mountain with some very nice views, including of a mansion below that is apparently for sale for $28,000,000. Randy said he would buy it for me, but Arlene put the stopper on that!


After they headed back to Phoenix, Trisha and I went for a short hike and tried to get a sunset shot. Unfortunately, it was cloudy today and likely for the next couple days too. That’s too bad because in the sunlight, the red rocks (and other colours) really pop. Hopefully later in the week I will get more colourful shots. For now, this is what I must settle for.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Day 46 - February 26, 2024

A busy day. First up, Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. This is a national park with ruins from about the year 1,100. The Southern Sinagua were farmers and built their homes in the cliffs for protection. There is only a small portion of the dwellings remaining, but they are impressive. Quite an interesting place if you are ever in the area. The Arizona Sycamore trees are beautiful.


Next, we went to Tuzigoot National Monument which are also ruins of pueblos of the same Southern Sinagua people. But these were built on the top of a knoll. We learned a lot, but too much to elaborate upon here.


Then off to Jerome, a “ghost town” from the late 1800s. The quotation marks are because this was once a major (very major) copper mining town with a population exceeding 15,000. Built precariously on the side of a mountain, it has survived many fires and a few earthquakes. But, when the mine closed in the 1950s, the population dropped to under 100. Today it has recovered and about 500 live there now, surviving on tourism. Very cool place, actually. Then off to Cottonwood for a late lunch, early dinner and a walk about town.


On the way back to the condo we took a couple back roads. There were some crazy looking clouds that were very dramatic over the red spires. Also, some sort of chrome archway seemingly leading nowhere. No clue. Hopefully we will get some sun soon.

Montezuma's Castle National Monument

Day 47 - February 27, 2024

Sunshine! What a difference a day makes. Someone mentioned that the hike up Fay Canyon was a winner, so we decided to do that. They were right. I don’t think it’s possible to take a bad photo here. Beauty is everywhere. The hike is not too difficult, about 2.4 miles each out and back with a 300-foot elevation gain. You walk along the canyon and when you reach the end you climb 20 or 30 feet turn around and wow! Then back down the trail. I even got a few shots of a Scrub Jay. And Bud E. hitched a ride on a remote-control car. 


Next, we drove to the Yavapai Vista Point. Spectacular! By this time, the day was almost done so I tried to get to a spot we were yesterday for a sunset shot but got there about 10 minutes too late. Still got a pretty picture but I will try again tomorrow.

Spectacular Sedona

Day 48 - February 28, 2024

The day started with a nature bird walk in Red Rocks State Park. It was enjoyable but not really worth it as most of the birds we saw were the same ones we have at home (White Crowned Sparrow, House Finch shown here). I did get a shot of a Northern Cardinal, an Anna’s Hummingbird and a Bridled Titmouse. We also saw a couple woodpeckers, Mule Deer, squirrels and a Pocket Gopher.


Then we were off to Bell Rock. Trisha wanted to hike this, and I said I would go as high as I felt comfortable. I am not a fan of heights, so I got about 40% up when I called it quits. Trisha went all the way up.


Then in the evening I went back up to Yavapai Vista for some sunset shots. The setting sun sets the red rocks ablaze!

Cathedral Rock

Day 49 - February 29, 2024

Sometimes a day is just special. It started off a little badly but from there…wow! We spent the morning driving around looking for a certain spot to get a sunset picture (tomorrow) and may have found what I was looking for. Then we headed for the ghost town we were at the other day, Jerome. I had seen a spot that I thought would be a cool place for a chocolate milkshake. But, when we arrived, we were told they were out of ice cream. So, off to our pre-arranged train ride on the Verde Canyon railroad. Great plan.


When we boarded the refurbished old train cars we were met with assigned window seats, with a wonderful snack try. After a champagne toast send off the train rolled out of the station. Two hours of traveling about 18 miles per hour through a beautiful canyon with trees and the Verde River below and red rocks above. Magic. After two hours we stopped at Perkinsville. The train station was featured in the movie “How the West was Won” with an outstanding cast. Then back along the same route. Very beautiful, quiet, and relaxing.


Upon arrival back at the station we agreed we should try to find that milkshake. So, a quick Google search found Bing’s Burger Station. I will let the photos speak to that. Then a drive back to Sedona a little late for sunset photos but I got a few anyway of some gorgeous clouds above the red rock formations. All in all, a wonderful day.

Verde Canyon Railroad

Day 50 - March 1, 2024

Up before dawn to catch the sunrise and perhaps the hot air balloons. Check on sunrise, but not the balloons. Then a short but beautiful hike to the Seven Sacred Pools. After a brief shopping trip, we went back to the condo for breakfast and chores before heading out to the Palatki Heritage Site and the Honanki Heritage Site.


This took us down about 9 miles of red dust and gravel back road (loved it!) and some stunning vistas.  At one point, Bud E, wanted to drive so we humoured him for a bit. There are old ruins dating back over 1,000 years and pictographs (pictographs are rock paintings and petroglyphs are rock carvings) dating many thousands of years. It is estimated that people lived here 11,000 BC. Trisha mentioned this is almost “Garden of Eden” like. The black on the red rocks is from waterfalls when it rains, the stunning vistas and the lush valley below. Beautiful.


This evening, I went to the Crescent Moon Picnic Site and the Red Rock Crossing Vortex to try to shoot Cathedral Rock at sunset with reflections in Oak Creek. The water was moving too fast for great reflections, but these turned out not bad.


That’s a wrap for Sedona. On to Flagstaff tomorrow.

Seven Sacred Pools