Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sedona, AZ (3/9/2017) and Grand Falls, AZ (3/10/2017)

In addition to all the attractions in Sedona itself, some of the nearby towns have character and charm all their own.  The Village of Oak Creek is more or less a "bedroom community" for Sedona, with home prices no doubt less than in the more famous town.  Nonetheless, Oak Creek tries to compete in some ways, such as colorful shopping areas and public art. 

Another nearby town, Jerome, is a "must see" for anyone visiting the area.  Built in the mountains overlooking the Verde Valley, Jerome was a mining town founded in the 19th century that produced copper, silver and gold for many years.  The town experienced many booms and busts related to the price of metals, finally saving itself as a permanent tourist attraction with many galleries, restaurants and shops.  Having multiple levels, narrow streets and heavy traffic, Jerome is difficult to photograph without much more effort than I was willing to give.  However, I hope a few photos convey the flavor of this  colorful town.

Leaving the Sedona area, we drove north in the motor home toward Page, AZ.  On the way, we stopped in Flagstaff, left the motor home in a shopping mall parking lot and took the LRJ for a crazy ride into Navajo Nation.  I had long wanted to see Grand Falls, a waterfall in the Little Colorado River that only flows in the spring, and then not much unless there has been good snow fall in the right locations.  The interesting part is that the river is so silty, carrying precious real estate into the Colorado River, the waterfall is widely known as "Chocolate Falls".  This was the perfect opportunity to see this phenomenon.

Since I forgot to bring the written directions, we relied on GPS to get us there.  As a result, we first went to the north side of the river and saw lots of people on the south side, where the better view was.  After taking some shots, we left and found the right road to the south side, happy to have seen both sides (at a cost of some 30 extra miles driving on rough roads).  I considered the more direct route of crossing the river at an obvious fording spot but, with encouragement from my passenger, decided to play it safe and go the long way.

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