April 8. Coconino National Forest
We arrived at our new home just outside Sedona on Friday. Rather than deal with the herd of (other) tourists we’ve spent the weekend getting some much needed relaxation and fixing a few issues that arose on the trip out.
After our last post in Springfield we drove to Canadian, Texas and spent the night in a very nice city park next to their rodeo grounds. The wind did blow. Next day we continued to avoid I-40 and arrived late afternoon at Manzano Mountain south of Albuquerque. Our three nights there in the beautiful pine woods at 7200 feet seemed hardly enough.
We met our first “full timers” at Manzano, and spent considerable time swapping ideas for efficient travel, one of which is the ‘rule of threes’. Drive no more than three hours, arrive at your campsite by 3pm so as to get a site, and stay at least three days. Having just covered over 2000 miles in three days, we needed little convincing.
Our next leg to Sedona was another gorgeous drive through vast deserts of brown grass alternating with canyons where outlaws including Billy the Kid had their hideouts, got hung, and (posthumously) became movie stars overnight. The Kid’s grave is a rather sad roadside attraction, but his legacy lives on in small town bars with names like ‘The Shooting Iron’. We never regretted keeping to the backroads.
Oak Creek Canyon, where we are now is a 20 mile paradise of forested recreation areas along the creek, enclosed by sheer sandstone cliffs. Jennifer observed that the rock cliffs here seem to be patterned after the spa at the Grove Park Inn. Yesterday we popped into Flagstaff at the north end of the canyon for supplies and found a great little downtown. We just couldn’t resist a place called the Red Curry Vegan Kitchen where we found the best samosas we’ve ever eaten. We aren’t genuine full timers yet.
We’ll have all week to explore Sedona before moving on to a new home in Page AZ at Lake Powell. Perhaps by then I’ll learn to post pictures…and start remembering to take them.