An Arizona Fall road trip.

” To travel is to live.”

Hans Christian Andersen

A couple days ago my husband came to me and said it was time for a road trip for the family. He had been keeping track of the Fall color guide here in our state of Arizona and the day finally came when the colors here in our state were at their peak.

In the two major cities here in our state there is no Fall season. All it takes is a three hour drive to the mountain towns up north and you will have the wonderful experiences of Fall.

So the day came when the colors of Fall were waiting for us to see them. We got up really early, packed sandwiches and fruit, plus plenty of water and away we all went on a road trip adventure. This road trip was taken on one of Arizona’s scenic routes. Those scenic drives are amazing, better then a made up amusement park ride of make believe.

Arizona goes from cacti, to boulders, to grasslands, to high cliffs and mountains, tall pines, lakes and rivers and huge red rock cliffs. It is quite the adventure driving around this huge state. Careful though, you can get lost out in some of those giant empty spaces that look like they never end. Reminds me of the sea, just keeps going and going. I love the sea.

This photo above was taken when we were driving through oak creek on the way to Sedona.

First stop for us was Flagstaff, an university town. We did a little Christmas shopping while there. Now when I am out around shopping areas I always check to see if there is anything I believe I may need in the future to buy in that moment. I am not a fan of this kind of shopping. It clutters the home. Since the pandemic, this is our new way of shopping. Never know what is waiting around the corner either in lock downs, shortages, or extreme price increases. Best to get it when you see it.

I enjoy having an open home with lots of space and a few small things but you all know what is going on around the world. Supplies are becoming fewer and each day that seems to go by, higher in price. Also it’s fun seeing what different places have on stock compared to others. Have to get out and look around in these little towns. They always have the coolest little shops.

At the gas station while filling up, we almost decided to drive to the canyon to see what there was to see. We decided against that. So glad we didn’t go. We didn’t realize how crowded the tourist areas were going to be that day. We were about to find out once we got to Sedona. We have been to Grand Canyon more then ten times. Every time family would visit from Italy, that’s the first thing they always wanted to see.

In Flagstaff I bought some fabrics for my son to sew up mittens and scarfs for everyone this Christmas. They had fleece fabric on sale and pretty patterns. They also had a sale on patterns. We picked up simple patterns like pet beds and coats for pets, drawstring sacks for groceries, baby toys, and aprons. Now we just have to find the time to make them and practice sewing skills.

After shopping we went up to the mountain to explore. It was an amazing drive. I noticed on the way up they had a huge tent at the bottom of the road where there are ski rentals available. They already had their first snow here but it has melted in the past week.

It was very quiet on the hiking trail we took. After driving for hours it’s always nice to get out and stretch your legs. There is no better place then God’s beautiful world of trees, plants, rocks, and critters. Just amazing…I love it out there.

Here are some of my favorite spots we came across on our mini hike.

Then we headed back into the truck to continue our scenic drive. This time we were headed towards Sedona Arizona. But what we didn’t know at the time was that it was Fall break and everyone must have checked the same Fall guide my husband did because it was super crowded, cars everywhere, along with people out everywhere.

What a drive though. It always shocks me how different one area is from another here in Arizona. The red cliffs and rocks always remind me of giant sculptures.

Ever since I was a little girl driving down into Oak creek canyon was such a fun experience. I couldn’t wait to park and get down to the creeks and swimming holes. You can’t see them from the road but you can get glimpses of the water and creeks now and then when you turn the corners around all those beautiful giant oak trees everywhere.

Down below this bridge we drove across are ice cold swimming pools, and sliding red rocks that line the creeks. The rushing of the water pushes you through nature’s natural slides. What fun it is to spend a day at slide creek. The water is super cold though.

There are beautiful homes right by the creeks. I imagine people going out for the evening and sitting on their wooden porches over the creeks, listening to the sounds of running water. Maybe they have a hot cup of cocoa in their hands and a small fire pit near them to keep them warm as they watch the sky turn from colors of orange to purple and then to the soft glow of blue and black. Waiting for the tiny twinkle of many stars.

One of the many houses that line the creeks from the road we were driving down.
The closer we got to Sedona the more vehicles we started seeing.

It took awhile to get out of Oak creek canyon because we got stuck in traffic. That was okay with us because look at our view. Think there would be less road rage with views like this.

Once out of the traffic jam we headed to Jerome. Jerome is an old mining town turned ghost town. My son and daughter like exploring it during the day but not at night. Everything closes up for the evenings anyway so there is really nothing to do once the sun goes down. Unless you enjoy ghost tours. I don’t mess with those nighttime activities, especially not with the history from my father’s side with that sort of stuff.

I always wondered what scared my father so much with “Those things” then I started researching my father’s family name and had to close that can of worms. I discovered that those cans of worms can not be put back together once opened.

So many tragedies in our family, shocking. One of my many cousins (I have over 20 first cousins) once told me at a hockey game we were attending, that our family is like the Kennedys but we are poor. I laughed at that, a nervous laugh of course. It’s a very uncomfortable subject even when talking with other family members that have lived through it.

My father always warned his children as we grew up…stay away from the dark arts, and I have always listened to him. I don’t want to get stuck in some ghost town late at night with the moon that was coming out that night. So we drove through Jerome without stopping.

This town reminds me of that old movie Popeye with Robin Williams. Most of the buildings are up on hills and overlooking cliffs, The whole town is sliding down off those hills from all the mining tunnels underneath them. Miles and miles of tunnels are under this whole town. There is a model of this in one of the museums in town. A never ending trail of underground tunnels,
We have taken family to this mining town to explore when they visit us and every time they want to eat here it has always been closed. Some excuse or another. Repairs, family event, or wrong hours are written in windows when we are there. Finally my husband and I accepted that we were never meant to eat in this well known haunted building in this state.
This large building up the hill used to be a hospital. It is now a very popular hotel that Ghost hunters love to sleep in at night. The whole building has many frightening stories from guest as well as the original owners that decided to repair and turn it into a hotel when they bought it. Staying late into the night working on it they would experience all kinds of scary things.
This photo was taken from the road while we drove through town.

I remember being on that road in Jerome and turning to my husband saying I do not want to be here when the sun goes down. Sounds extreme but this night that was coming up was a night when the moon was at it’s fullest. Not a night to be stuck in a town that is know for it’s hauntings and it’s own tragic events.

The road in Jerome always reminds me of driving in Europe, especially the time my husband and I visited Monaco in our early twenties.

Once we got to Prescott we would discover we were too late to shop at my favorite antique shops.

There was one store open, an old bank. We were the only ones shopping in the whole store. The sales girl started talking to us about the history of the building and how old it was. She said that sometimes at night when she is working down in the basement after she has closed up, she hears creaking noises. I told my son and daughter while walking around town that old buildings make noises when they are settling in for the night when the temps outside are dropping.

I will share more photos of this unique store in a later post. This was a cool little shop and space. Right now it is all about Halloween. I will have to go back for Christmas to see what they have out. I love Christmas, it’s my second favorite time with Easter being my all time favorite time.

I never liked that part of working in shops, the closing up at night. There have been many times I closed up shops all alone when I worked retail. Walking back down those long dark isles as you leave the store was always a little creepy to me, especially the book store I worked in. Then I had to walk out into an empty and dark parking lot all by myself..creepy.

The old bank building with the cute little store inside.

I worried about would be robbers. Being in the big cities sometimes you have to be careful of that. This post is really turning into a Halloween post. Guess visiting some of these towns does that do you. I love to explore the old buildings for the architecture not their “Ghost” stories.

It was getting too dark in town, time to head back to the city. What an adventure we all had. We will be headed back to Prescott soon. Just over an hour outside the city. I want to hit those unopened antique shops we missed shopping in. There is also a huge farmers market and swap meet. I am curious to see what supplies they have compared to the shortages in the big chain stores here in the city.

Even in Prescott they have haunted buildings. This hotel above is another such building.

On the drive back to the city up in that dark sky a huge yellow orange moon appeared. The moon I was telling my husband that was coming that night. It lit up the desert landscape we drove by like a giant lite bulb. I started telling my family about how as a kid sometimes when the moon was full like that we would take our horses out to ride them around that mountain I grew up by.

I talked about how at night with the moon shining so bright you can see everything. We would see all kinds of wildlife out exploring from far distances. Up on rock cliffs on the mountain we even saw a bobcat one time. It would jump from one rock to another, making it’s way off the mountain cliffs to get to the desert down below to do it’s nightly hunting. Javelina, and coyotes would be walking around. Everything, including the cacti, all had a soft glow of blue to them. It was an amazing site to see.

My husband was surprised to hear me talk the bobcats and not be frightened.

“Oh, bobcats are just big house cats to me.” I would say.

I wasn’t going to go playing with them of course. Like they would even let me, that’s funny. We were on a giant animal ourselves, our horses, while we watched this all play out, this desert wonderland at night. We weren’t anywhere near them. The horses loved getting out to explore too. If too close then it would have probably spooked the horses. I am sure they could smell them but being as we mostly took our horses out in the desert to ride them, they were already used to these smells.

That’s it for this road trip. Happy adventures to you all. Safe travels and may God bless you and always keep you safe in all your adventures.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your trip, great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re and welcome and thank you so much. So glad you liked the photos.

      Like

  2. Michele Lee says:

    Wonderful traveling virtually with you. 💚 Thank you for sharing some beautiful AZ spots. Nice job getting a jump on Christmas shopping. My shopping accomplishment today – buying Halloween candy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are all loving the temps right now, perfect time to get out and explore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee says:

        Absolutely! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine says:

    Stunning photos and wonderous words. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Asif Balouch says:

    I think this is the best I’ve seen till till now. You’re amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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