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Thread: Trip to Arizona in a Nutshell

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Bangor, ME

    Default Trip to Arizona in a Nutshell

    Since Bruce is sharing his trip I thought I'd post a quick pictoral of our trip to Arizona last week...

    We flew out Sunday morning the 20th and spent a few days in the Phoenix area with Lee's Son's family, including a new granddaughter. We took them caching and swam in the cement pond and had a lot of fun with the two girls.

    Wednesday morning we took off in a rental to see as much country as time would allow and grab a few caches on the way. We headed west on Superstition highway through some amazing mountains. It didn't take long to see Arizona is not all flat desert. In fact, much of it is at a higher elevation than any point in Maine, and cool and breezy. But great sunshine.

    At one point, we ended up at Salt River Canyon. This road switches back many time as you descend down into the canyon about 1500-2000 feet lower in elevation and back up again. There is a cache at the bridge at the bottom.

    We continued on northwestward and drove through the Petrified Forest National Park. I expected this to just be some scraps of petrified wood, but there is much more to see in this park. Also, there are some big trees in the petrified forest. Many are 3-4 feet in diameter, a couple are closer to 6. And many of them! Other attractions through the park are where the Old Rt 66 used to pass through, painted deserts, "Newspaper Rock" petroglyphs, and a few virtual and earthcaches. All well worth the entry fee.

    We were going to stay nearby that night, but we wanted to do all we could to visit a place called Antelope Canyon. So we drove to Flagstaff to cut 100 miles off Thursday's drive. Just so you know, Flagstaff is busy with trains! We heard them all night long. In the early evening, there was at least one passing through town every 5 minutes. It seemed like that lessened to every 10 minutes as the night went on.

    On our way north to Page on Thursday, we took a loop through the Sunset Crater/Wupatki national monuments parks. Sunset crater is an old volcano, very much worth seeing. There are a few trails and caches in the area, including one through the lava flow. The Wupatki and other ruins on the nothern part of the loop are well worth a look as well.

    From there we headed north to page. We drove to the entrance to Antelope Canyon to see if we might be able to go. You cannot go alone, you need a guide and a permit. But you can get the permit on-site and they have about 5 or 6 guides with trucks all set up to take you there. After a short, fast ride across desert we came to the slot canyons. These are a must do if you're in the area, truly spectacular. No caches are there because it is on reservation land, but you won't care!

    That was it for Thursday, except for a short drive to the Utah line for a cache there and a few others in the area. On Friday, we headed for a natural area known as Horsehoe Bend. I saw pics of this before leaving and there was a cache there, so we had to do it. This is another spot pictures or words can't fully describe. Planet of the Apes was filmed in this area, and when you are there you can see why. the walk to the cache is fairly easy, but long enough to make you really appreciate the terrain.

    From there we drove past the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. That is as amazing as you would expect it to be. It is a bit less enjoyable as you approach the heavily visited areas, there must have been 1000 people at Grand Canyon Village.

    From there we cached our way south to Kingman, not far from the AZ/CA/NV border. Saturday morning we headed toward and old ghost town, Oatman, via Historic rt. 66. This in itself was a great trip, imagining what it must have been like to traverse this twisting stretch of road in the old days. The roads are barely wide enough to pass two cars, with no guard rails to protect you from 100-500 foot drop-offs. Oatman was nice, but we were unaware of a biker gather in Laughlin, NV, about 10 miles away. So this ghost town with a normal population of 50 or so had several hundred motocyclists visiting. We hope to go back when it's quieter some day, but it was still worth the visit.

    Here's a pic of Lee and me in Oatman. Actually, these burros roam wild, anscestors of the burros used by prospectors.

    From Oakman, we drove acros the borders of CA and NV to get a few caches in those states, then drove back to Phoenix. We turned the rental in that night, so Saturday we walked the streets of phoenix to pick up a few caches before flying home.

    All in all, a great time. Phoenix was hot, 90 and 2% humidity, but northern AZ was closer to Maine in the fall. We bought a case of water, and used it all in the week. Caches were often Altoid tins. A few were just zip lock bags. One was a stuffed animal. but, with the dry air there, they were all in good condition.

    That's about it, there are a few additioanal pics on photobucket if you care to take a look.

    This is the route we took A ---> B
    Last edited by brdad; 05-02-2008 at 02:12 PM.

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

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