I keep promising myself I’ll get at least a post a month, and then the end of the month rolls around, and I feel pressured..hey, at least it keeps me going. I realize I’m now most of 3.5 years behind (let’s call it “throwback thursday” forever, not that I post on Thursdays, or any given day), but the last year or two has really had very little that will be postable, so I still swear I’ll catch up someday…
Anyway, winter turned to spring turned to almost freaking summer instantly, and then today dropped 40 degrees. Thanks, weather. It’s still terrifyingly green around here. I guess we get green, or white, with a brief splash of fall color, and little more. No big things happening, no big things coming up, though I *will* be going backpacking in California in August – hooray! That said, in January 2012, Nathan and I went out to Arizona for a few days…
But which way should we *go* ??
January 3-6, 2012
We wanted to go skiing, and were trying to see what kinds of places we could drive to, that weren’t really Mammoth, and we ended up looking to the ski slopes in Flagstaff. We knew it might be a little dicey to schedule, since the mountain there cannot use artificial snow making, and is thus very much at the whim of nature, but we went out for the weekend anyway (there is actually a fair bit of controversy about this, which I only knew about vaguely before.) . We drove out, which was a pleasant winter drive through the desert, and it was still pretty dry as we started going up and up as we got closer to Flagstaff, but we could see snow on the mountains as we arrived, though not a ton (more or less a common line of our trip).
See the snowy peaks…
We got into Flagstaff and checked into the hotel, and spent a little time that evening walking around the restored downtown area. We grabbed some dinner and a beer and checked out an outdoor shop, but really, we’re not great at doing so much 🙂 As it was the middle of winter, the sun goes down pretty early, so we ended up simply heading out to see a movie that night, and getting snacks at the grocery store before basically settling in for the evening.
The next day we headed out to Snow Bowl, which was in and of itself a lovely drive out of town towards the nearby looming mountain. The mountain is definitely a bowl; unfortunately there just wasn’t quite enough “snow” to really live up to that name. Nonetheless, there was enough there to ski with, so, ski we did. It was really a lovely place and not too overcrowded – I would happily go back again. The snow was a bit slushy, but I still had some great runs…down the greens. As you do, at least if you’re me. I also spent some time just sitting on the deck in the sun.
After skiing for the afternoon, we headed out. Then we turned around when we realized Nathan had left his jacket on top of the car, but fortunately we went back and it had been picked up and left at the lost and found. So then we actually managed to head out, and we headed over to the Grand Canyon, which Nathan had never seen before (not that I’d seen it more than that one time). It was a gorgeous drive over, with the light drawing itself over everything, and the canyon itself was truly majestic, which it really can’t help but be. We walked around along the south rim until just about sunset, enjoying the vista of the canyon and the amazing colors as the sun dropped down.
Photographing people photographing the Canyon (Mather Point).
The next morning it was pretty cold in all of Flagstaff, and we headed out to the mountain again. We spent the morning skiing, on what was basically pretty rapidly disappearing snow, and then didn’t really do much of anything else that evening 🙂
The next morning, we went to go check out Walnut Canyon, another monument near Flagstaff. It’s a cliff dwelling site, inhabited about 900 years ago. There are some ruins on the top of the cliff, an excellent visitors center, and then a trail down and around the canyon – it passes past several of the dwellings, and has excellent view of many of the others.
As we were down into the canyon, I found myself really impressed at how well the visitor center had been built, giving it both excellent views into the canyon, but also seeming fairly unobtrusive against the rocks of the cliff wall. After walking around there, we were done for the day and…went home. I realized a while later I’d left all my jackets at the hotel! Oh well – these things happen, I know.
Dwellings in the middle stripe; visitor center at the top right