This huge “rock” is right in the middle of Phoenix, but all around it is very flat land.
Every day was cool, crisp, clear, and sunny. This was our resort hotel near Sedona.
The Hilton at Bell Rock had multiple outdoor fire pits and was already decorated for Christmas. And each room had a gas fireplace!
Evenings were warm enough for outdoor dining at the various fire pits.
Everyone was excited about the famous “pink jeep” tours that explored the surrounding red rock landscape.
Everyone wanted a photo in front of the pink jeep.
The surrounding landscape was dotted with so many prickly pear cacti. And the stores all sold candy, syrup, BBQ sauce, and many more things flavored with the red fruit of the prickly pear.
On Day 2, we toured all around Sedona on this trolley.
Warm and sunny enough for open windows and great pictures.
The vistas from the airport plateau in Sedona were impressive.
We got really close to the red rock mountains.
Sedona is a great art mecca with artist shops everywhere and lots of sculptures and statues on display outdoors. This was my favorite.
Built right into the rock face is this Catholic Chapel of the Holy Cross.
We took the Grand Canyon Railroad from Williams, AZ, (on old route 66) to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
The terrain is pretty flat and bleak, but we had great entertainment along the ride. Not much wildlife to see except lots of Summer Cows — summer standing, summer laying, summer eating…
The dark line along the horizon is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is higher in elevation than the South Rim and is visible from many miles away.
How do you get the entire Grand Canyon in one photo? Impossible! But we all try, don’t we?
I took lots of photos of passengers and even strangers with the canyon as a backdrop, so someone offered to take my photo, too.
Strong winds were blowing right toward the edge of the canyon. The gusts were strong enough to have to plant my feet firmly on the walkway, far away from the canyon edge.
Many areas of the South Rim had no rock walls or guardrails. With the strong wind gusts, my shadow got close, but not me! Winds were over 30 mph.
These bighorn sheep came right up over the lip of the canyon and did not seem frightened by all the tourists.
There were a total of 7 bighorn sheep visiting that day.
Suddenly the sheep would disappear over the edge. They are so nimble-footed. What a view!
The Hopi House was built in 1905 for Hopi artisans to work and sell their wares.
This is the only remaining original building at the South Rim.
We traveled several miles to the east, stopping at Desert View park. The Colorado River is visible from this location.
This is the Desert View Watchtower overlooking the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River
A fun group dinner at Black Barts in Flagstaff, AZ. All the waiters and waitresses serve dinner and entertain their guests with classic show tunes
Another entertaining dinner was at the Blazin’ M Ranch, and it included prickly pear cole slaw along with BBQ chicken and ribs. Yum!
Guests celebrating a birthday were given a special cowboy hat to wear.
Montezuma Castle is a pre-Columbian (~1100 AD) cliff dwelling inhabited by the Sinagua people. It is a 5-story, 20- room, apartment building. Unfortunately, someone many years ago plastered over the original stone walls, but it was amazing to think about living on the face of a cliff like that. Misnamed, the structure pre-dates Montezuma, himself. He was ruler of the Aztec Empire in 1502. Go figure!
After viewing the Grand Canyon from the top, the Verde Canyon Railroad took us along the base of Verde Canyon, looking up at the beautiful red canyon walls.
Having another sunny day, most of the passengers rode in the open-air car.
Another great photo op.