Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Arizona and Sedona

Driving near Tuzigoot
After two nights in Flagstaff we headed south to Sedona.  The red rock area that's part way between Flagstaff and Phoenix is a must see. It may not be quite as well known internationally as the Grand Canyon and I won't venture to guess about it's domestic reknown.  I had been to Sedona once as a teenager when we stopped there as a family.  My mom went to school at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff and consequently had spent plenty of time in Sedona, less than a hour drive.
Sedona near Chapel of the Holy Cross

In many ways I prefer Sedona to the Grand Canyon.  The rock formations extend up above car level, not below like the Canyon.  The colors are more vibrant.  The formations lend themselves to imagination.  They are named by what people thought they looked like: Bell Rock, Snoopy Rock, Coffeepot Rock, etc. The colors change a lot as the sun moves.  The color contrast between the bright blue sky, the green scrub brush and the red rock is breath taking.

Jerome Saloon
While staying in Sedona we saw Chapel of the Holy Cross, and day tripped to Cottonwood, Jerome: an old mining town that was nearly abandoned in the 1950's when the mine closed and the population dropped from 1000 to less than 400 people.  The town still has an old west mining feel and is mostly supported by tourism now. We saw the Tuzigoot National monument which is Native American ruins from roughly 1125- 1400AD.  On the drive down to Phoenix we tried to go to V-bar-V to see petroglyphs but it was closed so we made do with Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle which continued the trend we saw starting with Tuzigoot of really poorly named things. 

Montezuma Well: a self sustaining well with a constant spring in the bottom, middle. Two Native American groups consider it their source of origin.

Tuzigoot is a derivative of Tuzighoot which means crooked water in an Apache language, named for the creek that runs nearby. Tuzigoot (with a different emphasis) means nothing in any language. There was a reference at most National monuments in this area to the Sin Agua Indians.  That name comes from a Spanish explorers name for the  hills nearby, Sierra Sin Agua, though most historians now recognize that there were never a people who referred to themselves or were referred to by others as the Sinaguas. Montezuma, of course, was never in Arizona but the inital discovery team thought that both the well and castle may have been part of the Aztec empire ruled over by Montezuma.  Hey, it was the 1800's, no google back then. There were again references to the Sinaguas at MC and MW.
Old World Brewery sampler.  The Season was Yard Dog - a sour version of the Dark Knight Porter.
The last night in Arizona we stayed in Phoenix due to our 5am flight the following day. I wasn't sure how we'd pass the time until I found a LivingSocial deal for Old World Brewery. Two tasting flights of five samples each, two pint glasses, a six pack for $17. We met Matt, the head brewer and chatted him and another employee up about their beers.  That earned us three more tastes, two off the tanks in the back. The Dark Knight Porter is their most popular beer and I can understand why.  The guys then recommended Angel's Trumpet to us.  Wow.  I wish that Angel's was in Seattle.  35 taps including local beers and imports.  Three taps turned over in the hour and a half we were there.  We each got a six place sampler for $9 and picked different from each other to have the biggest spread. What a stellar selection.  The food was plentiful and very good.  We even saw Matt from Old World again!

Final thoughts on the trip:
It proved to be a very good, potentially important step in my still budding relationship with 25. We got along through navigation snafus, nights of very short sleep, familial trials and lots of time together. We stayed near our loosely outlined budget, neither left the other on the side of a road, and, speaking only for myself, I enjoyed my time immensely for the historical aspects, the romantic possibilities and the breathtaking scenery.

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