Greetings from Flagstaff!

vraiblonde

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Oh my gosh, what a nice surprise! Trees! Big ones! Ponderosa pines! And their downtown is adorable! It's a little village with foodie stuff and bars and entertainment and shoppies. Super cute!

Unfortunately there is a wildfire not far from us - they're still fighting it - and I've never seen anything like that up close and personal. I've seen the aftermath of that big fire in Gatlinburg years ago, but never one that was actively burning.

Anyway, we're going to like it here! Our campground is nice and we have a good spot, secluded but a serious mall is practically right across the street. We have a week here, and then on to Holbrook for two weeks. I tried to see if we could be here for two weeks and just shorten up Holbrook, but they're booked. Monello's brilliant idea was to see if that second Holbrook week could be spent here instead, so I'll work on that tomorrow.

I mean, unless that fire spreads and we have to evacuate....
 
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vraiblonde

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Well...heck...

The fire is getting closer and they're saying we might have to bug out. :frown:


And as I was typing that Monello's phone went off with the alert....

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NextJen

Raisin cane
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Hope you're ready to roll if you need to, and hope you can find a place to stay. Be safe!
 

vraiblonde

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We had plans to go exploring but obviously that's not a good idea right now. Hopefully they get it under control before it becomes a problem to the houses and businesses.
 

black dog

Free America
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Are you talking about the fire in Gatlinburg that burned the city block in 92?
My ex and I were there on our honeymoon when that happened.
 

vraiblonde

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It looks like our potential emergency is over. The fire appears to have headed north and it's also raining on the mountain, so that's helpful.


If it turns we can still be out of here in 15 minutes, but I don't think it will.
 
Good, hope you can stay put. Nothing like getting rousted out of bed and not having any idea where you're going in the dark.
 

vraiblonde

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Clear skies this morning with a faint odor of old campfire. Hey California, are you paying attention to this???

I rearranged our schedule so we can come back and spend more time in Flagstaff. The last rearrange had us a week here, 2.5 weeks in Holbrook, and backtrack to Williams for a month. Now we are a week in Holbrook, back to Flagstaff for another week and a half, then on to Williams.

I don't like it when my favorite places are so far apart. It would be better for me if Flagstaff and Las Cruces and the whole Rapid City area were in the southeast to be closer to Gatlinburg and PCB, that way I could dot around between them easily. We've only been here since Sunday and haven't really seen a lot, but you can get a vibe for a place rather quickly. Flagstaff has a feel that Monello and I both picked up on immediately.

By nature I'm a faithful person, with no roving eye and I'm not susceptible to distractions, so it's interesting that I'm fickle with cities and tend to forget old loves when a new love comes along. Right now I can't even picture South Padre Island's face, but I know that once we get back in December I'll be like, oh yeah! I remember you! How you doin'? Same with Panama City Beach.
 

vraiblonde

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Scenes from downtown:

This is their little community square where they have entertainment things

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Downtown is super walky, with more bars and restaurants than I've ever seen before
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Alleyways are actually little commercial cubbies

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Everything has this kind of older small town facade, but it's actually quite modern and not junky

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vraiblonde

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Yesterday we went to Snowbowl, which is a ski resort in the winter. In the summer they have a few things for people to do, including ride the lift up to the top of the mountain, 11,000 feet elevation.

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There were a bunch of people there, including a bus full of young Chinese tourists. It was a lovely ride, getting a little chilly as we got to the top, and then it started raining, which turned to hail. Some people were smart and brought a jacket; others (like me) were in shorts and a tank top. :frown: So take note: if you go to Flagstaff and do the Snowbowl lift (which I highly recommend), take a sweatshirt or jacket.

The Chinese kids were here for 7 days - their flight took 20 hours. :yikes: They had great English and were quite chatty, said they were enjoying their visit very much. I love foreign tourists because they're always having a good time and admiring our country. They have an appreciation for American culture, especially the young people, which is a bit of a revelation considering the media insist that everyone in the world hates us.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
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Today's travel plans included the towns of Jerome & Sedona. First stop was Jerome where we expected to take a quick windshield tour of the town and then stop if we saw something interesting. In Flagstaff we are at almost 7,000 feet elevation. It was 88 degrees when we left around noon. We took the quick route, which ran us down the interstate for 50 miles. Along the way we lost a lot of elevation. By the time we got to the town of Cottonwood to make a pitstop, we were down to 3,300 feet. The temperature was a toasty 104 degrees. We had driven about 55 miles but what a temperature difference.

The drive up to Jerome was a switchbackarama. We gained 1,700 feet back as we swerved our way up the road. Vrai was leaning in as the canyon lay down below our side of the roadway. I was busy watching the road but would steal a glance over every once in a while. When we arrived in town we lucked out and got a parking spot fairly quickly. Being a Saturday, the town was full of tourists and lookie lous. I should have checked the temperature but it certainly wasn't in the 100s.

Jerome is an old mining town similar to Tombstone. And like Tombstone there were a lot of prostitutes living there during it's mining heyday. 1 of the madames when she died in 1905 was the richest woman in Arizona. So in Jerome the wages of sin are quite good. The town no longer has a school nor a grocery store. They do have a police station and a post office and that's pretty much it for services. The town has a few touristy stores with a few bars, wine bars, restaurants, and specialty stores like a candy store and hot pepper sauce joint.

We ate at a BBQ place. I had the local take on the Philly cheese steak. They used moist, smoked brisket, pepper jack cheese and green chile sauce. It was a delicious local version of an east coast favorite. Jerome is hilly and is laid out on a series of parallel streets that you can follow the street or take the steps that dot the landscape. 2 laps of the town would be a good workout.

Chatting with our waitress, we told her our next stop was Sedona. She mentioned taking the canyon route, since it's muchmore scenic than the direct route. And she wasn't kidding. I'll leave our drive to Sedona for another post. I'll post some pics soon.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sedona, don't pass up the opportunity. And take the route that goes through the Coconino National Forest.
 

littlelady

God bless the USA
Today's travel plans included the towns of Jerome & Sedona. First stop was Jerome where we expected to take a quick windshield tour of the town and then stop if we saw something interesting. In Flagstaff we are at almost 7,000 feet elevation. It was 88 degrees when we left around noon. We took the quick route, which ran us down the interstate for 50 miles. Along the way we lost a lot of elevation. By the time we got to the town of Cottonwood to make a pitstop, we were down to 3,300 feet. The temperature was a toasty 104 degrees. We had driven about 55 miles but what a temperature difference.

The drive up to Jerome was a switchbackarama. We gained 1,700 feet back as we swerved our way up the road. Vrai was leaning in as the canyon lay down below our side of the roadway. I was busy watching the road but would steal a glance over every once in a while. When we arrived in town we lucked out and got a parking spot fairly quickly. Being a Saturday, the town was full of tourists and lookie lous. I should have checked the temperature but it certainly wasn't in the 100s.

Jerome is an old mining town similar to Tombstone. And like Tombstone there were a lot of prostitutes living there during it's mining heyday. 1 of the madames when she died in 1905 was the richest woman in Arizona. So in Jerome the wages of sin are quite good. The town no longer has a school nor a grocery store. They do have a police station and a post office and that's pretty much it for services. The town has a few touristy stores with a few bars, wine bars, restaurants, and specialty stores like a candy store and hot pepper sauce joint.

We ate at a BBQ place. I had the local take on the Philly cheese steak. They used moist, smoked brisket, pepper jack cheese and green chile sauce. It was a delicious local version of an east coast favorite. Jerome is hilly and is laid out on a series of parallel streets that you can follow the street or take the steps that dot the landscape. 2 laps of the town would be a good workout.

Chatting with our waitress, we told her our next stop was Sedona. She mentioned taking the canyon route, since it's muchmore scenic than the direct route. And she wasn't kidding. I'll leave our drive to Sedona for another post. I'll post some pics soon.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sedona, don't pass up the opportunity. And take the route that goes through the Coconino National Forest.
Love y’all’s online journal. Safe travels. :)
 

vraiblonde

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Put it on your bucket list right now so you don't forget - everyone MUST!!! take the 89-A drive through the Coconino National Forest at least once in their life. It was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. I can't even describe it, it was so amazing. Click on the pics to enlarge so you can see them better:

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We're coming back in a week so I'll take more pics. I didn't get as many as I'd have liked because I was too busy gawking.

Jerome is really cute, reminded me of Ellicott City with the windy walky shopping and eateries. There are three levels to Jerome and you can either wind around the streets or you can walk up the stairs built into the mountain.

We just did a pass through of Sedona because we didn't expect to spend so much time in Jerome. When we get back we'll actually stop and explore, but what we saw was a serious upscale tourist town. It reminded me of Jackson Hole, WY.

I love this area!!
 
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