Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Enjoying the Beauty of Northern Arizona

April 2 - 4, 2016
Williams, AZ

Weekends. Stay close to home, avoid points of interest.

There's a chance the Route 66 "downtown" might have lots of people on Saturday, but I take a chance to go visit the little shops and galleries. Bill thinks this is such a good idea that he opts to stay home and do maintenance :-)

I'm in luck. Everything is open, the weather is lovely, and there aren't a lot of people. Tessa comes with me, and we have a fun couple hours. Me looking, and not buying; her being petted at each stop.

The jewelry stores  have wonderful art. I love the colors in this painting.
Several cars but the sidewalks and shops aren't crowded
Music from different venues spill into the street
Dioramas showcase a great collection of Rte 66 miniatures
Native America is my favorite shop
Their pieces are exquisite
Bill has the slide tracks lubed when I get back, and we spend the rest of the day on other small projects.

Sunday morning we check out nearby Cataract Lake, a small county park with a playground and a Day Use area. Behind the National Forest Hdq building we find another small lake. 20 people are fishing from the shore, a couple of them are catching. Maybe we'll come back later in the week.

Small, but close to town, and has fish!
It's another pretty day and we hang out at home, reading in the sunshine. 

Monday morning we're on another side road, checking out the forest. Mt Humphreys is visible at every opening in the trees.

A few ranches populate this little valley west of Flagstaff
Bill checks the map and suggests we head toward the San Francisco Peaks, as they seem to be calling us!

San Francisco Peaks Scenic Drive (Hwy 180) heads north from Flagstaff so we find ourselves passing through familiar intersections. Doesn't feel quite as busy as the previous week.

The intermittent cloud cover makes photos challenging, but it is another gorgeous drive. At 8000 feet we find "bowling ball meadow". I can't even describe how pretty it is up here. Several homes enjoy the amazing views in every direction.

Can't imagine ever getting used to waking up to this view
It's windy up here
Hiding among the blowing grasses
Heading down from the peaks we can see for miles - somewhere out there is a grand canyon that we plan to see. One small hill stands out to the west. A rough dirt road takes us to a small parking lot for Red Mountain trail head. It is nearly full.

Back in the junipers and pinon pines
The Red Mountain amphitheater is beautiful against the blue skies. Another spot we've never heard of, and glad we found.

Red Mountain
Her paws may be permanently red now
Love jelly fish clouds
Humphreys continues to keep an eye on us
We are really enjoying Northern Arizona, and we haven't even seen the big show yet! Hwy 64 takes us back to Williams.

Unlike every other town we've been in for months, Williams only has two Mexican food restaurants. We're in the mood for margaritas. One place is a little fast food spot, the other has good reviews and has margaritas.

Unfortunately the reviews are not accurate for either the food or the margaritas, and the "ambiance" is definitely lacking. Still, we make the best of what we get, finding several things to keep us laughing.  We won't be back to Fiesta Mexican Grille on Route 66.

We sat beside a chest freezer - painted to "match" the wall mural 
The tables are old desks, complete with pull-out drawers. They are actually pretty cool.
My favorite though, was the tag still on the margarita glass!
The RV park fills up every night, and lots of people head for the train every morning. So we figure every day is busy at the Grand Canyon. With clouds and rain coming mid-week, Tuesday is the big day :-)


  1. It certainly does sound like you are enjoying yourselves. What can you say about reviews? Everyone has different taste buds. We've discovered that too.

    1. We're having a blast :-) Fortunately we've been able to trust reviews until this place - could have just been a different cook.

  2. Love the blowing grasses and the views of Humphreys Mt. Can't wait for your big day...a wow every second!

    1. That high elevation valley is so pretty! Yes, the wows were non-stop :-)))

  3. Every day IS busy at the Grand Canyon! It's still worth a visit though.

    Northern AZ is pretty darn amazing. I'm going to have to find that Red Mountain now, it looks wonderful!

    1. Yes, and yes :-) You'll like Red - the road is rough and narrow in a couple places, but there was at least one bigger pickup in the parking lot. Put it on the list!

  4. Omgosh I love the Native American stuff too!! That painting is beautiful... Too funny you find a bowling ball. Lol..

    1. The art and jewelry is incredible, you'd be drooling right beside me! Did NOT expect to see that in the meadow :-)))

  5. Your first line is our motto. Stay home on week-ends. But a full trail head parking lot even on a Monday in early April? SIGH............ The sticker on the bottom of the glass pretty much says it all.

    1. Yes, spring break seems to make everyday a weekend in this area :-( Wish the margarita was as good as the glass was funny!

  6. A bowling ball in the meadow? What the heck?? And that sticker on the bottom of the glass -- oh my gosh. Makes me wonder if they washed the glass before they put that margarita in it. That's okay -- the alcohol will kill any germs! :-)

    1. Not sure what sport that is......! We said the same thing about the glass - swirled all that alcohol around a bit for good measure :-))))