Sunday, May 17
Gila Hot Springs, NM to Sedona, AZ
Odometer Begin: 111,558
Miles traveled: 502
Time spent traveling: 11 hours
Other: Temperature on sign while driving through Pheonix: 107 F!!…but it is a dry heat…sweet Jesus!
Wx: partly sunny low 100s F
States traveled: NM , AZ
A Note: We have gotten so many good suggestions for the southwest from you all, but we unfortunately are limited on time so we will just have to come back and see all the places suggested!
Again with the early start…I would love to not see 6 am tomorrow (although we are in Pacific time since Arizona does not do Day Light Savings). Our plans for the morning are to “sleep in’ and have pumpkin pancakes and eggs with salsa instead of granola or oatmeal! We are in Sedona and it is absolutely gorgeous! The drive, though tortuous was well worth it. We left Gila Hot Springs, at 7:45 even after being woken up last night at 12:30 am by someone BLASTING Wooly Bully (or whatever the name is)…seriously. Then they went on to play some other music but courteously turned it down so we could only hear their sub woofers.
Our first stop today was at Saguaro National Park. We planned on hiking but seeing as it was damn hot, we opted for short walks among the cacti. Survey says: Saguaros are cool. We also saw a few Gila Woodpeckers which are also really cool, but not as cool a Pileated in my humble opinion.
We then had a quick lunch of left over mac and cheese with tuna and salsa, (it just keeps getting better doesn’t it? ) in a parking space and headed out of the park toward Sedona. Like I mentioned before it was hot and with no A/C and the west in a record breaking heat wave, the drive was rough, but we made it and once we got here it all evaporated…like any sweat in this arid land. We found a campsite at Manzanita Campground on the Coconino National Forest. According to the Coconino website, to get a campsite here you have to be early and lucky so I guess the camping gods were smiling down on us today. The campground is small, maybe 20 sites, tents only, so we kind of felt we had a good chance. It is located in Oak Creek Canyon right on Oak Creek so we set up the tent and then went straight to the creek. It was cold and refreshing and WONDERFUL! We decided to stay for 2 nights so we set up the large tent for more room and had a leisurely evening. We have currently Dave Matthews on the iPod and I am typing this at our little folding table and chair. The tent is so big that it takes us ten minutes to set it up but like I already told our friend Ryan when he gave us crap for it’s size; being able to stand up to put our pants on is a blessed thing.