In November of 2020, as part of our Canyon & Cactus Road Trip, I: crossed into Arizona and fell in love with chartreuse leaves in Oak Canyon on the way to Sedona; drove south to Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma Well; hiked the Eagles Nest Loop at Red Rock State Park in Sedona; sat quietly under Buddhist prayer flags at Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park in Sedona, turned the prayer wheel, and walked 3x clockwise offering lots of prayers; got a wonderful 90-minute hot stone massage at Namti Spa; spent Election Day nearly getting struck by lightning at Tuzigoot National Monument; spent a day in Phoenix at the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum; visited Casa Grande Ruins National Monument; met a huge variety of cacti at Desert Botanical Garden and wandered through Old Town Scottsdale; hiked through Saguaro National Park (West and East); avoided rattlesnakes on a climb to see petrogylphs by the Hohokam people at the Signal Hill Trail; wandered through the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, finding javelinas and more cacti: hedgehog, barrel, staghorn, teddy bear cholla, catclaw, dwarf organ pipe cactus, Woolly Jacket prickly pear, Cowboy Whiskers Prickly Pear and ocotillo. Followed a van in Tucson with a bumper sticker: “BIDEN 2020: He won’t inject you with bleach.” Went to Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac, where I bought some colorful cactus and coyote yard ornaments; lit a candle for our country and my children at Mission San Xavier del Bac; gobbled down Indian fry bread at Cafe Santa Rosa in Tucson; wandered through the charming but scruffy town of Bisbee, a former copper mining town; missed the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone; took a fabulous (but freezing) hike at the sky island of Chiricahua National Monument; got a flat tire driving on a dirt road to Fort Bowie, but didn’t even visit there after all that.
Here are my top ten favorites in southern Arizona, with a couple of odds & ends thrown in:
11) Odds & Ends: Old Town Scottsdale, ASU Gammage Auditorium in Phoenix, Casa Ruins National Monument, Tumacácori National Historical Park, & Bisbee
10) Pipe Spring National Monument (northern Arizona)
9) Montezuma Castle & Montezuma Well
7) Tuzigoot National Monument
6) Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson
5) Phoenix: (a) Phoenix Art Museum, (b) Heard Museum, (c) Desert Botanical Garden
4) City of Tucson & Saguaro National Park West & East
3) Tubac & Mission San Xavier del Bac
2) Sedona, Red Rock State Park, & Amitabha Stupa
1) Chiricahua National Monument
Here’s the map of our route in 2020. The red shows our route in 2018. Pipestone National Monument is in the north central part of the state, where we dipped down from Utah for a short visit and then returned to Utah.
Thank you for watching! 🙂
The landscape is impressive, Cathy, and I liked a lot of the art work too.
Thanks Jo. It’s very interesting desert landscape with bits of green because the desert does get rain every so often. I love the Arizona artwork because it tells something of the Mexican influence there. I didn’t even include any of the International art like the Impressionists; it was quite an extensive museum. The Heard is mostly focused on Native peoples.
I was traveling solo on this part of the trip, after Alex and Ariana returned to Denver, and after Mike flew home from Las Vegas. 🙂
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Thanks, Anabel. It was a fun part of the trip; I was traveling solo by that time. 🙂
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When we were there, we liked Oak Creek Canyon a lot, as well as Montezuma’s Castle.
Nice, I thought Montezuma’s Castle and Oak Canyon were nice too, but they weren’t my favorites. Hard to get photos of Oak Canyon (not sure if it’s the same as Oak Creek Canyon – is it on the way to Sedona from near Flagstaff?). Chiricahua was my favorite by far in Arizona, although I loved seeing all the cacti throughout the state.
By the way, I tried again to comment on your train ride post, but I can’t even click in the comment box. Is it because it isn’t WordPress? I don’t know what’s going on. Anyway, wanted to say I loved the photos, and what fun to go along on the train ride in the video. 🙂
Whew! As always, your energy amazes me. I too enjoyed the Phoenix Art Museum and loved Chiricahua Monument. There’s so much to see in Arizona.Maybe we’ll get to Montezuma next time…I enjoyed your cactus photos! And I love seeing Chiricahua again.
Thanks, Lynn. Arizona certainly had a lot to offer; I especially liked Tucson and the area south of there. Chiricahua was fabulous but it was freezing and windy when I was there. I wish I could have had more time there to hike. It was fun learning about all the different types of cacti. 🙂
Cathy, great to see the same details to your posts as earlier. The video presentation is an excellent addition. So much more to pack in and create sharper memories. The castle in the hills, the art work, the landscape were all so arresting. Good going!
Thank you so much, Sheetal. It’s been fun to experiment with a new way of encapsulating my travels. I’m having a lot of fun with it all! I hope all is well with you. 🙂
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