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Arizona – Sunday Tête-à-Tête

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Hello friends, I hope you’ve had a great week and brunch is involved for some easy conversation.
I thought I would firstly explain how this new feature came about because I’m not really known for doing videos and these posts aren’t about food or travel exclusively. Basically, a few weeks ago I lay in bed, unable to fall to sleep because the scenes of Arizona were whirling through my head. This all may seem odd, especially as my last visit there was a few years ago, but these scenes were so compelling that I felt such a need to talk about my memories that I sat up and wrote down what I had to say right then and there.

Granted, Arizona is probably not on many people’s travel lists and I know most people when they plan their trip to America, its usually only to visit California or New York with a few destinations in between perhaps. Other then the Grand Canyon, most people don’t plan to see much more of this state that has charmed me the two times I have explored it’s sights. Have you been to there? Or do you have you any interest in visiting yourself?

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Petrified Forest National Park/Reaching out into the canyon/Highway 180

On my last night in New York this past August, I was talking to a friend about to embark on a grand road trip from the east to the west coast and she uttered that her and her boyfriend expected Arizona to be the most boring state on their cross country excursion. My mouth was agape with shock before I quickly unleashed the many things there are to see and do whilst there because the Grand Canyon is but one little piece of the puzzle.

So let’s take a step back because Arizona is so much more than a park so many people simply helicopter into from Las Vegas. There is this sense that bursts through screens that American’s must see one of the Great landscapes of their homeland, but lets face it, Arizona is full of those landscapes, let’s talk about Phoenix and Route 66 and another park that is just as historic as the canyon itself.

Cactus’ on Camelback

Phoenix is a the capital and largest city and is one of the fastest growing cities in America. It sticks out among the landscape with Camelback Mountain as a backdrop for locals and visitors alike to hike up. Once at the top of this landmark, with a few butterflies fluttering nearby we could see the city below with the desert landscape as far as the eye could see confronting us in every direction.

2013-04-11 21.25.27 2013-04-11 20.00.49Views from the hike on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix

Once on the open road and only a few hours drive away is a small town on Route 66 called Holbrook. You might have seen it’s teepee motel in pictures, but this is the town only 20 minutes drive from the entrance to Petrified Forest National Park.

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Teepee Motel on Route 66, Holbrook/Highway 180

Not having heard much of it before deciding this was a place worth detouring to between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. I explored the paths around the vast park, with very little research.  These logs of stone scattered amongst the desert scenery made me think of prehistoric times and it turns out thats where this forest began, during the days of dinosaurs a million lifetimes ago. The beauty of science and time has turned wood into stone and that is something I will never forget seeing.

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Scattered logs/Close up/Looking down another piece of the park

I’ve found the word wow probably sums up the constant feeling of exploring this sate and so often there wasn’t enough time to stop and see everything that is offered within this landlocked piece of North America. I can’t put into words the sense of vast pine forest alongside me with barely a car in sight or the scenes beyond the road of the land breaking away in the distance.

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Tree lined landscape/Snow on the spring ground

The memories of that desert state with it’s swirling shades of orange, the hillsides of forest and
expansive landscape swam through my memory that night. Yes, it’s the Grand Canyon State and yes that park with ten miles lying between the south and the north has plenty of space between it that it’s worth adding to your bucket list. It is one of the hardest sights I’ve ever had to pull myself away from with my eyes tell my mind that its real while my heart was unsure of this reality.

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Land breaking into a canyon/Magic hour in the canyon

If you have been, I’d love to hear what tips you’d give to those wanting to visit this amazing piece of America in the comments below.

Have a great day.

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