Birthday Surprise – Day 3 (part 3)

(you’re probably thinking this is never going to end, huh?)

If you’re looking for the winner of the book drawing, go here.

So I think I still have too much to cover in one post, so I’ll just do what I can and finish the rest another day.

Sunday after Walnut Canyon we decided to visit the Arboretum at Flagstaff, which we had never heard of before. Apparently it’s been around since the 80’s, but that’s about the same time that we moved to So Cal, so explains why we weren’t familiar with it.

Anyway, it was a lovely place for a stroll as you can see from the photos, but was a bit frustrating because the map that they gave us didn’t match the signs that were on the grounds which made it difficult to navigate around. We decided that the person or people who designed the map and signs obviously didn’t understand the meaning of “attention to detail”…oh well, it was a nice cool summer day and we enjoyed our time there. The squirrel was in the process of hiding some acorns at the bottom of that tree, which was fun and it had been a long time since I’d seen a robin. They were so common in Ohio, but definitely not in Phoenix.

In our next post we’ll head to Meteor Crater and

take a drive down Route 66 thru Winslow.

Birthday Surprise Day 3 (Part 2) Exploring around Flagstaff

Don’t forget to scroll down to my post about the book giveaway and add your comment to get in the drawing. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday night.

So, on to the next report…after the kids headed east and west, Terry and I checked into our hotel, then decided to head out to a place that we hadn’t been since the kids were young. Walnut Canyon, a great place to go in the summer to get out of the Phoenix heat and enjoy the cool and green of the north country.


Walnut Canyon is filled with Indian ruins and caves in the rocks that you can actually walk in and imagine what it would have been like to live in these dwellings hundreds of years ago.

Unfortunately, when we arrived we were surprised to discover that two separate rock falls had damaged the main trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument last December, 2007, depositing a 49-ton boulder, several other large rocks, and 100 additional tons of debris on the most popular Island Trail.The slide demolished concrete stairs, handrails, and a bench.The trail was immediately closed to the public, and park staff began assessing the cleanup process.According to reports, the project has proved more complicated than it first appeared, and the trail will remain closed through at least September of this year. If you plan to go up there sometime, I’d recommend calling first to see if
the trail is open, since it serves as the only access to the cliff dwellings (the most interesting part).

Posted here are some pics of some of the wildlife that we saw. If you click to enlarge

the 4th photo you can see at least 3 different dwellings in the sides of the canyon. You can see in a couple of the other photos what the dwellings look like from closer up.

In the 6th photo from the top, you should be able to see the large bird (hawk?) flying on the right side of the picture. It was really cool to see these birds soaring below us, when we stood at the overlook.

Even though we couldn’t walk down to the dwellings, we still had a nice time. As you can see the clouds were a bit ominous and we heard some thunder and got sprinkled on a little, but we look forward to that around here. It’s a nice change of pace.

Next we visited the Flagstaff Arboretum…