Monday, November 22, 2010


I felt like a kid again.  Waking up early in the morning, piling into the car, and heading to some beautiful location in Arizona.  I remember my Dad would back the car into the driveway (to make it easier to load the trunk, no doubt) and then pull straight out, car aimed toward our destination.  Not backing out of the driveway the usual way for school, church, or mundane errands signaled we were on vacation.

A few Saturdays ago my two sisters, niece and I took a day trip to Sedona.  It had been raining up there for three straight days with no rain in the forecast for our excursion.  I knew it would be perfect. As we drove up north we dipped down through the Verde Valley (sadly, no pics, light too low) where spectacular moisture-laden clouds were hanging low.  What a great opening to our trip.  Officially leaving our cares behind, we took the exit toward Sedona and then we had our first peek at those gorgeous red rocks.

Red Rock State Park
The clouds swirled by all day so the light was constantly changing. My friend, Chris, professional photographer, would have loved the challenge and the surroundings.

Red Rock State Park
Somewhere in the brush is the famous Vortex.  Never did see it nor did we feel a change of "energy". Although any time I'm standing smack dab in the middle of Nature at her finest, senses are sharpened and I'm energized.  Same thing? Don't know.

Red Rock State Park

Wilson Mountain, Oak Creek Canyon 
Views such as this one tends to give me a refreshed perspective.  Does it you?

Driving up Oak Creek Canyon I remembered Garland's Lodge.  I have always wanted to stay there.

So we turned off the highway and drove down a narrow road over Oak Creek.

You just know something special is around the corner.

Isn't this just the welcome you want to receive when you have a booked a few nights at a lodge?  Garland's Lodge is tucked into the canyon far from the busy 89A.  A stay at Garland's includes afternoon tea, dinner, and breakfast.  Apparently the food is so good that a cookbook has been published, Sharing Our Table at Garland's Lodge

Photo by E. Rees (darling niece)
We hadn't booked anything, of course.  We were just snooping around this gorgeous property mentally tucking away a future stay.  (Actually, for several days I daydreamed about coming back to stay, by myself, for two nights, never leaving the property upon arriving.)

That's my future cabin, right behind me. Hmmm. Sigh.

Pumpkins stand at attention atop the stone wall.

Photo by E. Rees

Moving on.  We headed back down the canyon and toward the mining town of Jerome.  But first, a quick stop for terrific views from Oak Creek Airport.

Capitol Butte and Brins Mesa

Jerome, Arizona
Jerome is an old copper mining town.  Once a thriving town it is now filled with artisans and biker bars.

Jerome, Arizona

My friend, Liz, told me about the Asylum Restaurant at the Jerome Hotel.  It is perched above the town with great views and a ghoulish interior.  We were there the weekend of Day of the Dead so the creepy factor was sky high.  We stayed long enough to have a soda on the patio.

We decided we hadn't had enough of Sedona so instead of taking a different route back home we went back to Sedona, stopped at a street fair, and then went home the same way we came.

So, when was your last day trip?  If it's been a while, grab a map and start planning. We didn't do anything fancy on this trip and spent very little money.  No jeep tours or overnight stays.  If the weather had been warmer we would have brought a picnic.  The scenery was spectacular and the company undemanding.  Consider grabbing family or friends, camera and map, and carve out a day to explore and refresh.


  1. Oh I love an adventure. I miss Garlands. David used to help the accountant there and she'd comp us a room. My kind of help. I was bummed when she left. You take such great pictures.

  2. Love your writing and photos (Ellen's too!) -- can't wait for our next trip to Sedona/Jerome now...

  3. Love that last photo, you are my kind of girls!

  4. Tami: Do tell! Did you love it? Was the food as good my taste buds imagine? Thanks for the compliment.

    Jennifer: Thank you, thank you. Ellie definitely has knack for picture taking.

    Jill: I knew you would like this post--you guys always take the best day trips.