Flagstaff quickly became one of our favorite cities in the Southwest. Flagstaff was only on our radar because our cousin lives in town. Never did we think this place would become a favorite stop! Flagstaff is the best place to call “home base” during a trip to northern Arizona: Sedona is 30 miles south, the Grand Canyon is 50-some miles away, Route 66 is part of the main thoroughfare. Then there is the groovy nature of Historic Flagstaff (downtown), oh and there are enough National Monuments to please every explorer.
Happiest and Nicest Kids In Town!
The thing about living in a small town is that, in places like Flag, the people tend to take care of one another a little bit better than in some places, where it’s easier to get lost in the crowd. Every where we went, the Flagstaff peeps extended kindness to us - and for that this city will stay in our hearts.
The Sunset Crater Volcano national monument encompasses a great deal scenery and history. Lucky for us, because we were RV'ing through, the features of the park could be seen during our scenic drive along it's paved loop road. So what is Sunset Crater? Well, about nine centuries ago, a volcano exploded, burying the landscape under lava and cinders. When we drove up we couldn't believe the amount of lava rock. Even after 900 years, the lava looks as if it could flow again at almost any time. The Lava Flow Trail loops amid flows and cinders - we literally walked on rock lava!. At the far end of the loop, we enjoyed a view at the foot of the cinder cone, which almost looks like black sand from a tropical beach. This one kinda hit us right in the 'kisser' - never have we ever been to a place like this!
The main feature at Wupatki is Wupatki Pueblo, a 100-room, four-story structure built about 900 years ago from chunks of sandstone, limestone and basalt - which is unbelievable! Archaeologists say the inhabitants, ancestors of today's Hopi, Zuni and Navajo people, abandoned the area about 700 years ago. Several smaller nearby structures, include a large room and a well-preserved ball court. Our favorite feature was the blowhole at the end of the walkway. This natural opening in the ground blows cool air up or sucks it in depending on the Earth's mood.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
We love exploring churches and chapels while on the road. It gives us a sense of peace, respite and allows us to give thanks for this amazing trip. The Chapel of the Holy Cross blew our minds. Upon first glance it resonates as a place of wonder, and spiritual renewal - and the sublime vistas! The building's architecture and the panoramic views compare to nothing we've seen. The chapel has a 'Frank Lloyd Wright' feel, and a surreal effect as it juts out of two red mounds on a spur of rock that is 200 feet above the ground. The chapel's most dominant feature is a cross that seems to have been wedged into the rock, with the chapel built around it. It is an unforgettable sight from all angles. Looking at it directly, it seems the rocks parted to embrace the structure. From the side, it looks like it was dropped into place; from above, it resembles a diving board or runway where one might leap towards spirit. Inside, the chapel is intimate and unadorned. The feeling in the chapel is uplifting. Wherever one sits, the eye is drawn to the cross in the center and to the floor-to-ceiling windows behind it, which provide a magnificent backdrop.