(Warning: Photo overload! We did a lot of fun things in AZ in between and after the grandparents visiting)
How in the world is it May 8th!? I truly have no concept of time right now. Without the usual traditions and rhythms of life and the seasons like we’re used to – it never feels like a familiar month.
Today I’m typing from Utah, which has been *amazing*. We already love it even though we’ve only been here 3 days!
Williams AZ was so good to us for the month of April. We left there Saturday (May 4th) chatting in Betty about all the adventures and lots of happy memories we made with both sets of grandparents.
We sure had lots of fun with them all!
Here are some last pics from our time with MM & Pa:
(The Marshall checking in on AB cow girl)
(Cowgirl hair or beach hair?)
(Fun new game – Blockus! Thanks Mm & Pa)
(We all tried Italian sodas for the first time. They were great – how did I only discover this in AZ and not growing up in NJ!?)
The RV park we stayed at in Williams (Grand Canyon Railway Hotel & RV Park) was not our fave type of place to park Woody. It was just a parking lot.
But it served its purpose in that it was safe, had sidewalks, had hotels right next door for visitors, full hook ups, it was walking distance to groceries and stores, had clean bathrooms and laundry, and access to a pool and gym!
We always like having a picnic table too:
So really it was a great park as far as RV parks go – but our favorite places to park are the ones more surrounded in nature like state and county parks.
It didn’t stop us from pretending we were in nature though!
Just goes to show – sunsets can be enjoyed wherever you are!
So many pretty sunsets at that spot!
There were many wilderness spots within a few miles of the RV park that we could easily get to that we enjoyed a lot throughout the month!
I think the kiddos miss our backyard at Stoney Creek a lot — but the “backyard” of America’s wilderness has been a great substitute!
Look at this little dam and reservoir just a mile up the road:
Keyhole Sink Trail was close by too! It has ancient writings – which we couldn’t find – and a waterfall – which wasn’t falling – yet was still a fun hike despite all that! We especially loved the lizards and the velvet like plants:
Another fave spot was Dogtown Lake, which was about 5 miles down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. We saw mule deer in the woods around there:
I love seeing RR in nature. He is most content and peaceful in places like this. I often ask what he’s daydreaming about and he can’t even tell me. That’s a great thing for his sharp, ever-moving mind!
Then out toward Flagstaff – we had a girls day at Waputki National Monument! Something I continually hear myself saying of the west is that it’s just so vast. I love that there’s so much land and room still:
Wupatki (meaning tall house in Hopi) was a Pueblo structure that at one point had 100+ rooms. They believe it was used my name different native tribes and clans. Appeared to be the thriving social center with ceremonial areas and even a ball pit! Which I had never heard of before. I loved hearing about the ball games and seeing one of the mud balls.
It was pretty incredible to see how it was formed.
The girls were most interested in the “blow hole” which was an opening to a cavern below the earth. The air rushing out was so cool and felt like air conditioning. So interesting!
They really enjoyed picturing what life must have been like for natives….especially in the heat! It was only April and we were scorching. And also what it would be like to be a Native American child in a community like this.
The girls earned another Junior Ranger badge for all they learned:
And we enjoyed looking at the landscape of that area again
Including another glance at Sunset Crater Volcano:
And the snow-peaked Humphrey’s Peak closer up:
We also made sure to get down to Sedona for a day before we left AZ! B has had a nasty cold since N.C. so he and AB hung low while RR, E and I went up Cathedral Rock. This was not hard cardio-wise but it was hard physically. It was scrambling/ rock climbing more than hiking. It was great!!!!
Is it still considered hiking if I spent 90% of the way down on my hiney? And 75% of the way up on all fours!? RR thrived on this climb. He literally looked like spider-man climbing and scrambling. Many people on the trail stopped and gawked at him and made comments to me about him when I (finally) got up each time to where he was stopped waiting for us. I never knew he was part insect!
After Cathedral Rock we went to Montezuma Castle National Monument. Home of the Southern Sinagua. Another wow! Very incredible how they built this (around 1100 and 1300 AD). It was named by early Europeans. But it’s not a castle… and Emporer Montezuma was Aztec and lived way after this was made and lived in….. soooooo 🙂
You cant tell but there’s 5 stories of passageway and dwellings here too:
My new fave plant I’ve found on this trip is the foxtail. IF I’m correct and that’s what this is. We originally saw them in Palm Springs and they are sooo pretty the way they dance gently in the wind and are super shiny and just relaxing:
This area kept reminding us of Texas! I love that the kids can say things like, “hey Mommy this reminds me of the Guadalupe River area near San Antonio!”
And B and I have a new fave tree! We were both drawn to them right away. They are Arizona sycamores. Their bark is so beautiful – almost like a birch but way prettier in color and smoother. I couldn’t capture it. It’s like a puzzle piece. They’re so big and look perfect for a hammock or swing. We want one!
Junior Ranger Badge number 9 I think!?
It was at least 10 degrees hotter in the Sedona area – we had successfully worn the kiddos out!
And with that — our Arizona adventures were over! We enjoyed the smallness of Williams and the old cars always around and the cutesy and slow feel —- but we were ready to move on for sure! 🙂
Bye bye hug-a-hog and choo choo train!
SO many of our RV parks have been right next to loud trains and we have loved it!
Our fave memories of the month are at the Grand Canyon for sure. So many special moments at such a special place.
Can’t wait to tell you all about the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and Utah! Love y’all !