RTW Day 11 - Phoenix

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February 26th 2018
Published: February 27th 2018
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We don’t sleep well, the room is unbearably hot which is ironic as it’s minus 13 outside. I’m tempted to call reception and discuss the environment some more. We give up when the fuel truck arrives at 7 to refill the gas tank opposite our room. Today’s destination is Phoenix, with 3 couple of stops en route.

We head out of the Canyon along Desert View Drive for our last view scenic views, culminating in the Desert View Watchtower, where you can climb 90 stairs (quite an effort at 7000 feet) for an elevated view of the Canyon and the Colorado River. It’s a scenic place for our breakfast picnic but it’s still just nudging zero degrees and difficult to eat a bagel wearing gloves.

We exit the park and after a brief flirtation with the interstate, divert towards Sedona, at my mum’s suggestion. I’m not convinced. Surely after the Grand Canyon, another red rock canyon will pale into insignificance? But it is red rock awesomeness. Much lower than the Canyon so everything is red, no snow here.

The road entering Sedona drops 2000 feet through half a dozen hairpin bends. We stop at a series of viewpoints as we make our way through the canyon.

Next Montezuma Castle, a 1000 year old 5 storey dwelling made out of caves in the cliff tops. The price has doubled since I googled it a couple of weeks ago. The ranger tries to sell me an annual parks pass. Taking into account the 100 % inflation rate here (plus 25% in the Canyon) this would have been cheaper. I’m not impressed and manage a mini rant before I am dragged away.

Tourists have not been allowed into the caves since 1951 but there is a diorama, which looks like a child’s school project, to show what it might have looked like inside.

We arrive in Phoenix after a long drive and 6000 feet descent with the landscape turning from pine to giant cactus. Several layers of clothing need to be discarded along the way. Phoenix is a proper city with proper traffic. We haven’t seen traffic since we left San Francisco a week ago, so a 5 lane freeway with cars zigzagging all over the place is quite stressful.

We check into our hotel – Grand Canyon University. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it is right in the middle of the university campus. It’s very nice and very purple. And it has a laundrette which is a bonus after 10 days of travel. It also has a pool, and it’s 21 degrees. So having spent the morning freezing my arse off, I am lazing by the pool waiting for my laundry before dinner.

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