Walnut Canyon

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Today, we visited Walnut Canyon National Monument, which is just east of Flagstaff. We passed it yesterday, on our way into town, but were too fried to deal with it. Fortunately, we had all day today. After weigh-in this morning, we enjoyed our weekly fat-fest with breakfast at the Tourist Home All Day Café. After breakfast we backtracked east along I-40 a few miles to the turnoff for Walnut Canyon. The trail featured two trails, both about a mile in length. We did the Island Trail first, which also featured about 300 steps down, then back up again, plus numerous no railings stretches of edge of a cliff walking. Ancestors to numerous modern-day tribes used this park’s pueblos over the years. It seems that they used it for a while, before migrating elsewhere. The Island Trail was the more interesting of the two trails that we walked. The other Rim Trail was flat, more crowded and less interesting. It drizzled a bit towards the end, not that you would notice much. It is still early spring here in this mountainous desert. Some flowers our out, but a lot are only now budding. Many trees don’t even have leaves yet. We finished up around noon and then jetted back to the hotel to cop one of the few available hotel parking spots. After a simple lunch, we started walking around old town Flagstaff. We made it to some parks on the western edge of town, but were unwilling to climb the hill to the Lowell Observatory. On the way back, we followed an urban nature trail along the Flag River, which led us back downtown. Dinner was at the Lumberyard, a burger and beer joint that Anne, Susan, Dan and Annie had visited years ago on their similar Route 66 journey to grad school in LA. Tomorrow, we checkout, resupply and then head up to the Grand Canyon, where we will actually camp for the first time on this trip. Google has indicated that I should have cell service, but in case I don’t, Don’t Panic! I promise you we will not fall in, we managed not to today.

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