Visiting Arizona has been something my family has always talked about, but we’ve never found time… until this summer. Amazingly every person in our family was free at the same time (something that will become increasingly rare in the years to come, I’m sure).

During our trip around the U.S. of A ~ nearly 7 years ago now! ~ we skipped the whole Southwest because we figured it was closer to home, unlike the East coast… So while I’ve been to 40+ states, Arizona was markedly different from anything I’ve seen before. I had a lot of ideas of what it would be like, and it well met all of my expectations.

I think only if we had flown into Phoenix from…the Amazon Rainforest…could the difference have been greater. As it was, we went from a verdant wilderness teeming with water and growth (and weeds!) to a land of rock and heat where every plant has spikes! It was a hostile land where every home and city was an conversation of nature saying “leave, don’t live here, don’t settle down,”  and humans refusing to listen.



I couldn’t help but think of the novel Myst, where Atrus is living with his grandmother in a desert. They have made a home in a cleft, carefully cultivating herbs and plants in every inch they could….



We spent two weeks in Arizona and saw Indian cliff dwellings and sights in Sedona, Phoenix, Flagstaff… and of course the Grand Canyon. 🙂  We spent a day hiking down to Indian Gardens (3000 elevation ‘loss’, 9.2 miles RT). That was a new experience for me, because the limitation was not my physical strength, but the heat… Adam and I nearly got heat exhaustion but managed to rest/drink enough that we avoided it.

When we weren’t sightseeing we stayed at the home my grandparents’ were renting, spending time reading on the shaded patio, playing badminton or croquet on the lawn, and having a family cribbage championship (which I, the only girl entered, may have won…).

The trip is below, in pictures in words. Just click on the first picture and follow the slideshow through. 🙂