Summer Vacation | Day 6

On day six of our summer vacation, we drove north from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  Along the way, we made a quick pit stop.  We noticed more than a dozen of these guys checking us out at our roadside rest stop.  They were looking for some handouts.  Sophia and I fed them strawberries until a large bird flew overhead and they scattered.

The Grand Canyon | South Rim

Rain clouds along with thunder and lightning moved into the area.  I tried to photograph the lightning, but was too slow.

Sophia and Mike found the “50 Years Ago” medallion along the path of the South Rim and had to take a picture.  Perfect timing since Mike’s 50th birthday would be the following day.

The ride home was beautiful…

Up Next: Day Seven– Another gorgeous day in Sedona, Smokey Bear and a 50th Birthday celebration.

Summer Vacation | Day 5

Day five of our vacation was spent in Williams, Arizona, just a short drive from Flagstaff.  We visited Bearizona Wildlife Park.

Bearizona is approximately 160 acres. Visitors will drive through more than three miles of Ponderosa Pine Forest viewing North American animals in natural habitats when they visit. More animals are exhibited in Fort Bearizona, a beautiful 20 acre walk-thru area, along winding paths which is more of a “zoo” type setting.

The first part of the park wasn’t overly impressive to the kids.  Many animals were napping in the warm afternoon sun.  It did get much more interesting as we reached the bears, wolves and buffalo.

Rocky Mountain Goat

Rocky Mountain Elk

Arctic Wolf

White Bison

Brown Bison

Bighorn Sheep

Black Bear


Red Fox

Petting zoo.



River Otter


The jaguar did not cooperate for photos.



American Burro

We thought we should try to fit in one more adventure during our day, so we stopped at Walnut Canyon National Monument in Flagstaff before returning to our rental.

Walnut Canyon National Monument (Hopi: Wupatupqa) is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi (16 km) southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, near Interstate 40. The canyon rim elevation is 6,690 ft (2,040 m); the canyon’s floor is 350 ft lower. A 0.9 mi (1.4 km) long loop trail descends 185 ft (56 m) into the canyon passing 25 cliff dwelling rooms constructed by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group that lived in Walnut Canyon from about 1100 to 1250 CE. Other contemporary habitations of the Sinagua people are preserved in the nearby Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle national monuments.

We arrived shortly before they closed so we weren’t able to hike the lower trail, but we did get to see the cliff dwellings from the canyon rim.

Up Next: Day Six– The Grand Canyon and some adorable prairie dogs.

Summer Vacation | Day 4

We spent day number four in beautiful Sedona hiking Cathedral Rock, visiting Chapel of the Holy Cross and cooling off in Slide Rock State Park.

Off we go.

The view from the trail.

Looking up towards Cathedral Rock.

Can you find Chapel of the Holy Cross in the photo below?

Or in this photo?

I wonder who lives here?

Closer to the top of the trail.

More photos on our descent.

Leap of faith.

Sebastian’s small rock sculpture.

Sebastian’s large rock sculpture.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

The view from Chapel of the Holy Cross looking back towards Cathedral Rock.

Off to Slide Rock State Park…just before closing.

Last ones out of the park.

The view on the way back to the parking lot.

If you look closely you can see Mike and Sebastian walking back to the car.

Mike enjoyed driving through the switchback Highway 89A on our way out of Sedona.  I didn’t enjoy the hairpin turns as much from the backseat.  The scenery was beautiful though.

Up Next: Day Five – Williams, Arizona including Bearizona and a quick stop at Walnut Canyon in Flagstaff.