Monday, 3 March 2014

Phoenix Zoo and Hiking near Sedona

After invading Dad & Elaine's place in Apache Junction long enough, we stopped at the Phoenix Zoo before we left the area. It certainly ranks right up there with good zoos. You know it's good when I have to wait for Andrew to take photos and we haven't even gotten to the entrance yet! Here's his photos.
I always find Prairie Dogs so humourous!
We then headed to Sedona where the plan was more hiking and climbing. Unfortunately, the weather was starting to turn so one our first day there we did a quick ~15 km, very scenic hike (a combination of the Hiline Trail and various other trails in order to make a loop) and had only a few spits of rain just before and during. (Unlike the wind and torrential downpours we experienced after that.)

Evening sun on the mountains. View from our hotel.
Views from the Hiline Trail

Not on the Hiline but on another trail that completed the loop. 
In Sedona we found some very good off-season rates at the Inn Above Oak Creek. The Inn used to be a B&B and the present owners purchased it less than a year ago. It's in a great location right beside the Creek, walking distance to several nice restaurants and galleries, and a short drive to various hiking trails. We first stayed in a lovely "creekside" room and then got moved to a suite for one night. The suite was really over the top. Apparently the previous elderly owner gave the designers full rein to do whatever they wanted and money was not a concern. The upstairs had a large balcony/deck, living room and dining room and a kitchen with a counter that fit 12 chairs in front of it. This elaborate setup made much more sense when were were told that cooking classes used to be held here. The lower level also had a huge balcony/deck, a single bedroom, a walk-in closet the size of a small room, and the largest bathroom, largest shower, and fanciest jet tub that I've ever seen!

Luckily the rain and iffy weather didn't stop us from visiting Page Springs Cellars Winery which is a short drive out towards Cottonwood. While there one afternoon we noticed that Chris Jamison was scheduled to play there the next day. We'd heard Chris play at the Holland Hotel in Alpine, Texas on our around-the-USA train trip just over a year ago and really liked him so decided to head out to the winery a second time. Chris is a very good singer/songwriter and we had a really nice evening.

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