Yikes! It’s been awhile since I made a post so I apologize.
It was mid-August and another 110 degree day in the desert so we headed up to Sedona for the day. A little over 2 hours the drive was the same as driving to Flagstaff . . . until we got to the famous Route 179, aka Red Rock Scenic Byway.
It didn’t take long into that part of the drive to realize why it was called the Red Rock Scenic Byway. We first started on the road winding through the forest then we turned a corner and saw the red rock. I had never seen red rock before and it was beautiful! The tall and staggered formations went as high as buildings and the red color was so unique. They seemed to glow. A short seven and a half miles, the byway not only weaved through the red rock, hills, and forest but through a small town (I called it pre-Sedona) before continuing on to Sedona. Along the highway are many pull-off stops for viewing and lots of hiking trails. I told Brad that I felt like I was in the Pixar movie “Cars.” The landscape looked exactly like what we saw in the movie!
Sedona is a small town with many shops and restaurants. The air was a cooler than Phoenix and the backdrop around the town was the red rock, so we could see why people live there. The main attractions in Sedona are of course, the red rock and the hiking, but there is also a lot to do in the small town—art galleries, fine dining, wine tours, helicopter tour, and the famous pink Jeep tour, where one tours the red rock country off the beaten path in a pink Jeep.
We had a late lunch and then headed off to get pictures of the red rock. It was still a bit warm to go hiking so we just drove around to the different trailheads to get photos. A storm was approaching by that time and we didn’t want to get stuck in Sedona so we headed back home. In the desert, summertime is known as monsoon season and the weather can be dangerous.
Storms can come out of nowhere and cause high winds, dust, and serve downpour and thunderstorms, resulting in flash floods. Monsoons can last minutes to several hours and one does not want to be out when they hit. They can cause white out conditions and on hilly roads signs warn drivers to not cross the road if there is flooding, as most roads here are not built to drain the rainwater.
We have heard stories of people who thought they could cross the flooded road only to get stuck and rescue workers needed to be called. Actually, by law in Arizona, rescue agencies can charge someone the cost of the rescue if they fail to observe the warning sign. It’s called the “stupid motorist law.” LOL!
One time I left to pick up Brad at work when a monsoon hit. It was pouring like crazy so I drove slowly and by the time I got to the highway (5 minutes later), I was out of the storm’s path. The storms may hit us and our friends ten minutes away will not even get a drop of rain. We have been in the 5th wheel when a monsoon hit. It’s so loud, sounding like rain hitting a tin roof. The house shakes and one night we went out in the truck to wait out the storm. Luckily, nothing major happens, just some stuff gets blown around outside. We lost a bucket that we didn’t tie up and sometimes our neighbors’ belongings have blown into our site.
Everywhere in the Phoenix area are above ground storm water draining systems to help avoid flooding when a monsoon hits. They are like cement rivers that just go through all the towns. Some people bike or walk through them when there is no rainwater, but that’s actually illegal. By us, a few parks have been dug out to be a water reservoir during a storm. The last storm we experienced produced over five feet of water in that reservoir! It took only a few days of no rain for the reservoir to be water free.
It is now mid-September and the weather is finally cooling down! Monsoon season is coming to an end and the weather is becoming perfect.
Next blog post I’ll tell you about being in the middle of our first haboob, an intense dust storm.