Luckily we have a dog that will sleep in the car. Well, except when we open snacks, then she is awoken immediately. We love that she sleeps but feel bad that she misses so much on the road and can’t go to all the stops with us. Thats why when Rosie got to go to two national Parks in one day, she had the BEST. DAY. EVER.
Leaving the Gila national forest in New Mexico we crossed the border to Arizona and went to the Petrified Forest National Park. Dogs are allowed on all the trails here and after a visit to the visitor center they decided that Rosie was the perfect candidate for a Bark Ranger. She got a certificate and even a collar tag. This alone made Rosie feel very special and I think she has a special pride in preserving the National Parks now.
Luckily, there had been a storm the day before and the forest was nice and cool for us all to explore the Petrified Forest and soak in all it’s magic. They say that if you take something from the Petrified forest you will have bad luck so we touched all the petrified wood, which felt like stone, but left it as we found it. The Petrified Forest turns into the painted desert and Rosie was even welcome there to sniff and explore the changing colors of the desert. The entire area felt like another world and we met so many people from across the globe there to experience it’s splendor.
Leaving the painted desert the plan was to head to Sedona. It was still pretty early and we gained an hour so we had a wild hair to drive up to the Grand Canyon. Looking back this made our day extremely long but I also think it was all worth it. It’s about the journey and not the destination after all.
We now know why it’s called the “Grand” Canyon. Richard had been 10 years ago and was amazed at how much everything had changed and how nice the parking and facilities were. Rosie was allowed all around the park and the rim but not on the trails leading down into the canyon, which we were not planning on doing anyways. As expected, the park was packed and again we met people from all over the world. Rosie was the center of attention with many of the crowds and she loved stretching her legs and getting to experience everything with us. We spent more time than we allotted for at the Grand Canyon but the beauty of it all is just too magnificent to rush. Around 6pm we loaded back in the car, tired and hungry, and headed down south to Sedona.
At this point Sedona was really out of our way, but it was somewhere we were both really excited about, so we decided to suck it up and head down for 2 nights. Once we passed Flagstaff (which is absolutely adorable might I add) the landscape started to get really interesting. We followed some pretty intense switch backs going down the mountain that felt more like a rollercoaster and our jaws were dropping at the red rocks starting to appear. After miles winding into the Red Rocks Secret Mountain Wilderness we found the perfect boon-docking spot at Nolan Tank. We were so tired and hungry we just ate and went to bed but we were awoken in the morning by the most amazing views. Each morning when we wake up and take a step outside we cant help but think how truly grateful we are for the world around us.
Nolan Tank, Sedona, Arizona | Price: FREE
Wildlife spotted: hummingbirds, lizards