Rain, Sedona, and snow.

January 11, 2017 by
Filed under: Arizona 2016 

On Thursday morning we left Willcox in a rainstorm having decided that Sedona was our next destination, a 330 mile trip. It turned out to be a rough day for Sigrun. Poor visibility, spray from semis, slick roads and heavy rain made her nervous, something I had never noticed at home.

We went north on Hwy 191 to Safford and then northwest on Hwy 70 to Globe and stopped for gas. It gave Sigrun time to think about the crash. It had been a year and a half and she struggled to remember where exactly it had happened. She and her sister had been looking for a place to get coffee and breakfast after spending the night. They had gone to a Safeway but it was closed so they may have been turning into the Walmart on the west side of town. We drove by but she couldn’t say for sure if that was the spot. Considering the trauma she suffered that day she was lucky to be alive so a fuzzy memory is understandable.

We left Globe. It was still raining. Hard. Before dropping into the “Valley of the Sun” we passed through a canyon. Water streamed and cascaded off the rock faces all around us. I became concerned about the possibility of rockfalls and sure enough, just before entering a tunnel, some rectanglar stones had come down onto the road. Luckily there were none larger than a large brick but I couldn’t avoid them completely and didn’t have time to stop. I managed to manoeuvre through the obstacles without hitting any directly with the tires although something bounced off the bottom of the Challenger. No harm done.

We skirted Phoenix on the 202 and 101 loops to reach Hwy 17 north and arrived in Sedona just as the sun was setting. The rain had stopped. It’s no wonder that people think that it’s a magical, mystical place.

Entering Sedona at sunset.

The next day we hiked up to Devil’s Bridge, a natural rock arch.

Devil’s Bridge.

Later we went to Bell Rock and unsuccessfully tried to find a trail between it and Courthouse Butte.

Bell Rock.

Courthouse Butte (I think).

The weather forecast was calling for more rain on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and snow at elevations above 6000 ft by afternoon, so we left Sedona before noon to return to the Phoenix area. We had decided to take the scenic route back to Hwy 17 via Hwy 89 toward Prescott (which we learned from listening to radio is pronounced PRESS-cut). It was raining when we went through Jerome, an old mining town perched on a mountainside at an elevation of 5000 ft. We didn’t stop because of the weather and time constraints and carried on toward Prescott. The road continued to climb and immediately after the sign announcing 6000 ft, the rain turned to snow. It wasn’t bad at first and I assumed that we must be close to the summit. I was wrong. When we hit the top of the pass, at just over 7000 ft, the snow was a few inches deep on the road and coming down hard. We crawled up and over, afraid that we would spin out at any moment. We were both white-knuckling it by the time we dropped back into the rain. That highway and a few others north of Phoenix were closed a few hours later. More heavy rain on the freeway.


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