Ok, finally the report on the rest of our trip! Blogger was giving me a lot of trouble earlier, and I don't feel like wrestling with it again, so if you want to see the other pictures, you'll have to click links.
Flagstaff was a lot of fun. After decompressing for an hour or so, we decided to head out for dinner. Rather than play it safe and go with a chain, I felt like trying someplace local. I looked in the Menu section of the phone book, and thought that Beaver Street Brewery sounded pretty good. Neither Chris nor I like beer, but the food sounded cool and sometimes those places also brew root beer or other tasty non-alcoholic drinks.
We got lost trying to find it, and had to go back to the hotel to look it up on Google maps, but on the way we found Animas Beads. This is a small but rather well-stocked bead store, with surprisingly good prices for a retail store in a touristy downtown area. The gal working there was really nice and helpful, the store was well-lit and fun to shop in, and they were playing Portishead, which was kind of cool. I bought a few cute focals. There were a lot of other cool shops that I would have loved to check out. Definitely have to go up to Flagstaff again sometime.
Beaver Street Brewery turned out to be very popular, so we had to wait forever for our table and there was a fiasco where they claimed they called us but we knew they didn't, but they sat us right away after that. Our waiter was good and the food was awesome, and while they don't make their own root beer, Chris got a really good bottled sarsparilla and I got a delicious kashmir chai latte, which hit the spot after we waited outside in the cool weather. Because Flagstaff is a big railroad town, they had the restaurant decorated with old-timey stuff, including a beautiful antique wood burning stove. Pity it was too dark in there to take pictures! Anyway, despite the seating issue and the long wait, I'd really recommend them as a place to eat if you're in town.
This pretty office shared the parking lot with the Brewery. If I lived in Flagstaff, I would want to have the money for Chris and I to run our businesses out of it. It would be such an inspiring place to bead in! Of course, I'll never live in Flagstaff, because their late Summer weather is too cold for me, forget Winter!
The next morning, we got up early and went to Barnes and Noble for breakfast and books. They had the next two Charles Stross books I wanted to read, so I snagged them right up. Then it was off to Art in the Park. It was a partially cloudy day, nice temps, and though the fair was small, it was nice. I saw one vendor who recognized me from gem show, and one who I recognized from our street fair. We bought some sauces and preserves from some very nice people who wisely gave samples out of anything you were interested in, which quickly convinced us that they were as good as they sounded. Raspberry cocoa preserves... mmmm.
Then it was off for New Mexico! As it turns out, we were taking Route 66, which I had never been on before. Talk about a road lined with tourist traps! There were tons of "Indian" stores dating back to the 50s or 60s (at my best guess), a meteor crater, and other attractions. Also lots of small towns, some picturesque, some sadly run-down. It was a cool drive, someday when we have a Hybrid or hydrogen cell car (hey, I can wish, can't I?), we'd like to do it again and actually stop at the meteor crater and go to the Grand Canyon and maybe photograph some of the cool abandoned service stations we passed (we're both fascinated with them, especially the really old ones).
I took this picture on the way back, actually, but here is an example of one of the tacky tourist trap shops, set against a cool cave. This is near the AZ/NM border.
20 miles into New Mexico, we hit Gallup and left Route 66 to travel north through the Navajo Nation. It's very rural through there, lots of cool rock formations and herds of sheep, cows, horses, and even a couple of llamas. Very few towns, and they're all very small.
This shot was also taken on the way home, but it's our favorite rock formation/hill that we saw in this long stretch. Well, the mesa ridge was very cool, too, but I didn't get any pictures of it. (it's the same picture as the top of the post)
Finally we reached Farmington. It's a rather small town, and sad to say, but the first thing you hit on the way in is two porn shops across from each other! Not the best impression. The downtown area was pretty cute, though, and our hotel was right next to a pretty river park. We stayed at the American Best Value, which was in fact a good value for a nice room that allowed dogs and had a very nice lady working at the front desk.
Once we checked in, I called Wendi, our doggies' foster "mother." She told me that she was another half hour outside of Farmington in a tiny town called Blanco, which was pretty much just a post office, fire house, church, and peoples' homes. So we set out, eager to go there before it got dark, and we managed to only almost get lost. Wendi and her husband Bill turned out to be two very nice, friendly people, and Wendi is a beader. She also introduced us to her four show corgis, which were Cardigans instead of Pembrokes, and they convinced me that Pembrokes really are the cutest ;) Sorry Cardigans!
After a nice visit, where we determined that we loved the girls and they loved us and we were all ready to go home together, we drove back to the hotel. Here's a picture of my two corgis, barely holding still for the camera. They're the reason I have no pictures of the river park. Ok, so maybe I left my camera in the room, but still, there's no way I could have photographed the park AND walked two hyper corgis!
Following our walk Tuesday morning, we hit the road for the loooong drive back to Tucson. Rather than go back through Flagstaff and Phoenix, we took the more rural route home. We passed through Show Low, which is surrounded by a beautiful national forest, and Globe, which is well, kind of there, and Winkleman, where we had gone to an SCA event once upon a time.
The road between Show Low and Globe goes through lots of mountains. It was very scenic, but also very hard on our poor Saturn! We might have been better off taking the same route we took on the way out, but we both really enjoyed all the mountains and trees we saw. Here's a shot of the mountainous road as we're driving on it, and a shot of part of an abandoned settlement of some sort.
And then finally, we were home! The dogs were very good and quiet on the trip, but very happy to finally get out of their crates at the end. It was a crazy trip to adopt dogs, and all of Chris's friends thought he was insane (or possibly whipped?) for doing it, but it was well worth it! Besides, we both agreed that not only was it great to get our dogs, but it was fun to see all these places we've never been. I don't think we would have done a trip like this otherwise, we tend to get lazy and homebound!
Today I went to a bead show, so tomorrow I'll have a report about that. It's a report-filled weekend!