Arizona, the Again and Again State: You Can’t Just Visit It Once!

I’ve been to Arizona three times and each trip has been totally different. And I’ve had friends go to Arizona, and they have been to totally different places than me as well.

Which means I have to go back to Arizona, the Again and Again State.

First Trip in the North of Arizona:

In 1978 I drove through the north of Arizona and visited the Grand CanyonPetrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. I was taking slides at the time and have no idea where they are. It might be easier (and more fun) to just go back and see it all again, this time with a digital camera. The only thing I have found from that first trip is this ink sketch of a Bristlecone Pine at Grand Canyon. Bristlecone Pine, ink drawing

Trip Two in the South (near Tucson)

The second trip was in 2001 and we took lots of photos, some of which have been scanned. I was fascinated with the desert vegetation and did a ton of drawings. This Cacto morado (purple cactus) is a prickly pear cactus found in the state.Cacto morado (purple cactus), a prickly pear cactus found in ArizonaA wonderful hike is down from the top of Chiricahua National Monument through these amazing rock formations of standing stones.
Standing rock formations at Chiricahua in Arizona, USASaguaros are large cacti with arms and there are a lot of them at Saguaro National Park. The arms usually point up but this Saguaro looks a bit dejected, even with an adorable little owl perched on it.
A funny little owl in a prickly saguaro cactus, ArizonaA sketch of a Saguaro cactus.sketch of saguaro cactusTumacacori  is a National Historic Park with Jesuit mission, and even though I don’t like shopping, there was lots of cool shopping in nearby Tubac, a small arts town. Strings of chile peppers at Tumacacori in Arizona, USAIt turned out that 2001 was THE year for the once-every-four-year wildflower bloom. There were brilliant orange California poppies and blue lupins blooming in abundance amidst the cacti and weathered wood. wild flowers bloom once every four years in the Arizona desertAnother hike we did was in the Santa Rita Mountains. Black trees and a yucca in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson in Arizona, USAThere was more but I still have to a lot of photos to scan, something to do while I sit out the coronavirus.

Trip Three, 2009.

This was near the borders of several fantastic states: Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, otherwise known as ‘Four Corners’.

September 27: Having spent some great time in Utah we crossed into Arizona and spent the night in a second-rate motel in Page.

September 28. First off was the exhilarating lottery at the BLM in Utah that gave us access to the coveted hike called ‘The Wave’. This was followed by a hike to Buckskin Gulch, a practice run for our ‘Wave’ hike the next day. These scattered cow bones were the first sign that we might not have chosen the correct route to the Gulch. A skeleton of some large creature, the first sign we may have taken the wrong route at Buckskin Gulch, a hike on the Utah-Arizona BorderlandsAfter  we made it back alive, we popped down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for sunset. We were exhausted but it was worth it. This guy will hopefully have way better photos than we do.Photographers at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, ArizonaSeptember 29. Off early to ‘the Wave’ to see the ‘sandstone surf’ at this coveted hike. Despite our practice hike at Buckskin Gulch, and a brochure titled ‘Don’t Die Out There’, we set off without enough water. We got great photos but it taught us a lesson about how difficult it is to hike even a short distance in the heat.
sandstone surfSeptember 30. The highlight of this day was Lower Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon where the swirling rock formations were created by the force of water through sandstone during flash floods over the millenniums.
The swirling curved rock formations of this 'slot' canyon were created by the force of water through sandstone during flash floods over the millenniumsThe next day we were back in Utah and off to Mount Zion.

So that’s my three trips in a nutshell and there’s so much more to see.

  • Where our friends Eleanor and Dave went: Bisbee plus….
  • Where Eddy went: I need to cross-examine this guy; his photos are amazing and he has a great list of magnificent spots and second-rate motels.
  • Canyon de Chelly plus of course to the Standin’ On The Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona where Johnbo went; the host of this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Going Back, the Second Time Around.

19 responses to “Arizona, the Again and Again State: You Can’t Just Visit It Once!

  1. I never thought about living in Arizona until it came time to retire. We discovered it’s wonders and have wintered here since my retirement. Great collection of images from around the state.

    • Our second trip to Arizona was to visit my husband’s parent’s who were renting a place in Arizona – it will be tempting to rent a place there ourselves – there is so much to explore and do, and the weather is definitely better than Canada in the winter!

  2. Great photos, great tours. Love the owl. I envy your sketches. We were on a European tour with a woman who sketched highlights rather than photo them. How unique and personal.

    • I love sketching when travelling but it takes time and so many times it is just easier to take a lot of photos. Sketching the cacti were particularly tricky as everywhere I might have sat down was covered with spiny bits and pieces…

  3. Beautiful memories – Arizona is really something! And the petrified forest a gem, according to a friend of mine who is a teacher in the forest branch. Beautiful images!

    • in my journal I wrote: ‘the different petrified woods were incredible – they both inspired me and made me despair of even trying to compete with nature…’ I wish I could find my old slides but going back is definitely in the works!

  4. Loved your review Elizabeth. My brother lives out there and we visit often. Haven’t made it to Antelope yet but it’s high on my list! Terrific images as always

  5. Pingback: Opuntia, the Prickly Pear Cactus, with Edible Paddles and Fruit | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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