One mistake I've made repeatedly on this trip is not having numerous plans for each leg of the journey. I've always thought of myself as being spontaneous and flexible, but I've discovered I really need to plan to make the most of our journey. And thus far, I've not had a plan, except to GO.
This far into our trip, I've also not had any down time to do research to learn about the areas where we're traveling. I've been fortunate to find the things we have seen, but I know there's so much we've missed. And on this leg of the journey, I was too tired to do any research at all.
Unfortunately, that created a huge problem and a huge gap in our story, because I wasn't prepared for the beautiful and unique town of Sedona.
We packed up camp and headed north. I saw the signs to get off the interstate to go to Sedona, so I made a sudden decision to do so. We were driving along, and suddenly, the landscape changed dramatically.
I knew nothing about Sedona and what was coming. The closer we got to town, the heavier the traffic, and the roads were not designed to pull over - until we found all the pull-over sites. And they were all full. We circled every one, but there wasn't a single space to park.
I got frustrated, not being able to find anywhere to stop to capture all I was seeing. We went from one roundabout to the next, wanting to stop, but forced to keep moving on.
Tim wasn't inclined to snap photos at the moment, so we didn't capture the unique storefronts.
Sedona is a missed opportunity, but we will be back.
We kept moving on, taking what seemed to be the only road out of town - 89A. (I later learned this is one of the most scenic drives in the country - and I might agree with that).
We ended up in Flagstaff where we stopped in at a fun diner. Tim was thrilled they served breakfast all day. I ended up not eating. (Let's just say I'd recommend the breakfast over the regular menu.)
While Tim ate, I realized how incredibly tired I was, and I found a cheap hotel rate on Hotwire for only $23! I splurged, not knowing what we'd find, and honestly, not expecting much. But the Days Inn in Bellemont was pretty new and had hired a young man, Michael, who was personable and friendly, knowledgeable about the area, and seemed to care about the guests. Rooms were on the smallish side (reminded me of European hotels), but clean and new. Huge bargain and a great stay.
Just what we needed before heading into the Grand Canyon!
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