Cottonwood, AZ 12/06/07 Pt 3: Flagstaff
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Our last travel day in this area we decided to visit Flagstaff.

It’s been cold since we got here, and we’ve experienced some snow flurries, but we weren’t prepared for the all the snow in Flagstaff. We had been through there just a few days before, towing the trailer, and it was dry and sunny and no snow in sight. At about 4500 feet, though, and 20 miles outside of Flagstaff we started seeing a lot of snow off to the side of the road- by 10 miles away it was feet of snow and it wasn’t just on the side of the road, but drifting onto the road. It’s not so much our driving that makes it scary, but the people passing you in the non-plowed lane at 75 mph. Anyway, we made it, despite protests from the passenger side that we turn back at the first sign of winter.

Flagstaff is used to snow, although not so much snow at one time, as one park ranger told us. That was very lucky for us, because a couple of the places that we wanted to see were open- and they didn’t even think it was weird that we’d ventured out in the snow to get there! Nothing like Portland.

We took some time to drive a portion of Route 66 (so we could say we did), but there wasn’t too much to see where we were. Route 66 is pretty long, though, so we’ll get other opportunities.

We visited the Riordan Mansion, built in 1904 for two families who played a big role in turning Flagstaff into the town it is today. The house was really beautiful- especially in the snow. Arts and crafts style, Stickley furniture, state of the art kitchen for that time, amazing floor plan- not typical for this area, but gorgeous.

We also visited Lowell Observatory. Now is the point in the blog where I must refer you to the pictures and Trav’s descriptions, because while all these telescopes and asteroids are truly fascinating I don’t remember much beyond the fact that the tour guide was definitely hired for his knowledge of Astronomy and not his speaking or human interaction skills (although he was certainly very nice and tried very hard), and that the library built by P. Lowell had a lot of really cool old books.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more that we had time to see in Flagstaff since it was getting late in the day, and we wanted to head out before the approaching snow storm. We’d seen plenty in our days in this area, though- we haven’t even put everything down in this blog or our pictures. Our final count: three national monuments, six state parks, two state recreational areas, one state “natural” area, four historic towns, two historic highways, two visitors centers, an observatory, at least a dozen day use/scenic vista stops, and one vortex- that we know of.