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Snow at Monument Valley, AZ

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Exploring Flagstaff - Part 2 and the Arizona Snowbowl.

Tuesday morning, October 15th. Spent a little time remembering my Dad as it would have been his 90th birthday today. The picture below is his 2014 birthday, Ray and I celebrated with my Dad at IHOP before we headed south.

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Ray and I had a lazy start. Blogging takes an incredible amount of time loading pictures as the internet is slow. I wanted to be caught up before heading to the Grand Canyon for a week, as there is very limited coverage there. Enough to get phone calls and check emails but not much else.

Made a big breakfast and worked on getting some laundry done. Wanted Ray to stay home and relax after such a busy day yesterday. I managed to book a pedicure in town for 11 so off I went. Stopped at Safeway afterwards where they had a really good meat sale and stocked up as the next 3 weeks we are in very small places.

Back home it was tidy up time, more laundry and more blogging. lol A quiet day all around watching the "ebb and flow" of the RV park as people leave in the morning and start filling up again by 3 o'clock. A lot of motorhomes come here, as the pull-throughs work well. Most only seem to stop for 2 days and then on their way again.

Wednesday morning we were up later than usual so we must have had good sleep. lol After our regular morning routine, Ray and I headed out the door at 9am for the Arizona Snowbowl. They even featured it on the local Arizona News this morning, as all the aspens are changing colours.

The drive from the RV Park was about 30 minutes. We started out at 6800 feet and ended up at 9500 feet before taking the lift. At the beginning of the very windy, rough pavement drive there was a forest of pine trees. As we climbed higher more and more aspens showed up with their beautiful yellow leaves. After about 8000 feet the coniferous trees changed from pine to spruce.

Arizona Snowbowl is located on the western slope of Mount Humphreys, the tallest point in the state. Humphreys is the most recognizable point on the San Francisco Peaks, which are north of Flagstaff. “The Peaks,” as they are often known, are what remains of an eroded, dormant stratovolcano that was formed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 years ago.

Mountain Stats:

Base elevation: 9,200 feet
Lift served elevation: 11,500 feet
Hike-to elevation: 12,000 feet
Total vertical rise: 2,800 feet
Skiable acres: 777
Runs: 55 (22% beginner, 43% intermediate, 22% advanced, 13% expert runs); longest is 2 miles
Lifts: 8 (six aerial chairlifts and two surface conveyors, including Arizona’s first and only high-speed 6-person lift)
Average season: mid-November through the end of April
We stopped at Parking Lot 1 for some pictures and a little stroll along the trail to enjoy the fall colours. Both Ray and I noticing it was more difficult to breathe when walking up and down a trail.


Hmmmm what is the best angle?

Oh look, I found an arch!




Further up the gravel road was the sign for the Scenic Chairlift. A little confusing as to where we were to go exactly,  as there were no more signs at Parking Lot 4 just a lodge which turned out to be the place we needed to go. Here is the restaurant. As the lift opened at 10 am we were kind of the first persons there ...




 After purchasing our lift tickets we went on up on the open chairlift for about 35 minutes before you reached the top. 11,500 feet elevation. So we gained 2000 more feet.

Here we go. I'm wearing the hat Kristi got me that was on Oprah's List that folds into your purse. I have been using it a lot on excursions if the sun is bothering my eyes. Thanks Kristi.

A beautiful day with only a slight breeze on the way up. We saw a couple of deer in a meadow and lots of birds and 1 squirrel. I think this was the bird we saw fly by several times but was so fast we couldn't get a picture of it. Very unusual colour.

Indigo Buntings

The views are spectacular even though they were doing some prescribed burning near Sedona. Looked like the smoke was going towards the Grand Canyon. Hopefully that is gone before we get there on Friday. Not much up at the top besides where you get off the chairlift in the summer/fall. There is a closed first aid station and a bathroom that apparently is the highest bathroom in Arizona. ha ha. Also a trail to the very top of Mt. Agassiz at 12,000 feet. Both Ray and I found we were out of breath if we walked uphill too fast.

As you see, all the ski runs are black diamond at this elevation.


Arizona's highest bathroom. 




In the very distance you coan see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which is 1000 feet higher than the south rim.


 Long distance shots are definitely hazy with the smoke.




Mt. Humphries on the right side of where we were standing.
Next pictures are on the way down the lift.










After we returned to the bottom of the lift, we checked out the offerings at the lodge for lunch, mostly chili and hot dogs so we headed back down the mountain.  We stopped at the Aspen Corner for more pictures of these gorgeous trees before heading out for lunch. Good thing we came early to the mountain as the parking lot for the ski lift was almost full and there was a steady stream of people driving up the windy mountain road.






Lots of the trees have really old initials carved into them.
Lots of people here now taking in the fall colours.

Ray striding off for more pictures.



I also saw this guy with an interesting camera setup taking film of the grasses and leaves swaying in the breeze.


Arriving into Flagstaff ... which way do we go!


We certainly worked up a thirst, so once back to Flagstaff we stopped at the Lumberyard Brewery for lunch. They have a couple of lower IBU beers, a great lager and I enjoyed my Blonde Ale. A great day.



Back home Freya was very glad to see us. Ray had a "toes up" for an hour while I played on my computer.

Thursday morning was a little warmer at 38F when we got up. Today is packup day as we leave for the Grand Canyon tomorrow. Lots of little tasks we both need to do before moving on as this is the last "big centre" we will be in for a few weeks.

At the Grand Canyon there is limited wifi so we will probably be off-line other than phone calls and limited email so stay tuned.



3 comments:

  1. Wow, that's sure a big one Ray has!....Camera lens I mean!! Beautiful pics of the Aspens.
    We never did go to the top of the Snowbowl.....but we did have a drink at the Lumberyard!
    Enjoy the Grand Canyon. Looking forward to the pictures.

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  2. Not sure you will see this in time but there is excellent free wifi and free camping for your rig beside the Imax at south rim Grand Canyon in Tusayan. Gravel parking area on the north side of the building is free boondocking and we streamed live tv from their wifi signal last year when we stayed there.
    Beautiful fall colors in your pictures and how awesome is the chairlift to 12000 ft!!

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  3. Glad your enjoying yourselves! Tempted to join you -- maybe next year.

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