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Our epic western road trip was rounding it's way to it's conclusion, but first we would spend two amazing days bringing in the 4th of July in the most beautiful place called Sedona, AZ! After spending a night and half day at the Grand Canyon we would make our way down through Flagstaff 115 miles to Sedona. However, we took a detour first and tried to go visit Meteor Crater, which is a meteorite impact crater in the earth that is about 3,900 feet wide and 570 feet deep -- huge (check it out here). We decided not to pay the entrance fee though to go visit the incredible sight because a bunch of rain was in the area, but we did drive the long road approaching it. We could see the rim of the crater rising up from the distance. But also on the long desert road we were given some excellent landscape scenes of rain all around the horizon. Here are a few pictures of the peaceful scene:
After turning around on Meteor Crater Road, we continued our detour away from Sedona to visit Winslow, AZ, which is a famous town on the historic Route 66! However, I'm saving an entire blog post on our ride on Route 66 so you'll hear about it later.
We decided it was time for us to make our way into Sedona so we could witness another sunset! Boy were we in for a treat. Sedona, often called "Red Rock Country", is an absolute beautiful playground of giant red rock formations, beautiful green trees, and an interesting vibe. It sort of reminded me of the feel of Asheville, North Carolina. The drive into Sedona along the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive, as it winds it's way through the rugged mountains, is known as one of America's top 5 scenic drives. And the interesting small mountain town of Sedona offers plenty of things to do, arts and shopping, eating, and fun. It's also heard many times that "yes, God created the Grand Canyon, but He lives in Sedona". However people interpret the "spiritual" experiences of visiting Sedona, I do know for sure that my God put on his best sunset show of our trip that evening as we were in Sedona for the first time.
The first few pictures are from our hotel room when we first arrived at Sedona. Then we made our way to the Airport Scenic View for the most amazing sunset show of our trip. As you could see, the sky and clouds were adding up for a perfect light show. Enjoy as you watch the sunset develop!
As if that already wasn't good enough, all around us the show continued.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~Psalm 19:1
Is God amazing, or what? What an amazing way to end our day after we weren't expecting much to happen on this particular day of our trip. By then we were pretty tired and running on the little adrenaline we had left...but this amazing sunset completely rejuvenated us! It was great timing, because we had an action packed 4th of July ahead of us the next morning!!
Hands down my most adventurous Independence Day, what better way to celebrate America than 4-wheel driving on some of the most rugged roads in Sedona, AZ! Early Friday morning we picked up our new set of wheels we would have for the entire day - our jacked up olive green Jeep Rubicon. As soon as I sat in it with it's top down, I fell in love ;). But later I found out just what all this amazing vehicle could do!
Sedona is unique in that it offers numerous off road backcountry roads that are accessible only for 4WD or ATV. The famous "Pink Jeeps Tours" are seen everywhere in town giving people tours off the beaten path. But if you want to truly experience Sedona 4WD for yourself, I recommend renting your own off road vehicle, preferably a Jeep from Barlows. This experience was one of the most rugged and fun things I've ever done. We felt like kings of the road as we were able to tear and climb our way through Sedona backwood trails to see some amazing places in Sedona that most visitors aren't able to see unless they were to hike a long ways or rent a 4WD. I quickly got my taste of experience driving 4-wheel drive as we did six 4WD trails during the day including the most famous and strenuous in Sedona - The Broken Arrow Trail. I look forward to sharing with you videos that I got from my GoPro when I create my trip movie. Until then, I hope you enjoy the scenes as we drive through the Sedona backcountry!
Our planned last off road trail was to drive to the Devil's Bridge trail head, where we would get out of the Jeep to hike about 1 mile to this awesome natural bridge shown below. We were successful in doing so, however our 4th of July ended early as you'll see in the video down below. We were hoping to be able to see one last epic sunset, but mother nature had other plans in mind! (see video below)
A little rain storm and flash flooding didn't bother the Rubicon nor us, but just ended our evening a little early...but just so we could go and enjoy a nice Mexican dinner in Sedona! All in all, what an awesome 4th of July 2014 it was! This will be one I can share for many years to come. God sure has blessed America and I truly love this land!
Stay tuned as I wrap up our Desert Road Trip blog posts with our final journey along the historic Historic Route 66! We sure were cruisin' and "takin' it easy"!