Sunday, May 8, 2011

Arizona - On the Road

The drive between Sedona, Grand Canyon and Flagstaff was so scenic that even I, who usually fall asleep as soon as a car starts moving, stayed awake for most of the journey.  In particular, one area on Highway 64 between Grand Canyon and Flagstaff has been appropriately named the "Painted Desert". It was easy to believe that you were actually looking at an Impressionist painting made up of hills with streaks of pinks, whites, greens, golds and brown earth and small canyons (only small after seeing the Grand Canyon but actually fairly sizable).
The one time that I did doze off, I woke up with a start when Rich shouted out in surprise.  I opened my eyes just in time to see a large deer standing right in the middle of the highway off in the horizon, staring us down.  I was not quick enough to snap a shot the deer before he scampered off to safety.

Continuing on towards the Grand Canyon, we spotted the cutest little church out in the middle of nowhere about 30 miles north of Flagstaff on Highway 180.  The tiny A-shaped Church of the Holy Dove was built by Doctor Watson Lacy in the 1960s.  The back of the church is entirely of glass, providing a stunning view of the snow-capped mountains.

It is open to the public and many weddings have taken place here, including the marriages of 4 of Lacy's 6 children.  There is a quaint sign pinned to the bulletin board which reads,  "In order to avoid duplication or conflict of day and times of weddings, we ask that you please leave a visible note and call ... to reserve the chapel".

One final unexpected stop was at the Planes of Fame Air Museum, which Rich could not let pass by without visiting.  Rich is an airplane affictionato who can point to a tiny black dot in the sky and name the model, year and history of the plane.  He was most excited about seeing the Grumman F3F, the last U.S. Navy biplane fighter aircraft. Knowing nothing about airplanes, I told him I liked the red one.

At the same location as the airplane museum was a collection of vintage cars and motorcycles.  Included was a 1908 Buick Convertible with an external rumble seat, brass steering wheel and oil lamps as well as a 1906 Reo Roundabout with wooden spoke wheels and a squeezable horn.  One interesting fact we learned was that the owner acquired all these cars, motorcycles, and even a helicopter from sales on EBay!  This worries me since Rich recently figured out how to buy things on EBay...

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