Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater & Verde Canyon Train Ride

I am going to combine three of our side-trips with Jen & Austin for the purposes of  catching up on my blogs.  Seems I never have enough time while volunteering here at Pine Flat Lake to sit down and write & post.  So, I will blog about three side trips in and around the Flagstaff area when we were either on our way to Flagstaff or when camped at the KOA near Williams.  Those three trips were Walnut Canyon NM, just east of Flagstaff, Sunset Crater NM, north east of Flagstaff and finally the Verde Canyon train ride into that beautiful canyon and back.
 Austin seemed to be in his element as he "blazed" the paved-path trail thru Walnut Canyon.  He went in just about every dwelling he was allowed, and posed dutifully at each one.  What a ham, just like his Grandma!
 Austin, recieving instructions on his Junior Ranger challenge for the hike, and signing his name to the form.  Ranger was surprised that he could spell and write his name.  We weren't.  Bright boy, just like his Pop Pop.  :-)
 There were few sections that were steep steps and close to the edge cliffs that we to negotiate, and had to keep a closer reign on our "blazer".  It was hot this day as well and hydration was required, and we forgot to bring any water.  Whew!  Were we thirsty!
 We all had a nice time at WCNM despite the temps and the steps.  I'm sure Austin had a good time and I think Jen did too.  The Monument is very interesting as it preserves a piece of our rich Native history.
 At Sunset Crater NM Austin shows Pop Pop where to walk and what trail to follow.  Did I mention before what a ham he was?
 Austin & Pop Pop had to throw some rocks into the crater lava remains.  You know how little boys are...
 So, our trip to the Crater ended, and Austin recieved another badge here for his Junior Ranger program.  Good job Austin.  Pop Pop & Grandma are proud of you, and Mommy & Daddy are too!
 Above, from Clarkdale above the depot, our train awaits our arrival.  We had a few minutes before our train pulled out, so we visited a little city park and relaxed a little. 
 The Lilacs had a familiar aroma.
 Below, Austin patiently awaits our boarding in the waiting area at the depot.
Settling in our seats just before we get underway.  "Pop Pop, can I have some of those chips"?
 Above, Jen had to call in for meeting at her office.  Bummer!
Finally, underway and in the viewing car. 
 The viewing car, and our vintage diesel engine.
 Our car and the snack bar.
 Me and our guide for ride and Jen & Mom settling in.
 Enjoying the ride and the scenery as we pass over a bridge.
The canyon was gorgeous.
 Going thru a tunnel was a darkening experience.
One can tire of the ride prettly quickley, especially when its nap time!
The train was going downhill here and its brakes were really loud as Austin and others covered their ears. And another look at our engine as it has just disconnected and is passing by on the way to the refueling track for the next day.
So, our train ride to Verde Canyon ends as Austin climbs down.  He is a tired young man and will probably nap (he did) on our drive back to the campground in Williams.  And so ends this blog to three very enjoyable and memorable trips.  I hope we have made some precious memories for all of us, and to our readers as well.  So, till the next blog, which will be about our stay at Pine Flat, Joe & Nancy, the RVing Beach Bums.