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Sunset Crater

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Armed with a national parks pass, we set off to see how far we could go. Arizonans looking for winter sport amusements were heading for Snowbowl or Wing Mountain.  Bryon and I wanted only a break from the excitement of getting our older son moved into a larger apartment so his younger brother could join him and start college. After a few days of wrangling with the registrar’s office and the apartment manager, why not blow off some steam at the nearest volcano?

This part of the trail is on the southwestern edge of the Sunset Crater above the Bonito Lava Flows.

This part of the trail is on the southwestern edge of the Sunset Crater above the Bonito Lava Flows.

As we predicted, we had the place (almost) to ourselves, encountering two families with children and a Forest Service ranger making her rounds.

It's hard to estimate how deep the snow is at any one point.

It’s hard to estimate how deep the snow is at any one point. Our estimate was between six and twelve inches.

Southern face of the Sunset Crater.

Southern face of the Sunset Crater.

We saw no animals during our hike, but we knew they were there.
We saw no animals during our hike, but we knew they were there.

A cinder cone forms during the early stages of an eruption as magma rises upward through a central  vent. As the gases in the magma are released, the solid components of the magma land around the vent and form a cone.

A cinder cone forms during the early stages of an eruption as magma rises upward through a central vent. As the gases in the magma are released, the solid components of the magma land around the vent and form a cone.

A late-night errand?
A late-night errand?

Southern side of Sunset Crater, on the Lava Flow Trail.
Southern side of Sunset Crater, on the Lava Flow Trail.

Cinder cones come in various sizes and shapes.
Cinder cones come in various sizes and shapes.

Hikers are no longer allowed to go into the crater because the traffic would cause the sides to erode.

A view from the northwest side at the Cinder Hills Overlook. Hikers are no longer allowed to go into the crater because the traffic would cause the sides to erode.

It was an easy hike. If you’re in the Flagstaff area, grab your camera and check it out.

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Day Trip: Jerome, Arizona

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“Hey, let’s go to that town where that guy from that band who started a winery …”

If that doesn’t ring a bell with you either, don’t worry:  we had to consult the Font of Knowledge (i.e. Google) for something more specific. All we had to do was program the Garmin, and we were ready to go.

Shops in Jerome.

Shops in Jerome.

We left most of the snow behind in Flagstaff and decided to recharge before hiking around the town.

The view from Main Street.

The view from Main Street.

The Flatiron Cafe had opened that day under new management. Thanks to Jen and Amy, we enjoyed two lovely cups of cappuccino and some fresh carrot and ginger soup.

A yummy cappuccino.

A yummy cappuccino.

Happily resuscitated, we headed back out to explore.

Across the street from the Flatiron Cafe we found the House of Joy. This former brothel (and restaurant) currently operates as a boutique but was closed when we visited.

Across the street from the Flatiron Cafe we found the House of Joy. This former brothel (and restaurant) currently operates as a boutique but was closed when we visited.

We found Nelly Bly, a shop that sells kaleidoscopes and art. Just think–over a hundred years ago, kaleidoscopes were considered cutting-edge home media.

A view from a kaleidoscope at Nelly Bly.

A view from a kaleidoscope at Nelly Bly.

More cool stuff at Nelly Bly.
More cool stuff at Nelly Bly.

Glass art from--where else?--Nellie Bly.
Glass art from–where else?–Nellie Bly.

There were many shops and galleries to enjoy, but we were only able to preview a few. This place is worth a second (and a third) visit.

More cool stuff from local artists.

More cool stuff from local artists.

A reminder that Jerome is an old mining town.
A reminder that Jerome is an old mining town …

... that is home to a lively artists' colony.
… that is home to a lively artists’ colony.

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Down The Road

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Here’s what I saw when I stepped out my front door today and took what I thought would be a simple stroll down the road leading to our driveway.

The woodpile is ready for the next cold day–which should be a few months away.

Wildflowers and yucca plants grow along the road.

 

 

 

 

“Leaves of three–leave them be!”–Poison Oak.

While I was happy to come in out of the sun, what I really wanted to do was pick the stickers out of my socks. Next time I venture into the weedy wilds, I’ll break out my combat boots.