Just briefly, after our sunrise tour and before our checkout time of 11, Avi and I decided to do a little bit of dedicated birding at the Grand Canyon.
The last time I was there, with my son, we boarded his dog for the day at the Grand Canyon Kennels. I recalled it was in an isolated area, away from all the tourists, and in a wonderful forest of conifers.
We drove out there and did, indeed, get a nice variety of birds. So, if you’re ever interested in birding at the Canyon, do check out the roads leading to the kennel. They’re quite birdy!
Since we got out of the Grand Canyon earlier than anticipated, we decided to make good use of the Mazda Miata and drive to Scottsdale by way of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.
The road was curvy and the scenery dramatic – the perfect combination for a drive in a small convertible with the top down.
The area between the highway and Sedona is called Oak Creek Canyon, though most of the signs there say you aren’t allowed to park anywhere without a Red Rock Park Pass. Quixotically, there didn’t seem to be anyplace along the way selling these required passes. So, when we wanted to stop for a view or some photos we just hoped we wouldn’t be penalized for this seemingly unobtainable permit.
The road itself follows Oak Creek, a smallish stream that is used by hikers and people who want to do some fishing. There’s thick foliage in the area, with the rich red cliffs rising up like so many islands in a green sea.
We made a short stop in Sedona. It’s a town that is definitely geared toward tourism, with small craft shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and souvenir shops along a well-developed commercial street.
As we drove we also passed several churches of different denominations. I joked about where the Jewish synagogue would be and, coincidentally (or logically) that was almost the next religious structure we passed.
Driving down the main road in Sedona is a series of one traffic circle after another. It became a joke after about the 4th one. It certainly slowed us down a bit. But it was well worth the slower road to have experienced such a beautiful drive!
We arrived in Scottsdale, and our friends’ house, at around 4 p.m. We had a wonderful evening together and looked forward to seeing a bit of Scottsdale the next day.