Flagstaff has the feel of an old western town with a mixture of college town (Northern Arizona University is there) and economically depressed small city. The view is fantastic from the center of town of two mountains peaks (San Francisco Peaks)which are the homing zone for the kachinas of Hopi beliefs. A train still runs regularly through the middle of Flagstaff--apparently so regularly that some hotels advertise that they do not have train noise. The train, of course, was the raison d'etre for Flagstaff, which set up a sawmill for railroad ties once the depot in Flagstaff opened. Logging was big in the area.
We go to Flagstaff to visit Barnes and Noble, the closest bookstore of any real size to Sedona. Sedona has a small independent bookstore but after about 5 minutes you have seen all you want to see. We also go to Flagstaff to go to Josephine's, a lovely restaurant with fresh, high quality cuisine in an old Flagstaff house which is part of the National Historical Register (craftsmen's bungalow architecture). Flagstaff is about 7000 feet above sea level so we saw snow on the ground even though it was in the 60s there. The drive from Sedona to Flagstaff on Route 89A tracks the Oak Creek through Oak Creek Canyon up hills and through forests that may have been the victim of fires given their appearance.
Flagstaff is also fairly close to the Grand Canyon but even though we have been to Sedona and Flagstaff perhaps a half dozen times I have only been to the Grand Canyon once. It is a little too far for a day trip from Sedona when Sedona itself has so many pleasures that I am still uncovering. For example today we went up Schlebly Hill to the end of the paved road. There were magnificent views of Sedona and the surrounding red rock hills. We took pictures even though there were gale winds but I will have to upload them later because we do not have the connector for Paul's new camera to download to a computer.
Tomorrow we are heading back to LA. This week will be a tough one. Paul is having surgery and work just seems to be getting busier and busier. I guess that is good in this economy. One bright light is the World Figure Skating Championships. I have tickets to four events but most of my companions have bailed on me. I hope I get to go notwithstanding all the other demands on my life this week.