Friday, April 11, 2014

South goes North for East comes West

This is the story of our weekend trip for the first weekend in April.  (April 4-6)

The main purpose for this weekend road trip was to attend the letterboxing event, "East comes West to Arizona"on Sunday the 6th, named in honor of our special guests from Connecticut. We along with our friends decided to make a weekend trip out of it, and here are the results!

We left Friday evening, driving North to Flagstaff. Curtis and I rode up with our friend Mitch and his brother, Austin. We met up with our friends in Flagstaff at a 50's style dinner and enjoyed shakes before retiring to our hotel for the night. (home by 10, even on vacation - yeah, we're that old married couple. ;))

Modern art in our hotel bathroom, I call it "painted over window." It was a little creepy.

We began the next morning with oatmeal and tea, then set off for our first letterboxing adventure: to the University of Northern Arizona. Here's a look of the snow capped mountains North of Flagstaff. Behind these stands Mt. Humphrey, the highest peak in all of Arizona. We hope to some day conquer it, but this was not that day! No way would I go up there with all that snow on top. :p

After this brief visit we continued on to Lowell Observatory, the place where Pluto, the former planet, was discovered. We found two letterboxes in honor of our lost planet there. Finally, we drove to the trailhead for our big hike of the day!

Hiking the Fat Man Loop Trail. Allegations to our dear friends who were allegedly "too scared" to attempt it. We hope it continues to haunt you. <3

It was a great hike - Northern Arizona turned out to be bitter cold compared to Tucson, but as long as we were walking, we were able to stay warm. However, I almost cried when it started snowing…thank God it didn't stick, or we may have gotten stuck there! ;)

A true face rock.

Mitch & Austin peak through the rocks around the narrow trail.

An overcast day, but the hike was certainly worth it, if only for the letterbox series we found! An excellent 6 box series by one of our new Connecticut friends, we enjoyed every carve very much!

Overlooking Eastern Flagstaff

The guys played the "try to throw a rock through that hole in the tree trunk" game here. 

Altogether, the trail was about 3 miles and took 3 hours. We had a late lunch in Flagstaff and rejoined with the rest of the group before heading South a bit.

The clouds - beauty after the snow left. Well, that's always what I think when snow is gone - beautiful. :)

Our next destination was Jerome, AZ. An artsy, eccentric town in the mountains. We stayed in the lovely Connor Hotel.

Our room!

We letterboxed and enjoyed walking down the street and window shopping. It was the weekend of the town's monthly "art walk" and it was packed, even close to 5 with the weather in the 40's-50's. Curtis and I typically don't like being in such crowded areas, so when we visit again we'll likely try to avoid this weekend!

We had dinner in a Mexican restaurant in Jerome that was very colorful! After a thrilling game of Carcassonne back at the hotel, we had a quiet, ghost-free night of sleep. 

The next day we were pleasantly surprised to step outside to sunny skies and temps in the 70's! What a blessing!

Above: J Mountain
Below: enjoying this great view while grabbing a couple more boxes around Jerome

After finally packing up and moving out, we headed to Cottonwood, AZ where the event was taking place. It was a mostly social with light boxing event, and we enjoyed meeting new friends and getting caught up with old. It's so fun to meet up with people who share the same hobby and exchange letterboxing adventure stories. :)

We took a short hike to grab a couple boxes!

A big day for Curtis: He finished his "AZRoadie Arizona Challenge" - meaning he has gotten an AZRoadie letterbox in every county in Arizona!

Not only that, but he also planted his last box in his "Arizona Counties" box series! Now all 15 Arizona counties have a box planted in them, as well as a final mystery box. Fellow letterboxers, please enjoy. :)

We planted the last box in Prescott, AZ on the way home from the event. While driving through Prescott, Curtis and Mitch fell in love with the city and have vowed to move there someday and open a Nico's joint. What an exciting future to look forward to. :)

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