“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.” – Lawrence Durrell
Then Sedona Side Trip Woes
My favorite road trips include backroads. But this day’s road trip, I knew, would not include them. I had 400 miles to drive before I would lay my head to rest at a Super 8 Motel in Page, Arizona, and most of that would be on freeways. I did expect, however, that Interstate 17, once past Phoenix, would have less traffic than Interstate 10. I was wrong, it had more.
The scenery, however, was somewhat more interesting, and during the 150-mile journey from Phoenix, where I-17 begins, and Flagstaff, where it ends. the landscapes and my journey climbed 6,000 feet in elevation.
Just outside Phoenix, my route took me through Black Canyon Recreation Area, with marked exits to such places as Horsethief Basin and Bloody Basin Road, leaving me wondering how those places had gotten their names. If I had time, I would have loved to have explored them. My mother claimed that I had inherited my grandfather’s wanderlust, and the need to explore every sideroad I came across. The only thing is there are way more sideroads these days then there were in his time – and I’ve discovered I can’t explore them all.
On this day, I did get off the interstate to take the back route through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. I expected to leave the traffic behind but nearing Sedona it became even more congested. And the stop-and-go 15 mph and roundabouts in Sedona brought out the worst in my 2014 Ford Focus, which has a stuttering/rattling problem when it’s in first gear, a problem that already had my car on a waiting list for the manufacturer to fix. I’m just one of many Focus owners with the default.
I believed my mechanic when he said it was OK for me to drive Cayenne, and that the problem wouldn’t leave me stranded; I just hadn’t expected it to be so grumpy and loud, but then that’s what I was when I returned to my Ford dealer back home. The mechanic drove my car when I returned to Tucson, but of course it’s didn’t misbehave as badly for him as it did for me in Sedona, where it was almost constantly in first gear.
But once past Sedona, Cayenne drove fine, with only an occasional and silent stutter in first gear, and gave me 40 mpg as well. Maybe I’ll forgive her, and Ford, too, if she drives as good as they tell me she will once she’s fixed. Too be continued …
Bean Pat: Glenrosa Journeys http://tinyurl.com/ocb7n5n Fall birds you might see if you live in Arizona. I especially liked the juvenile green heron photos.