I love traveling, but with two kids, a dog, and a husband, there are just too many variables to plan. So my bucket list has changed a bit. Instead of hiking the beautiful the Grand enchantment trail or the Hayduke trail a la Cheryl Strayed I would have to find a way for me and my entire pack to visit Arizona. And so I rented an RV.
You would think that people would be excited about a road trip from Texas to Arizona, but my 16-year-old was more worried about the summer plans she had made with her friends, my 13-year-old boy, on the other hand, has an adventurous spirit and was game. My husband balked at the idea of an RV but he made no objections and we got on the RV on the third day of summer holidays, backed out and headed west.
They say to enjoy traveling; you need to enjoy the journey and not the destination. There is just so much to take in between Texas and Arizona and many stops to make, especially when you drive along the I-40, which is the third longest interstate highway in the USA.
One place which we should have been familiar with being from Texas, but were not, is the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This is a 20,000-acre nature preserve encompassing a 200-foot deep canyon known as the Grand Canyon of Texas. We had a fun day taking in the nature around us and sharing a barbecue with some folks on the campgrounds.
We still had 800 miles to cover by going through New Mexico and further west through Northern Arizona. The best places we’ve seen so far that draw tourists and curious travelers like us to Arizona are:
#1. The Petrified Forest National park
This park is located between Navajo and Sun Valleys. The kaleidoscopic badlands and desert are punctuated by some of the most unusual rock formations and the world’s largest concentration of petrified wood that mark the barren landscape.
Just East of Route 66, past Winslow, Arizona is the picturesque mountain town of Flagstaff. There are three national monuments that lie within miles of each other: Wuptaki National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The town has a strange mixture of old and a couple of nice places to grab a bite and get some unique Native American jewelry.
#3. The Grand Canyon national park
This is the main tourist attraction in Arizona. It is an incredible sight. The sunset or sunrise never looked as beautiful like it did over the southern rim. This is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. To describe the Canyon in one word I would say breathtaking!
#4. The Vortexes
We headed off to The Vortexes in Sedona because someone had mentioned that they were not to be missed especially if you are seeking spiritual enlightenment. (We encountered a lot of enlightenment seekers). The vortexes are uniquely shaped rocks that are said to emit energy. The Airport vortex along Highway 89A and Highway 179 are said to produce an energy that strengthens one’s self-confidence whilst the Cathedral Rock Vortex strengthens goodness and compassion.
#5. Slide Rock State Park
Arizona is scorching hot, but a few hours at slide Rock Park cooled us off. The kids got to swim and ride the natural waterslides whilst we, the parents got to lounge around the natural swimming pools.
After all that we’ve seen, the people we’ve met and the awesome steaks and burgers we had along the way, we had the best summer ever and now my family is looking forward to the next one.