As noted in October’s Vail Voice, our next motorcycle trip, after our trip to Sante Fe, was to Sedona. We made this trip in August, which presents some challenge since August is a very hot month to be on a motorcycle. We left on the 17th at 0530 to try and beat the coming heat of the day. We drove east on Interstate 10, to Twin Peaks, taking a right on Tangerine Road to Oracle on US 77. We stopped for breakfast at Jerry Bob’s restaurant, off Oracle Road in Oro Valley, in part to miss the potential rain that appeared on the horizon.
After breakfast, we continued on US 77 through the towns of Mammoth and Winkelman to Globe. From Globe, we took highway 188 past Roosevelt Lake, where we stopped at the visitor’s center.Roosevelt Lake, also called Theodore Roosevelt Lake or Lake Roosevelt, is a large reservoir. It was formed by the Theodore Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River. Water from the lake serves as a bank, storing and providing water, during times of flood and drought to the Apache, Canyon, and Saguaro lakes (with their own dams as well). The whole series of dams provides a constant source of water for local communities all the way down to Phoenix. The lake is just over 22 miles long and almost two miles wide. It is a popular recreation destination within the Tonto National Forest, and there are some cliff dwelling ruins close by as well.
Traveling on, we stopped for lunch at the quaint and quirky Jake’s Corner Bar, located on highway 188, three miles south of 87. The food was very good and priced very well. They had a lunch special which was a Meatball Sandwich, Cowboy Beans, and Deep Fried Corn on the Cob – all for four dollars! A movie, called Jake’s Corner, was filmed there in 2008. The movie is about an ex-football star, Johnny Dunn, who moves to a small desert town called Jake’s Corner, after a family tragedy.
Continuing on188 North, we took 87 North to Payson, then on to the towns of Pine and Strawberry. Leaving Strawberry, we took a left on Highway 260 West to the towns of Camp Verde and then Cottonwood. At Cottonwood, we took 89A north to Sedona. There are many places to stay at in Sedona. We stayed at a condo at the Wyndham Resorts.
The morning of the 18th, Tuesday, following breakfast, we took a bus tour that went to the major sites in the local area.
Sedona is one of the most beautiful towns in America. The town is designed well. Of special note are the many roundabouts located on Arizona State Route 89A, that cuts through the middle of Sedona.
Supplementing the unique look of the local geography is the general design of many of the local buildings. All buildings are required to conform to a city code that requires conformity to the surroundings. For example, the local McDonalds does not have the well known golden arches, but has instead, teal colored arches. This strict building code is designed to complement the red rock buttes and canyon walls that surround the town. Accordingly, the rock formations themselves are attractions. Visitors will want to visit Thunder Mountain, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Red Rock Crossing, Coffee Pot, Courthouse Butte and the Chapel of the Holy Rock (which aside from the very beautiful chapel, offers a wonderful view of the surrounding area). Some of these can be seen from what is known as the Airport Overlook.
Aside from the natural beauty of the local geography and well designed town, Sedona has lots of small local artisan stores and galleries. Outside the town, are lots of places to visit, hike, picnic, or even bird watch; for example, Slide Rock and Red Rock State Park.
The next issue will cover visiting the Grand Canyon, the trip back to Sedona, a visit to a very unique shopping location named Tlaquepaque, and the ride back to Vail.