Coupla Days in Northern Arizona

The Hotel Monte Vista is in historic downtown Flagstaff. Built in 1927, it's decorated in period furniture and is reputed to have ghosts. We didn't notice any, though.

Turns out we have both found potential job opportunities in Flagstaff, AZ, conveniently located up at 7,000′ in the cool, breezy Ponderosa pine forests in the northwestern corner of the state, just 75 miles from that little old ditch they call the Grand Canyon.

We spent two days there talking with prospective employers, one of us formally and one of us informally, as a prelude to an actual interview next week. We’ll see if anything becomes of this, or not … but it was a lovely visit, and we got out of there before a major snowstorm was due to hit the area.

Quality beverages at the Beaver Street Brewpub in downtown Flagstaff.

Flagstaff has a population of about 65,000, 17,000 of whom to go Northern Arizona University. It was NAU spring break, which meant easy parking and no lines at the coffee shops or bars. Flagstaff also has about the cutest airport I’ve ever seen. Pulliam Field — yes, they call it a field — is served by US Airways and … that’s it. There’s one ticket counter where the check-in guy is also the gate agent and is also the guy who works out on the ramp, loading luggage and directing the plane to the gate. There’s a wee baggage carousel. And a little cafe, where they will tell you you have plenty of time to drink your coffee and read your Arizona Daily Sun before boarding begins. And you believe them. When you return your rental car, you either park it in the tiny lot … or leave it by the curb. Try that at Logan!

Mike enjoys the view on the way down the 240-step trail down to some of the cliff dwellings.

In between interviewing and sampling good local food and beer downtown, we found time for a trail run through the pines at Buffalo Park, at a cool and breezy 7,000′ (whew!); and a visit to Walnut Canyon National Monument, 10 miles outside Flagstaff.

Twenty miles of the canyon became a National Monument in 1915 to preserve historic remains of the Sinagua (“without water”) people, who farmed the dry plateau above and sheltered down in the cliffs 700-1000 years ago. It is thought that they stayed just a century or so before vacating this area.

Panoramic view of Walnut Canyon National Monument, home to ~300 ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings.
These shelters were probably prime real estate 700 years ago.
Some still had their walls, with hand- and fingerprints visible in the dried mud between the rocks.
Words to live by: Encouragement from the CCC, who built the Monument's trails in the 1930s, at the bottom of the stairs leading up out of the canyon.

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