Up early and onto I17 North to Canyon Verde to confirm our train ride in plenty of time. With a couple of hours to kill, climbed several thousand feet to nearby Jerome, a former copper-mining town. Nearly a ghost town in the 1950s when the mine closed, the town fought back and became something of an artist’s colony, as well as being cute as a button.
Then it was back down to the train station for a quick sandwich and first-class seats on the Canyon Verde Train. Pulled by two 1950s diesel locomotives, the train has refurbished luxury Pullman cars for seating, snacking and drinks and an outdoor panorama-type car for each of the
cars. The four-hour train ride proceeds
at a leisurely 20 mph along the banks of the Rio Verde into red rock canyon
country and is extraordinarily scenic.
We followed this with the scenic route to Sedona, a pretty town surrounded by red rock country and some gorgeous monument-like stone outcrops, in time for sunset. Quite a crowd gathered at the lookout points but there was plenty of room.
From Sedona, we followed a twisty two-lane road up
in the twilight to Mile-high Flagstaff, our
B&B and a welcome pizza. Oak Creek Canyon
Canyon Verde train
Pretty country, Canyon Verde
Scraping the canyon walls.
Mining town of Jerome
Sedona near sunset.
Tomorrow, it's off to Monument Valley!