Saturday, February 14, 2015

Canyon Verde

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 Pullman 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 Oak Creek Canyon in the twilight to Mile-high Flagstaff, our B&B and a welcome pizza.

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!

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