Yes, we really did see a bear in Arizona! Before you go scrolling through the pictures I think it’s a fair warning that there aren’t any photos of a bear – it all happened so fast! BUT it has been my life goal to see a bear in the wild. From a distance, in a non-scary, non-life threatening situation. It finally happened!!! Okay technically all I saw was a bear butt. We were driving on a middle-of-nowhere forest road when we approached a bear just chilling, once it saw our car it immediately ran into the woods. By the time I saw it from the back seat window all I saw was it’s fuzzy butt and cute little tail. Still 100% counts! Yay for fuzzy bear butts! Even Paul, who has seen 2 bears previous to this – one of them came into their camp and stole a flask (funny story), scary moment – even he was excited about seeing this brown bear butt!
Seeing the bear butt was the highlight of my trip, kthxbyeee! Kidding! One of Paul’s friends is getting his PHD at a school in Flagstaff, Arizona. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a free place to sleep and the use of a free car – thanks Casey! I had been to Arizona on a family trip the summer after 7th grade. I was happy to visit again with a fresh perspective and Paul had never been to any desert land.
We flew into Phoenix, the desert landscape dotted with huge cacti that you probably picture when you think of Arizona was all seen by car. We spent most of our time in Flagstaff or within an hour drive of it. Flagstaff is different than rest of Arizona, it’s surrounded by ponderosa pine forests and mountains making it greener than the true desert landscape – although still not as green as the Midwest! When we drove outside of Flagstaff there were parts that felt more dessert and arid with less trees and vegetation. We defiantly saw an interesting mix of eco systems.
Before I unleash you to view at all the pictures that I took below I could tell you a big long story with all the details of exactly what we did and what we liked the most, let’s be honest, I know you’re just here for the pretty photos.
Here is a quick summary: when you visit Arizona in May don’t just assume it’s going to be hot all of the time because it’s a desert climate, well it might be hot if you’re staying in Phoenix. In Flagstaff we had a few warm sunny 75 degree days and on our last day it rained and even snowed which is very unusual for May weather. It can drop down to 40 degrees once the sun goes down, bring a jacket when you go out to dinner. Layers are key.
Of course we had to see the Grand Canyon and meteor crater, those were both amazing to see, but I had seen them before so I knew what to expect. My two favorite things we did: 1) camping at Edge of the World – that’s when we saw the bear, er bear butt! Thanks to our friend who lent us all the camping gear and convinced us we NEEDED to go camping even though we were skeptical at first. 2) Our hike in Sedona. I remembered Sedona really well from the last time I came to Arizona, beautiful red rock everywhere, it was fun to see Paul’s reaction to the unusual landscape. Even though on the day we went to Sedona I was sick with a cold that I kept calling allergies even though I’ve never had any allergies in my life – needless to say I didn’t feel like hiking. Paul somehow convinced me to hike anyways and I’m glad we did because I got to watch Paul conquer his fear of heights and walk out to the devil’s bridge and then feel all proud of himself – yes, we have a photo to prove it!
The food: we had a lot of good food – all of the Mexican food and margaritas! There was even a salsa bar! You guys, that’s a place that has a buffet of salsas for you to try – so so good! Despite all of the yumminess I didn’t snap any pictures of my food. I’m not really into the try-to-take-an-appetizing-picture-on-your-phone-in-bad-restaurant-lighting situation. Besides it’s nice to take a break from all of that on vacation, right? Therefore what you are about to view is a lot of landscape photos with a few selfies of the two of us and several shots of Paul who likes to do funny things (like the one below). Sadly, there are no brown bear butt photos.
I officially unleash you into the world of Arizona! Enjoy!
Camping at “Edge of the World”
We Saw a brown bear butt on our way here!!! (just in case your forgot!)
Camping hair and clothes here – no judging allowed! 😉
Sunset Crater Volcano
The Grand Canyon
Devil’s Bridge (a hike in Sedona)
He did it! So Proud. Also, he was so nervous while standing out there and mad at me for making him wait until I found the right spot to take the the picture! But there was a bush in the way of the arch so it didn’t look cool.
Walnut Canyon (cliff dwellings)
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