11.05.2012 - 11.05.2012
Before checking out, we ate breakfast at the hotel next door. The hotel we stayed at had that service… if you didn’t like the hotels own breakfast you could walk over to the next door hotel and eat there. Thumbs up!
From the town of Kingman to the community of Ash Forks we drove on the classic Route 66. First stop in Valentine and the Keepers of the Wild Animal Park where they take care of rescued wild animals. They had a lot of animals; lions, coyotes, wolves, tigers (Siberian and White), jaguar, cougars, bobcats, ostriches, emus, monkeys, turtles, raccoons, skunks among others. Most of the animals stayed in the shadows though due to the heat. After that we drove to Grand Canyon Caverns and had lunch. We thought about getting down into the caverns but unfortunately it was too long time to wait for the next tour to start so we had to skip it. They do actually have a hotel down in the caverns which you can stay in but I don’t think I would though…
We kept on driving on Route 66 to Ash Forks and then southbound towards Jerome, now the biggest ghost town in the US. Jerome was founded on top of the mountain Cleopatra Hill and was thanks to its copper mining a big mining community at the turn of the 19th - 20th Centuries. But during the Big Depression in 1930ies and after the Second World War the demand for copper decreased and the mine was closed in 1953. From a population of 15000 people only about 50 people were left in Jerome after the mine was closed.
We arrived pretty late in Jerome and had only 30 minutes to walk around in the mining area. But it was enough time though if you ask me. Outside the gift shop there was a birdfeeder where they had put sugar water to lure out the Hummingbirds. We stood there waiting for a while with our cameras ready. And after a while they dared to approach the birdfeeder and we managed to get a few nice photos of them. But it is true as they say, they do hum a lot when they fly.
We drove the steep downhill road from Jerome and south to Sedona. Unfortunately we could only spare a few minutes here in Sedona so the choice fell on visiting Cathedral Rock for some pictures. It was really beautiful with the Red Rocks in the sunset! I’ve never seen such colors! You would probably need at least a day or two to see more of Sedona and its beauty. Though we had stick to our strict itinerary and drive to Phoenix and our pre-booked hotel for the night. As we got closer to Phoenix hundreds of blooming Saguaro Cactuses showed up beside the road which was amazing to see. For those of you who don’t know, it is the classic tall and thin cactuses with several arms growing on the sides, usually seen in cowboy movies. The heat in Phoenix was overwhelming and even though we took a swim in the hotel pool, you didn’t get any cooler.