Southwest 2018 Part 2 // Williams & Sedona

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When Wiehan and I travel, we typically jam-pack every day full of activities and exploration. Our trip to the Southwest was no different. Back in October last year, we went on a 16-day trip connecting 3 different work conferences with vacationing and sightseeing in between. It began in Vegas, where we spent two nights there solely for the first conference. I wrote a blog post here about how to be healthy in the late night party capital. And we have a blog post here about our visit to the Grand Canyon. In this post, we’re featuring a road trip throughout Arizona, from Williams to Scottsdale, via Sedona. But first, we began the day with a run, exploring the town of Williams by foot. It's such a fun little town, with the 50's style Route 66 Cafe, the Route 66 Zipline, and we even stumbled on a western-themed outdoor performance. Before wrapping up our run, we stopped at Brewed Awakenings for a latte. Check out the video from the day here!

After showers, breakfast and packing up the car, we were on the road for a three-hour drive, headed south for our accommodation in Scottsdale that evening. We took the scenic route, stopping along the way to explore Sedona, the small town known for its red rocks and natural energy. We parked the car and stopped into the visitor's center, asking "What can we see in three hours?" We were presented with a very helpful map, and advice to see the Sedona Trail View Point and hike the Airport Loop Trail. The view point provides an incredible 360 degree view of Sedona. After snacking on apples and rice cakes with peanut butter, we began the hike down the Airport Loop. Although it's just 3.2 miles / 5 km in distance, we weren't totally prepared to hike on a shadeless trail in the middle of the hot day. So we turned around and hiked up to the Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout instead, via the Sedona View Trail. Having just hiked in the Grand Canyon the day before, we were once again, overwhelmed and amazed by the phenomenal natural beauty surrounding us!

If not for the heat of the day, and the need for lunch, we could have stayed out there taking in the views all day. But nevertheless, we looked up restaurants on Yelp and found a paleo, gluten free restaurant - um, yes, please! Unfortunately, it looks like Paleo Brio is no longer in business. But despite a very old lettuce mix in my salad, we enjoyed our lunch, especially the piping hot yucca fries with creamy dill ranch dressing. So good! Three hours was not nearly enough time to fully take in such an interesting town, but our schedule was tight and after lunch we were back on the road. The views along the drive, however, did not disappoint. We saw saguaro cacti for the first time and I completely flipped out with excitement! This was an unexpected highlight of the trip and it would get even better when I'd get to hike amongst the cacti a week later.

The highlight of the drive from Sedona to Scottsdale was seeing saguaro cacti for the first time!

The highlight of the drive from Sedona to Scottsdale was seeing saguaro cacti for the first time!

We arrived safely in Scottsdale, stopping at the Sprouts grocery store to stock up on more water and snacks. Then we checked in at the Best Western Plus. After unloading the car, we walked to the nearby mall in search of dinner. Wiehan had Chipotle, while I had a fresh salad from Pita Jungle, and then we split a smoothie from Jamba Juice. While we typically try to avoid the food court at a mall, I was happily surprised that we could still get some fairly healthy options at a pretty affordable price. After a long day full of exploration, we walked back to the hotel and spent the rest of the evening running a load of laundry at the hotel and watching TV. We quickly realized that we'd booked a hotel a block away from Scottsdale's noisy entertainment district. With the aid of earplugs, we managed to rest well, ready in the morning for the next leg of the trip - a 6-hour drive to Los Angeles! Stay tuned!

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- Christin

Tell us! Do you love to hike as much as we do? If so, what are your favorite trails?