Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday Funday at Piestewa Peak

Summer's right around the corner, but you wouldn't know it you spent any time outside Sunday. Graham and I took advantage of the breezy, cool weather with a hike on Piestewa Peak at sunset. Get in your hikes while you can, folks!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Adventure: Devil's Bridge and Montezuma's Castle

I've been longing for an adventure.

Graham and I only had one day to get away. It was just enough time for some exploring.

We drove to Sedona to check out Devil's Bridge. Find the trailhead on Dry Creek Road, which is accessible from Arizona 89A. We immediately learned how popular the trail is, especially on a 75-degree, sunny day. Hikers waved along our fun, bouncy ride to the trailhead in our Jeep.

Don't forget your Red Rock Pass when you're hiking in the Sedona area.

Another hiking option just across from the Devil's Bridge Trailhead is Chuckwagon Trail.

The hike is only 1.8 miles roundtrip. Stop for lots of photos of the view.

Mesmerized by the clouds.

Don't expect solitude at the bridge, despite this photo. You probably will find a group of people taking turns walking onto the bridge for a photo. 

After our hike we tried to check out Palatki ruins, but we were too late. The site closes at 3 p.m. and we were there around 2:30 sans reservations. Maybe next time!

Instead we took advantage of the National Park Service's fee-free weekend. We stopped by Montezuma's Castle on the drive back to Phoenix.

Beaver Creek

And we had to get some frybread from a stand next to the interstate. (Only $4) I regretted not asking for two.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lola Coffee at The Yard

UPDATE: Lola Coffee is gone. The coffee shop closed months ago and will soon be a Mexican restaurant. More on that later!

I'm thrilled about the new coffee shop that just opened up in my neighborhood. Graham and I can walk there for coffee and pastries, and I'm sure we'll do so a lot before the weather heats up. There's also a drive-through available from 6-10:30 a.m. But if you need your latte in a hurry after that time, stop by the walk-up window to place your order.

This morning I tried an iced chai and frittata, while Graham ordered a 20-ounce drip coffee with a chocolate croissant.

The decor was a mix of modern and vintage. I was obsessed with the chandelier hanging over the tables. You'll also find a bookcase and another seating area inside. To the south there's a bar area with various wine options to choose from, too.

 Take advantage of the outdoor seating while the temperatures are under 90 degrees.  I'm sure we'll spend more time in this gorgeous space.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March adventure: Knoll Lake, Mogollon Rim

Graham and I celebrated our first full weekend together in almost two months by going on a weekend camping trip. We set off toward Blue Ridge Reservoir, but we discovered it's closed until at least early April, so instead we kept driving until we hit Forest Road 95.

Signs for the Arizona Trail make me want to hike at least parts of the 790-mile trail. Adding it to my travel list.

 Without a plan, we decided to look for another body of water on which to canoe. We noticed Knoll Lake on the map; it was more than 20 miles away on a dirt road. But we had nothing but time.

 Somewhere along Forest Road 95 was a bridge over a creek. We hiked along the creek for a mile or so, checking out the scenery. Then we hit the road again, driving through the Christmas tree cutting area, where we spotted a wild turkey. (He was too quick to let me snap a photo of him.)

We turned left on Rim Road, driving alongside the rim, and expansive views, all the way to Knoll Lake.

The campgrounds at Knoll Lake were closed, but we found an amazing campsite on the rim.

We could see for miles from our campsite. We dined around the campfire with the sunset before us. I could not have asked for a more beautiful night.

The next morning, we returned to Knoll Lake. The winds had picked up that day. Forty degrees felt more like 20 to me. I wrapped myself in a blanket as Graham tried his luck at fishing. We spent a lovely afternoon at the lake, seeing only four other people the entire day.

Our drive home was just as scenic as the drive in.

Want to see a map of how to get there? The Coconino National Forest website has one.