Last summer is getting further and further away, so these blog posts about the amazing road trip that my daughter (Lana) and I took last year are becoming more and more important. This leg of the trip is a continuation of our favorite stretch of our epic road trip. The southwest really spoke to us. Arizona is a treasure trove of natural wonders and truly amazing sights. We only experienced a handful of what it has to offer, and can’t wait to return. Now, I have been to the Grand Canyon a handful of times already, but I could not pass up the opportunity to take Lana for her visit to the most iconic national park, and to watch her eyes take it all in. Besides, it never gets old! I would go 5 more times to the second most visited national park. Plus, we found a new way to experience the park. We rented bikes! It was the perfect way to take in more of the south rim in an active way. We highly recommend the bike ride experience…you get stunning views and a great workout!
The Grand Canyon was pretty fantastic but not the only cool thing we did in Arizona. We stayed at the Flagstaff KOA. It was a cozy fit, but clean and pleasant. The thing I remember about it was the wind! Oh my gosh, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It was night and I was trying to sleep but I could hear the wind start somewhere in the canyon and it would build and build, and you could hear it coming a full 30 seconds before it got to us. When it did arrive, it shook the tent so badly I’m pretty sure the tent would have flown away if we weren’t in it. Crazy. Not the best night sleep.
On our way back to the campsite from the Grand Canyon, we came across Bearizona Wildlife Park. It has both a walk through zoo like section, as well as a drive-through safari like part. It was really cute. They fed the bears while we were there. They put the food along the driving path and the bears are right there. There were A LOT of bears, and it was really cool. We stopped spontaneously and I wish now that I would have checked to make sure these were rescue animals. But I do believe the animals are well taken care of, so that was comforting.
The other thing we did in this area is one of our favorite times of the whole trip. Slide Rock State Park near Sedona AZ is freaking cool! It was kind of crowded, but so cool we didn’t care. It has a series of natural water slides that run through the famous red rocks of Sedona. It’s a great place to spend a day picnicking and cooling off. We slid down the rock, Lana jumped off the rock, we swam and explored. Don’t pass this up if you have the opportunity! I will always treasure these images, because of the memories behind them, made with my wonderful daughter!