Tuesday, October 23, 2012


We have been to the Flagstaff area many times, but never in Flagstaff.  Since we are fairly close, we decided to spend some time checking it out today.  We had thought about spending some time there on this trip, but since it is around 7,000 ft up and Gerry doesn't do very well at that altitude, we changed our minds.  

We didn't have any set agenda other than to check out the town and stopped by the Visitors center to see what was there.  Route 66 runs through the center of town along side of the railroad tracks and there are many old buildings from the 1940-50 time period.  Many have been restored and the downtown area is neat to see.  There are a number of restaurants, old motels, old train station and other buildings to check out.

Check out the price for a room.

We went to check out the old Riordan mansion near the Northern Arizona University and were impressed by the size of the building.  There were tours on an hourly basis, but we just missed one and didn't wait to go on the next one.

NAU was next to the mansion so we drove through the grounds  and were impressed with the campus.  It was very modern and had lots of open grassy areas.  I thought I'd just take a short cut through, however I was in for a surprise.  After turning around 3 different times I figured out that the only way out was the way in.  

Lowell Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Lowell Observatory was established in 1894, placing it among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. In 2011, the Observatory was named one of "The World's 100 Most Important Places" by TIME.

The Observatory's original 24-inch  Alvan Clark Telescope is still in use today for public education. Lowell Observatory hosts 85,000 visitors per year at their Steele Visitors Center who take guided daytime tours and view various wonders of the night sky through the Clark Telescope and other telescopes. It was founded by astronomer Percival Lowell, and run for a time by his third cousin Guy Lowell of Boston's well-known Lowell family. The current trustee of Lowell Observatory is William Lowell Putnam III, grandnephew of founder Percival Lowell and son of long-time trustee Roger Putnam. The position of trustee is historically handed down through the family.

The observatory operates several telescopes at two locations in Flagstaff. The main facility, located on Mars Hill just west of downtown Flagstaff, houses the original 24-inch  Clark Refracting Telescope, although its role today is as a public education tool and not research. The telescope, built in 1896 for $20,000, was assembled in Boston by Alvan Clark and then shipped by train to Flagstaff. Also located on the Mars Hill campus is the 13-inch  Pluto Discovery Telescope, used by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 to discover the dwarf planet Pluto.

The Observatory is high up on a hill west of Flagstaff and has a very nice overlook of the town.

We left there and took the back road back to Camp Verde and really enjoyed the drive down Rt 89A toward Sedona.  It was getting late and there wasn't a lot of light left, but we managed to take a number of photos.  One of my favorites is the one to the right.  See if you can figure out why I like it so much.

150 miles later we returned to the our campsite and collapsed.  I felt like I had walked up there and back, instead of driving.  The altitude does wear us out.  I hear if you spend a couple weeks up there you get acclimated and all is fine after that.  I don't think I will verify that thought.



  1. I like the photo because Gerry is in it but I am sure you like it because of the eagle in the tree.

    Your FSILINC

  2. Go to Williams if you have a chance it is such a quaint little town, just 30 miles from flagstaff. Hubby spent time in the flagstaff hospital so we did not do any touring, but what I saw i liked it. Looks allot like Maine.

    Happy Trails.

  3. I vote for the trees with the beautiful fall colors.