After MONTHS of covid lockdown, it was definitely time to try something new. I wasn’t interested in a LONG car ride or a crowded flight – and I only had two days to play with. Plus, I needed to find something that would actually be open and relatively virus neutral.

Enter kayaking. It’s perfect… you get your own boat. You are six feet away from anyone that you want to be six feet away from. It is outside – but it is in water so it’s (relatively) cool. And, significantly, it has the feel of an adventure after months of life feeling a tad bit constrained.

While the kayak trip could be done as a day trip, I decided to add on lunch in Flagstaff and an overnight in Sedona. Perfect.

The drive to Flagstaff from Goodyear, AZ is about 2 and a half hours…. an easy morning drive in time for a late lunch. Many of the restaurants were open with outdoor seating and it felt like a completely different world than metro Phoenix. A cool breeze, majestic pine forests, pull outs on the roads to be used in the winter when chains are necessary. How is it POSSIBLE that such a different environment is so relatively close to the desert?

For help choosing a restaurant, I relied on the downtownflagstaff.org website which had tons of updated information. After lunch it was time for a leisurely stroll through the downtown – while many of the stores were not yet open, the book store was – and sometimes that is all that you really need!

The drive from Flagstaff to Sedona is about 30 stunning miles of scenery and some challenging driving- lots of turns and curves along Rt. 89A. I elected to book a room at The Orchards Inn… particularly for the views… and the views did not dissapoint.

The next day it was time to kayak! So, so fun. The Verde River was beautiful, the river just a tad bit challenging so I felt like I was actually doing something, and the scenery spectacular. Verde River Adventures did a wonderful job with the logistics and I would happily go down the river again with them.

Definitely a bit turned around!
Miraculously, I was headed in a relatively straight line.
What a treat to see a heron!

Arizona is an incredibly weather-diverse state. We have deserts, yes, and we are known for them. But, just two hours away from metro Phoenix, you may need chains on your tires to be safe on icy roads in the winter and you can find a significant break from the summer desert heat.

There is plenty to do in Arizona year round… come and see for yourself!