Day 7 Drive: Albuquerque, NM to Sedona, AZ

Slept badly, woke up with a stomach ache. We abandoned our plans to eat breakfast at a nice place downtown, and just had pancakes at the hotel restaurant. 

Pet peeve time. For some reason, when you try to ‘pay at the pump’ in New Mexico or Arizona, the machine asks for your ZIP code. I expect they want to match it to the credit card or something. But this is a giant pain for those of us who live outside the USA. It is impossible to enter a Canadian Postal code, because the keypad has only numbers. This means you have to go inside, line up, leave your credit card with the all night creature, go out and pump your gas, go back inside, line up to remind the creature who you are, get your credit card back, and then sign the slip before returning to your car.

Could they not set it up so that if the credit card is on a foreign bank, a ZIP code of 00000 would work?

Left New Mexico with lingering tummy ache and bad mood. Rename the whole state Rattlesnake Flats, please. No wonder only a million and a half people live there.

Impressed by Arizona though; we stopped at the painted desert and had our picnic lunch at a scenic overlook. We were the only people eating – we had our choice of ten different tables. A squirrel was disappointed to find we are not feeders. 

From there, our little ‘off the interstate’ loop took us to the petrified forest. Then back to the freeway and somewhere between Winslow, Arizona (Eagles song: Take It Easy) and Flagstaff, trees and hills appear. As we closed in on Sedona, amazing scenery: truly spectacular canyons with hairpin turns, towering rock walls and so on. 

Our hotel room at the Inn of Sedona was clean and stylish, but rather motel-like in that it was facing a sort of strip-mall of dental and accounting offices. Caroline went to see the front desk about an upgrade, and now we have a King suite facing a fantastic view. I’ll post a picture tomorrow, when the sun is shining.

We had planned to take a two and a half hour side trip to the Grand Canyon tomorrow, but five hours of driving isn’t much of a rest day. We’re thinking that we’ll backtrack up the canyons to one of the gorgeous little picnic areas we passed on the way here. If we can’t find a vacant table, we’ll just have to eat on the patio here and loaf all afternoon at the pool.

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