Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a new ranking! . . .

After another frosty night with a low of 34 degrees, Jan warmed us up with some cheese toast made with the last of Miss Terry’s homemade bread, and the last of the blueberry muffins from our friend Gina Ellis.

What a great way to start the day!

Then about 10 we headed out on our daytrip to the Sedona area, but our first stop was right outside the Thousand Trails park at Bignotti Beach, an area of BLM land used by many boondockers and campers.

Bignotti Bird

Not exactly sure where the ‘beach’ went, but there was a river with a river bank. And we did find this large bird. When viewed thru the tiny camera viewfinder, the size made me think it was a Great Blue Heron, but when I saw it at home I’m pretty sure it’s a crane of some kind. But whooping cranes are white with a red head, and sandhill cranes, although gray, also have a red head. So I’m stumped.

Can anyone say for sure?

Heading into Cottonwood, and then northeast out on 89A we started encountering some really spectacular scenery. And it just got better and better.

About half way there we pulled over in a scenic viewing area for a few minutes and got these shots.

RedRockView 0

RedRockView

Then a few minutes outside Sedona we turned onto Red Rock Loop Rd., a loop that took us out in the countryside before joining back with 89A closer in to Sedona. And the view got even better.

RedRockView 1

RedRockView 2

RedRockView 3

And what’s even more surprising is that there are homes out here, very, very expensive homes. Can you imagine looking out your living room window to these sights.

RedRockView 5

About half way around the loop, we stopped at another scenic pullover and got some great photos.

Here’s one of my sweetie, Jan.

RedRockView Sweetie

And here’s another one of my sweetie with some old geezer that follows her around a lot. I think he’s a stalker, myself.

Greg Jan Sedona

And here’s Nick and Terry, enjoying the view.

RedRock Russells

Cactus fruit

Cactus Blooms

And this is the view coming into Sedona.

Sedona 1

Sedona 2

Sedona 3

After driving around Sedona, about 12:30 we decided to have lunch at the Red Planet Diner.

Red Planet Sign

Decorated with a space and aliens theme, the décor was striking, and the food was delicious.

Red Planet Booths

We all had sandwiches, Jan’s was a Rueben, Terry had a Tuna Melt, Nick had a Hot Pastrami, and I had a Roswell Burger with green chilies, jalapenos, bacon and pepper jack cheese. Hmmmm, spicy! And all good.

Red Planet Flyer

After lunch, we parked in town and took in a few of the shops. The first thing I noticed was the Sedona mascots, a mother and baby javelina.

Sedona Javelinas 1

I only saw these two, but I’m sure there are more. In other towns on our travels, we’ve seen moose, bears, pelicans, mermaids, and dolphins, used as city mascots.

Sedona Javelinas 2

Though it’s hard to imagine, the view from downtown Sedona is just as spectacular as it is out in the countryside.

Sedona 4

Sedona 5

Sedona 6

This is why Jan says there’s been a change in the rankings of the Top 5 Favorite Places she’s visited. Sedona is now on the list.

Of course when questioned, she admits there are at least 10 places on her Top 5 list, so I wouldn’t close the nominations too early.

We got home around 3 pm after a great day with good friends. Life couldn’t get any better.

More tomorrow.

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Thought for the Day:

I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.

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