Sometimes, its good not to follow directions

I feel like my blog is mainly about my faults, so I decided to post one that highlights one of my strenghts: my ability to get lost and find complete awesomeness in that.

Last night I decided that I was going to take a road trip to Jerome, AZ. It’s a ghost town about 2 or so hours from here. I’ve never been there but I’ve heard cool things about it and figured that a day trip up north would pull me out of my funk.

Jerome, AZ

 

I had planned to wake up early and leave for Jerome at 8 am, but me being me, I overslept until about 10 am. My landlord’s dad needed to come by to change the air-filter, which motivated me to clean my house. So after a quick trip to Target for a black hoodie, snaky-snacks and some batteries, I left Gilbert around 1pm, about 5 hours later than I intended. I vaguely knew that Jerome was somewhere on the I-17 past Sedona, so I didnt bother to look at a map. I loaded my Rhapsody music player with two albums from the Black-eyed Peas and set off for Jerome.

On my way to Jerome, I notice large dark grey clouds in the distance. I was told by the weather channel that theres some snow up north around Flagstaff, but not in Jerome.  So, I’m not nervous. About an hour and a half outside of Phoenix, I come across this sign:

Imagine this sign except it says: Turn here for Jerome; do NOT stay on the I-17.

Because I never do what I am told and make up my own rules, I decide to stay on the I-17 and figured I’d come across another exit for Jerome. I continue on. I start to notice those large grey clouds I saw earlier are getting closer. This is not good because the weather channel did say it was snowing/sleeting up near Flagstaff.  Soon, I start seeing large pine trees and signs for elk. Still no sign for Jerome. Do I turn around? Of course not. I figure if I keep going, I’ll eventually see a sign for Jerome, turn off there and find my destination. I don’t need a map or to stop and ask for directions; I have woman’s intuition.

About 30-45 minutes later, I come across this sign:

Ummm...

By this time, it is dark, cold and pouring rain. The highway has been blocked off to one lane, (fun times) and I am still stupidly hoping that there will be a Jerome turn off sign. Well, because I’ve made it this far and down to a quarter tank of gas, I head into Flagstaff, praying that there isn’t any snow or ice. My plan is to stop for coffee, gas and ask for directions back to Jerome. Mind you, I am not really dressed for cold and rainy weather: I’ve got on a very thin black hoodie, t-shirt and jeans. All my fall-winter stuff is back at my house. And my blood has been thinned to the consistency of water because living in Phoenix for the past three months has caused it to evaporate.

The freeway ends, and I drive into Flagstaff. My plan is to find NAU, because I figure, wherever there is a university there has to be a coffee shop near by. Well, NAU doesn’t seem to work that way. I end up getting lost on the campus going down a one- way road in the wrong direction. After lots of finger pointing,  honking and fist shaking, I end up going the right way and back on the main road.  I decide to make a u-turn and leave Flagstaff since my first 15 minutes in the city have been a bit embarssing. On my way out, I find a Starbucks. Hooray! I step outside, look down the road and see this:

Snow!!!

I consider for a moment whether or not I should venture to that mountain to go play in the snow. Then I realize that I’m cold, have no clothing for snow and I don’t have snow tires or chains. Plus knowing me, I’d never find the mountain anyway and end up in Egypt. So, I head into Starbucks.

When I walk in, I’m greeted by very friendly baristas. I order my pumpkin spice latte and decide to ask these chipper employees for directions back to Jerome. I get some funny responses.

Barista 1: Jerome? Where’s that? Is it near Tucson? I’ve lived here for years and never heard of that place. (I really hope she was kidding)

Barista 2: I went to Jerome once, like ten years ago. My mom was driving and I was sleeping, but she told me later that we passed through Jerome to go to Sedona. So I’ve been there before, but would not know how to get there.

Barista 3: I just moved here. Do you mean Sedona? I know where Sedona is. Does that help?

At this point, I decide to go to Sedona, since I know how to get there. One of the baristas suggests that I hang out in Flagstaff and gives me directions to an observatory. She also tells me that the downtown area is really nice, and a great place to spend a few hours. I decide to take her advice, grab my coffee and head for downtown Flagstaff.

Love it!!!

Flagstaff turned out to be an awesome place! Everyone was so friendly. I spent about three hours downtown checking out the shops, chatting with random people buying beanies, and watching street performers. I found a lot of cool art, a great place to eat crepe’s and made my own candles.

Froggy!!!

 

Overall, today was awesome and a much needed escape from my life in the east valley. I love the day trips that I take alone; I always find cool places to explore and appreciate. I hated to leave Flagstaff, but I didn’t want to be there after dark just incase it did snow or there was ice on the ground. So, I left for home after three hours and on my way out, found a turnoff to head into Sedona.

Now, I’ve have always wanted to catch Sedona at sunset. Today I got my chance, and it was AMAZING!!! The entire trip into Sedona I geeked out over the fact that I was in Sedona at sunset. I pulled over quite a bit to snap photos, but realized once I got home that I was probably hopping up and down way too much from excitement because the photo’s were pretty blurry. Oh well.

I did manage to get this one good photo, which does not do Sedona at sunset justice:

God, I love Sedona!

 

By the time I got to downtown Sedona, it was pretty dark. To end my trip, I decided to visit my favorite spot in Sedona, Church of the Red Rocks. It was closed off at dark, but that didn’t stop me from pulling off to the side to snap a photo. I’ve wanted to see it at night for a while and was glad I finally got to. I wasn’t bold enough to jump the gate and walk to the top, but I thought about it.

So pretty 🙂

 

So that was my adventure. If I’d never gotten lost and ignored the signs to Jerome, I wouldn’t have discovered the awesomeness that is Flagstaff and discovered that alternative route into Sedona to catch the sunset. Cheers to getting lost and doing it often :).

 

 

3 thoughts on “Sometimes, its good not to follow directions

  1. Yeah!! Adventures are always fun no matter where you wind up :-). I’ve always loved Flagstaff. I think I’ll be heading up there on Thursday for some “high altitude training” (really just an excuse to go to Flagstaff). It is a great place to go camping too, so keep that in mind if you’re feeling outdoorsy ;-).

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