I'd read that hiking up Doe Mountain would give a great view of the sunrise. However, as it was still rather dark when we arrived at the parking lot, we had some fears about wild animals (namely poisonous snakes and other creepy venomous critters) as well as the worry that we'd trip on rocks and take a tumble, so we decided to enjoy the views from the parking lot. It was a gorgeous sunrise and watching the surrounding vortexes go from a dull brown to a rich, dark red as the sun got higher in the sky was beautiful.
WILSON CANYON & HUCKABY TRAIL
After we watched the sunrise, we went back to our hotel, got ready for the day, packed our bags and checked out.
Because we'd had such an amazing time on Day 1, we decided to hit up the Chapel again. This time, the sky was much bluer with fewer clouds, so I think these photos are a bit nicer.
TUZIGOOT NATIONAL MONUMENT
After we finished up at the Chapel for the second time, we hopped back into our car and made our way south, back towards Phoenix. We made a few pitstops along the way, the first of which was the Tuzigoot National Monument. It was a $10 fee per person and this also covered a visit to Montezuma Castle.
This is another dwelling made by the Sinagua people. It's a pretty cool structure built into the side of a cliff. Apparently, the Sinagua were v. considerate people who thought that this way of building was the most sympathetic to nature. They thought that if ever the residents decided to permanently leave, eventually the pueblo would blend right back into nature.
GABRIELA'S TACO SHOP
After we'd wandered around Montezuma Castle, we were feeling peckish so we stopped in town for some lunch.
Yelp recommended Gabriela's with 4.5 stars and a promise of cheap prices so we headed over. I got the fried fish taco platter while D opted for a beef burrito. She gobbled it up, so I guess it was good. My fish tacos were hearty (they did not skimp on the fish) and the rice and beans and the spicy salsa made for a generous portion size. I loved the hot, fresh chips (they were fresh out of the fryer and so hot that we were warned to let them cool before diving in).
Our final stop on the way to Phoenix was at Arcosanti. We got off the highway as it started to drizzle and then we ended up on some gravel road.
Once we arrived in Phoenix, we checked into our hotel (the Fairfield Inn & Suites Midtown) and got dressed for a night out.
Valley Bar (where they make a mean margarita).
After drinks, we parted ways so D and I could grab some dinner. We did a little Yelp search and ended up at Nobuo, where we had some tapas-style sushi.
Here's our map with sites and restaurants pinned:
(We pinned much more than we actually did; but I figure this map will come in handy in the future when I decide to come back.)
This was an amazing trip and I can't wait to go back and explore this region some more. I'm sharing a video diary tomorrow so come back for that.