I'm continuing my travel report from the US exactly 11 months later. I had to unpack and get well during a few days of holidays after returning home. Most probably, I got COVID-19 at the airport in San Francisco and back home, I tested myself and the test turned out positive. Luckily, I was not sick for a long time and all went according to plan...Okay, just a week later I hurt my shoulder during ice-climbing, but this is another story.
I stopped my travel report in Joshua Tree, but this was not the end of my trip. In the morning after I camped in JT, I hit the road towards the East to Phoenix, which is a 4-hour drive. I didn't stop as I would lose too much time and drove further to the North, now already in Arizona, towards the city of Flagstaff.
As soon as I left Phoenix, the highway got steeper and I passed the hills in Arizona with lots and lots of cactuses everywhere. It was an amazing view and once, I stopped my car and wanted to take some pictures. I realized that I stopped at a gun ranch with the only signs "no trespassing" all around and I left as quickly as possible :)
Arriving in Flagstaff was a temperature shock. It's important to know that this town lies at 2.100 m of elevation and as soon as I got out of the car, I could smell snow and fire in the air. It snowed overnight and this time by chance, I stayed in a motel and woke up to 10 cm of fresh snow and ice on the ground. There was even a pool at the motel, which I then couldn't use ;)
Flagstaff plays an important role in the transportation crossroads within the US - there's Road 66 going through, also both railroads - Atlantic and Pacific Railroads cross the city. The only thing besides coming and leaving I did there was to go for a run before breakfast. This was a very enthusiastic move considering that you run at 2.500 m height, with fresh snow, and freezing temperatures. I couldn't breathe at all and had a feeling that I'd get a heart attack, so I only swiftly walked up and down the hill being the only person on the trail.
Can you guess where I headed next? I dressed for proper winter weather, changed my jacket to the thickest option I had with me and drove towards the Grand Canyon. In the next episode, you'll find out where to go or not go in the Grand Canyon National Park, what you'll see while driving there and what I would do when going there another time in summer.