Flagstaff is absolutely one of our favorite cities. Nestled in a Ponderosa pine forest, it's the home to
Northern Arizona University, Lowell Observatory (where Pluto was discovered), and Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona, pictured above. Jim's niece, Bridget, is here and we always have a wonderful visit with her and her family when we are in town. This time was no exception.
Flagstaff is probably best known for it's outdoor activities which are superb year round. The great weather makes it easy for folks to get out and hike, bike, or ski in the winter. Speaking of biking, I have to mention that yesterday Jim rode to the top of Snowbowl, the local ski area, at 9300' elevation. Altogether he did 37 miles, 2700' elevation gain and an average of over 6% grade on the last 6 miles. Wow, what an accomplishment! I've been able to get some multi-mile hikes in around Schultz Pass. The scenery is beautiful and I got to a point on the trail where I heard no manmade noise. It was unbelievably wonderful to hear only birds and wind. Speaking of birds...two great sightings were the Pygmy Nuthatch and the Lewis's Woodpecker. The photo below is a Pygmy Nuthatch poking it's head out of an old woodpecker hole and a view of some of the Ponderosas along the trail.