Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Arizona

I’m way overdue for a haircut.

After washing my hair and giving myself a facial in my outdoor salon overlooking a ponderosa forest and the Painted Desert, the crew and I set out for Great Clips in Flagstaff.  I’m looking forward to nixing the ponytail look, and having my standard haircut restored.  The young woman does a good job and I’m out of there in a short time.

In the same strip mall, there’s a boot store.

Hmmm . . .  I bet they sell hats, too.  I promise the crew “I’ll be right back” and go inside the store.  Great, they have quite a few hats.  I start trying them on and by the third hat, I’ve found the one I want.  It’s lightweight, woven straw, good for the summer months, and it feels good on my head.  Wow!  A haircut and a new hat, both in the same morning!  I’m feeling good.

I’m tempted to stop at the thrift store, but the crew can only take so much sitting in the PTV.

And I want to take us to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument on the way back to camp.  The lady at the entrance booth checks my Senior Pass against my driver’s license and allows me in free.  I stop at the Visitor Center.

This turns out to be an embarrassing experience. 

Bridget and Spike in the PTV throw a major, canine fit and can be heard quite clearly through the open door of the visitor center.  First they bark frantically, and, when that doesn’t get results, they ramp it up to full-howl.  People in the visitor center are taking notice, some showing concern.

I announce to the group.   “Don’t worry, folks.  It’s only an act.  Believe me, I know.”  They smile.  One lady remarks, “Oh, those are YOUR dogs.”

As you can imagine, this doesn’t help me concentrate on 3D models of geologic processes.

After a few minutes I give up and go back to the PTV.  Immediately the howls of pain stop and the PTV slinks us out of the parking area.  I decide we aren’t going to travel the complete 34-mile scenic route.  If you’ve ever travelled with overtired kids, you can understand my decision.  Our goal is the lava overlook not far up the road.

The photos in the slideshow don’t portray the immensity of the lava field.

It’s the kind of thing a person finds dull as in “Okay, we’ve seen the ugly, black rocks.  Let’s go.”  Or a person finds them utterly fascinating.  I lean toward fascinating as the size of the area alone is stunning.  I don’t have more photos because the sign along the road said, “No stopping in road.”  I’m not going to get all geologic on you, mainly because I’d mess it up.  You can do a search of Sunset Crater if you want to learn some earth science.

On the way out, I drive us into Bonito Campground ($18 a night/half-price with senior pass).  I take several photos.   A variety of rigs are camped there, including a Casita.

On the way back to camp, I pass Ken’s campsite again.

The guy who was chewing his ear off when I drove by this morning is still there!  Ken smiles and motions with his hand to his head, acknowledging my haircut.  The guy keeps talking, doesn’t skip a beat.  Poor Ken!   The other day the same guy was yakking at Gail for about four hours.  God help him if he comes around my campsite!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Arizona

  1. Pat says:

    I want to see the new hat and haircut. Great pics.

  2. Lacy says:

    Love the pics as usual. Especially the last one of Poor Pitiful! haha

  3. cathieok says:

    Yep, was waiting for the pics!

  4. Rick says:

    Great photos of Sunset. I am glad you went even though it was abbreviated but I still think you saw the best of the area. Thanks very much.

  5. Rick says:

    Have you thought of visiting Walnut Canyon NM? I think it is one of the best jewels of the area.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I looked up Walnut Canyon, AZ, and found it’s only 7.5 miles east of Flagstaff. I would like to see it. If you have to go on a trail, I won’t be able to go because dogs aren’t allowed on trails.

      • Rick says:

        Yes. I should have been clearer about it being a National Monument near your camp. Check it out online or your map. You will really enjoy a visit to Walnut Canyon National Monument.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Is there anything to see without going on a trail?

          • Emjay says:

            Omigosh, YES! Indian runis. Very well preserved and it used to be that you can spend as long as you like gazing at them. Treelined path. You MAY be able to take the doggies but check at the entrance, as I know you will do. Emjay

  6. Angie2B says:

    Sue, Have you read any of the mystery books by Sue Henry? She has a series whose main character is a lady who travels with her dog “Stretch” in an rv. I bet you would enjoy the series, I do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, this Sue Henry sounds interesting. I’ll look her up. Thank you, Angie.

      LATER… I looked her up at Amazon books and the topics were the Iditarod and mysteries. Are you sure you’ve got the right name?

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Is there something safe you could feed the doggies when you would prefer they be quiet? Turkey makes humans sleepy…would that work on doggies?? I guess most dogs who love their humans a great deal, also have separation anxiety. Sorry you could not see what you wanted to see!!

    I second the motion!!! Want to see the new haircut!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, it’s the same ol’ haircut I had when I posted my photo when we were camped at Elephant Butte.

      What the “doggies” need is a good scolding before I leave them in the PTV. That’s what I did at the Lava Field overlook and they didn’t make a peep. They’re just bad sometimes. Bridget starts it and then Spike chimes in.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I guess it is that way with most pairs of dogs…one is the inciter and the other the joiner! It was that way with our little one and big one…the big one was almost silent after the little one had to be put down…weird…we had no idea that so much of the barking was the little one starting things….

  8. kak says:

    Sue Henry has a few different series. The “Maxie and Stretch” mysteries are the ones about the lady traveling in an RV with her pooch. The descriptions of your puppies’ antics put me in stitches. Our two pull the same thing. Grew up in Arizona, and visit frequently. Love seeing how some one else reacts to areas that have become old hat to me. Reintroduces to me how wonderful the area is.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kak,

      Thanks for the clarification on the Sue Henry series. Sometimes when I write about my reaction to a new area I wonder if I sound silly, especially to people who have seen these things all their lives. Arizona is a state full of surprises.

  9. dave says:

    Since you are in the Flagstaff areas, it would be criminal if you did not go see horse bend and upper antelope canyons.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dave, there is a lot I’m going to miss this year. I need to work my way north, see the North Rim, visit friends in southern Utah, move further north and then east to SD and go south through NM before snow,, so that I end up in southern AZ again for the winter. I’ll pass through this way again, God willing.

      • dave says:

        if you go to the north rim you go right near both horse shoe bend and antelope. 24 mile side trip. They are both around Page, AZ.

  10. Pat says:

    I have enjoyed the books by Sue Henry. Some are about a sled dog person with a policeman boyfriend, but the Maxie and Stretch books are about a woman with a dog she inherited from her deceased husband. They travel in a trailer and then spend some time in her home in Homer, Alaska.
    Love the pictures. Thanks for the reminder of our trip to AZ.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Right now my Kindle isn’t working and I need to get in a WiFi hotspot to get it working again. I’ll be looking for those books. Glad you liked the photos.

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    Hat and a haircut, nice splurge for the day.

    I really liked Sunset Crater. Some interesting lava tubes out there.

    Wapatki requires more walking away from the vehicle. Where of course the noisy crew must remain.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope the Prescott NF fire is staying away from your home base. I haven’t checked the reports yet this morning. Your descriptions and photos of your meals at the Grand Lodge, North Rim, are mouth-watering. (except I’m on a diet so my mouth is not allowed to water). What a wonderful start to your stint at the rim!

  12. Sharpei Mom says:

    Sue…as of 8 am Wed. 16 the Coconino and Kiabab forest have placed fire restrictions…no camp fire or charcoal bbq.

    We are headed for the Blue ridge area,so checked,figured I’d give you a heads up on the restrictions.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Shapei Mom,

      We haven’t started any fires up here on this bluff. The breeze is too unpredictable, everything’s incredibly dry, and now forest fires have started in other parts of the state.
      I don’t think I’d want to start a fire anywhere in AZ right now.

      Campers are usually blamed, and rightfully so, for forest fires. The big fire In Prescott NF was caused by a house fire igniting a propane tank.

  13. Have you tried putting them in a crate when you leave? How about a bark collar? It doesn’t hurt (my husband tested ours), and when I put it on my annoying yapper, he knows what it is and not a peep comes forth! It’s a very simple, passive method of avoiding that kind of scene…. It’s like a static shock, and the sensation I think is what is so shocking to the dog. Very effective. Maybe you only need one for the pup who starts the howl fest. By now they’ve been conditioned that when they do that you magically appear!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve toyed with the idea of those measures for years now. Usually their barking is not a problem because I leave, go into a store or whatever, and I can’t hear them. When I come back, they’re quiet. The problem at the visitor center was everyone could hear them, including me! I should have parked further away from the door and given them The Stern Talk before going in..

  14. Sherry says:

    Another lovely rendition of your day. Even with dogs barking it’s relaxing to read. I cut my own hair with a flowbee but a “someone else does it” and a hat sound very nice. I’m looking forward to the hat picture. I like hats myself and like the one you already have. Never can have too many hats. Even in a casita, you just stack them up on top of each other and 10 take no more space than one. :-))))) I think that little A frame with all the skylights is even smaller than the BLT.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Those A-frames are much smaller than the BLT, and of course they fold down into a little box on wheels. I think they are so clever. Perfect for someone who lives in a place that has rules about what you can park on your lot.

      Wearing a hat is a way of life for me. I started because of the skin cancer scare. Now that I’m in the West, a hat is nice to wear on a dusty, windy day (keeps the hair out of my face . . . as long as the hat is secured!) When I’m walking on a dirt/gravel road and some fool speeds by, kicking up dust, I put the hat over my face so I can continue breathing.

      I finally found and answered your question! People . . . If you want to know some of my reasons for choosing a Casita, click on “about rvsue” at the top of the page, and scroll way down to Sherry’s question.

  15. Teri says:

    Laughing. Laughing. I wonder what’s next, them holding up a sign that says “we’re dying of loneliness in here”? Darn dogs. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What’s even funnier (once I get over my irritation) is the look on Bridget’s face when I chew her out for trying to start up another howling session. She knows what she’s doing.

  16. Tia says:

    You are now a part of someone elses vacation story. “Remeber when we were in the Visitors Center at that lava park, and that dog lady in the hat was there with the van load of dogs (have to exagerate a bit)…” Ha Ha I actually had one of my dogs jump out the truck window as we were pulling up to a dog park. She was still on her leash. I just knew I hung her or ran over her. Then the walk of shame as everyone at the dog park watches me put the truck in park, shift the leash from my hand out one window to the other window so I could open my door, glare at the dog, put her back in the truck, and go home. (windows up)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Tia, what a scary episode! And to be watched by dog park people, who are the first to accuse you of endangering a canine! Your dog really was excited about going to the dog park. Then you had to walk into the dog park . .. It’s funny now,, not so much then!

  17. The Great American Southwest says:

    I came across this website some time ago It may be something that would help your pups.


  18. Grace says:

    Sue, Please tell more more about your “Senior Pass” that you mention above. Other than being over 62, how do I get one?

Comments are closed.