A glorious hike in my favourite US town

I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel a tiny bit better when a waitress, bartender, or breakfast man calls you by your name. Adrian, a short fat Mexican man who runs the breakfast joint and makes delicious waffles greets me when we walk in.

“Hola Jesper, que tal hoy?”

After the whole wheelchair hiccup from yesterday it was a nice thing to both go to the breakfast room again, instead of me feasting on all the eggs, sausages, bread, and waffles with maple syrup, and subsequently filling up another plate and sneaking it out like a breakfast thief in the night morning. 

In my best Spanish I tell him I’m doing great and ask how he himself is doing. “Y tu?” 

“Muy bien,” he replies with a big smile, revealing eight teeth, four of whom are golden. Noticing the end of my Spanish vocabulary is nearing, he switches to English: “Would you like some waffles today, sir?”

I love waffles.


Brekkie at the 66!


Like some other things here in Americaland (cars, language), the breakfast here divides my mind. On the one hand, the it’s brilliant. There’s many different delicious foods, toasted bread, cereals, orange juice, well made scrambled eggs, the lot. The location is pretty brilliant, too, – or awesome as Americans would say, as one of the hostesses (Emma or Yessenia, I’m not sure) on our last flight told me-: it is right next to the famous route 66. Side note, why has it become so famous? Anyone know?

So all is right in the land of milk and honey, so what’s not to like? Well, after selecting everything you are going to eat, you realise you have to eat all that deliciousness from a styrofoam plate, with a tiny plastic knife and a tiny plastic fork, while drinking your terrible (standard American) coffee from -again- a styrofoam cup. *in dramatic voice* Whyyyyyyyyyy?


 Lots to like in the photo, the food, the route 66. Not the styrofoam stuff.

Let’s go!

Annemiek drops me off at the parking ground and I start walking. After 750 meters it becomes apparent Annemiek didn’t drop me off in the parking grounds as I reach the actual parking grounds. At the start of the trail there’s a black folder in a metal, waterproof casing where you write down your name, date of entry and where you are from, to make things easier for any search party, in case you get lost, shot or eaten, I suppose.

I add mine to the list, and see that I’m the first to get into the park today. Nice. I start walking, and in the next two hours I am absorbed in the pure wilderness. It was glorious. It was amazing. It was simply and truly fantastic. I don’t even know which words to use to describe how I felt, I was ecstatic coming back, on a natural high. 

For two hours straight, I was alone in the wilderness, alone with nature. I felt the rain coming down, found shelter underneath a tree when it did, and got dirty walking through the wet mud when the sky cleared. Alone I wandered through pure nature, witnessing the vast ruggedness and inaccessibility of it all.

(TLDR: 10/10 would recommend)

IMG_5645 (1)

The big, million year old mountain. And the road to the parking lot.


Well indicated.


Register here.


On the list!


Spectacular scenery on the way to the base of the red mountain


I walked towards the Red Mountain, a volcanic mountain that, as the name already gives away, is red – and so is the gravel. It’s like being on the red gravel courts of roland garros, with the outlines of the dried up river bed as the white lines of the court and the many tall standing trees as giant people of the crowd. – I have a lively imagination.

The rain comes and goes, with some lightning and a small thunderstorm, but the wet stuff is shortly lived. The closer I get to the end of the trail, the more the landscape changes into volcanic rock. I am so tiny here, it is all so overwhelming, the rocks go up as high as I can look, the trees and bushes look hard and unforgiving. I am deeply, deeply impressed.


On the way to the base. 


Loved every step here.


A bit shaky from the hike, but this shot gives a pretty clear view of what I saw. Incredible.


Never witnessed anything like this rock formation.


Why not.


Safely returned! (not a doctor)


One last look before getting in the car.


The rest of the afternoon we spend relaxing, Annemiek takes a swim, I talk a bit with my Spanish señorita who lives 9 hours earlier but later, we visit a laundry (? laundromat?) and I take a swim later too, before going out for dinner for the last time in the center of Flagstaff.

If I were ever to go to an American town again, it would be Flagstaff. Not New York, Washington DC or any other place. I would go here. For now though, it is time for my last night here. 

Until we meet again….!


This part of Flagstaff almost reminds me of those old western movies.


View from the hotel. Pretty great..


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This is Travel Viking
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This is Travel Viking

Captain of the Ship at This is Travel Viking
Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.
This is Travel Viking
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This is Travel Viking

Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.

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