Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 57

Flagstaff is described as a funky, vibrant town full of college kids. I won't deny there are a good few college students but as far as funky and vibrant I'm not so sure. The city (or more accurately town) is at 7000 feet elevation and provides lots of cool mountain air. There can be differences in temperatures of thirty degrees in summer so you need to bring you jumper when you come here.

I woke up with the intention of going for a run but it was pissing rain so I had to knock it on the head. Of course by the time I showered and got dressed the sun came out and it was warm again. Typical.

We drove into the center of town, parked up and found a little local joint called Downtown Diner. The food was great - I had a very good dish of scrambled eggs with cheese and chorizo. I also threw in some tabasco and pepper for good measure. The coffee was OK - blick as usual. But the staff were a bit irritating. Especially some guy who was waiting on the table next to us. He seemed to be unable to take no for an answer when someone was ordering food. They would state what they want and then he would ask do you want any extras with that, or do you want juice, or do you want more coffee, or do you want tea instead, or do you want some water, or do you want extra toast, or do you want a muffin? This went on and on and on...

After breakie we had a stroll around town but there wasn't really that much to see to be honest. I was a bit underwhelmed.

We decided to go to the Lowell Observatory to have a look. We just missed the start of a tour (which you have to pay for) so we had a sniff ourselves.

There is a tree there that was supposedly planted for George Washington and remained there until 2001 when it had to be cut down for a reason which I don't know. But the stump is still there and there is a big sign next to it with significant dates through the years and you can try to find the corresponding ring on the tree with the color coded date on the sign.

There are also good views of the San Francisco Peaks that rise to an elevation of 12,600 feet.

There is also a mausoleum that was built for Percival Lowell by his widow. He was the astronomer and mathematician who the observatory is named after.

There is a small observatory dedicated to John McAllister who apparently must have been some boffin that loved the night sky.

We were happy out just walking around when the tour guide came up to us and rudely reminded us that there was a fee to just be on the grounds. Unimpressed we left and drove back down to the entrance, where the views of Flagstaff were really good.

It's just as well we left because another storm rolled in. We decided to spend the afternoon in the cinema so we went to Harkins Theatres to see Transformers. I was really impressed by it. Despite some bad reviews and complaints that the actions scenes are so chaotic and fast moving that you can't discern what is happening, I thought it was great. The effects were incredible and I think they were done the way they were to put you right in the middle of the action. I mean, if you are standing next to a fifty foot machine that suddenly turns into a car or starts fighting with another machine you aren't going to have a breeze what the hell is going on. I also thought the film held together pretty well. But since Speilberg was involved, it did have it's 'Hollywood' moments throughout as well as a good few scenes featuring the American flag sprinkled in for good measure.

We went back to the hotel, freshened up and then walked into town for the evening.

We went to Beaver Street Brewery for some rub-a-dub. I tried a few of their microbrews but just couldn't find any of them that I really liked. But the wood fire pizzas were amazing. We sat at the bar, watched some baseball and tried to talk to the barman. He was having none of it. He would say a few words and then move on. Not very engaging.

We left there and walked across the street to Altitudes where the barman was really chatty but in typical Wednesday night fashion there wasn't a soul in the place. We drank our beers and legged it back to the hotel.

Once back, we chilled with a bit of TV before hitting the scratcher. The usual shows were on - Seinfeld and Family Guy. Quality!

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