I know I had a few posts about things I did while I was in Flagstaff this summer, but I still wanted to make a bit of a summary post. I should have written this about a month ago right after I got back from Flagstaff, but as usual I am way behind. I just looked through my last few posts and I have barely been putting anythig new up! So I apologize for that, I’ve had a lot of blog ideas but I have been totally slacking on actually writing things up.
So I was in Flagstaff, Arizona this summer for my second clinical internship. I was working in the inpatient therapy department at the Flagstaff Medical Center. The internship itself was such a great experience. I had done very limited acute care observation in undergrad so this was all really new to me, but I absolutely loved it. I’m still not sure what setting I want to work in after graduation, but acute care is at the top of my list so far. Everyone in the department was incredibily nice and I even stayed with the family of someone that worked in the outpatient department for the 10 weeks that I was there. They were honestly all such great people and Flagstaff in general seemed to be quite a friendly place.
When I told people that I was in Arizona for the summer most people automatically mentioned something about how hot it is there. Flagstaff is much different than the rest of the state in that respect though. Flagstaff sits at just under 7,000 feet in elevation and therefore stays quite mild over the summer. When I first got to town I think the temperatures were in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s and everyone was talking about how hot it was. The rest of the summer is was a more normal 75-85 degrees most days, which was amazing. It would also cool way down during the night and still be nice and cool in the morning, around 50 degrees most early mornings. Flagstaff also has a monsoon season in the summer and this summer it was no joke. It rained every day for almost 3 weeks straight! It didn’t usually last long and it would be beautiful most of the rest of the day, but it always seemed to rain right when I was getting off of work. It was a little inconvenient at times, but it was still nice to experience some different weather for the summer. After leaving Flagstaff I was not at all prepared for the extreme heat in Colorado and Iowa, I was totally used to the lower temps already.
One of the favorite things in Flagstaff was the downtown. It was so nice, there were tons of shops and restaurants and a lot of unique and local places. Parking there was a pain but I was living close enough that I could ride my bike there easily. I could just go and wander around for a while and it was always so nice. I didn’t take advantage of things too many times but they always had events going on downtown as well. It was a great place to hang out on the weekends.
I already had a post about running in Flagstaff. The Flagstaff Urban Trail System was amazing and there were also a ton of other trails around town. I wish I would have spent a little more time exploring them. A great way to experience new trails and meet some new people was running with the Flagstaff Trail Divas. It was a great group of ladies that organize a run each week. Again lots of very nice people and it’s a good way to find new trails. It was a great group.
Flagstaff apparently has some pretty incredible mountain biking but since I had only taken my roadbike this summer I can’t comment much on that besides that I know the trails exist! The town is pretty friendly to bikers and has nice, wide bike lanes on several roads. Especially Lake Mary Road which is a great place to ride. Pretty much if you’re riding in Flagstaff you’re going to be doing some hill climbing but there are enough places that the grades are gentle enough the riding can still be pretty easy and fun.
Flagstaff also is supposed to have some really nice climbing. Sadly I didn’t go experience any “real” outdoor climbing, I know, I’m totally lame. My excuse was that I didn’t know anyone there to go with. Instead I climbed at a bouldering gym all summer, which I still really liled. There were two climbing gym in town, one that was more top roping and looked pretty nice, but I was going to be climbing alone so I was more into bouldering. So I got a membership for a couple of months at Beta Bouldering gym. It was an awesome gym and everyone there was always super nice. I really liked climbing there and had been trying to go 2-3 times per week. I think they did a good job of rating there climbs consistently and were always putting up new routes so I always had a few projects to work on.
Flagstaff is also close to a lot of great national parks and whatnot. The Grand Canyon was 75 miles away. Sunset Crater was about 25 and Wupatki about 30 (I think, that’s a total guesstimate). Walnut Canyon was a another Native ruins site that was just outside of town. There are several Native reservations in the area and obviously that’s a big influence there. So it’s also really to be able to go check out the more ancient Native sites as well.
Overall in my opinion Flagstaff is an amazing place. People asked me if I would move there and I would definitely consider it. I really loved it there and the summer was amazing. I heard how much snow they get in the winter though and I’m not quite sure I could handle it. I guess I would just have to do a lot of snowboarding, which I think could maybe make the snow worth it. I’ll just have to wait and see where life takes me, maybe it will be back to Flagstaff one of these days!