For our last day in Flagstaff, we decided we'd hike in the morning and explore historic downtown in the afternoon. We got a late start on hiking, not arriving at Fatman's Loop Trail until 11:00. (The trail derives its name from a narrow section near the top. Shouldn't it be "Thinman's Loop," then, or "Not a Trail for Tubbies"?) Janet wasn't feeling too swift since we didn't have breakfast, so she stayed in the car and rested while I hiked. (I suspect she may have wanted to secretly feed her Sudoku addiction.)
Strapped with my trusty Camel Pak and wielding a palm-sized rock should I encounter some man-hungry creature (yes, I'm an idiot), I spent the next hour completing the two-mile loop. Once I reached the top of the loop, I had a clear view of the entire east side of town. Of course, I took some pictures. When I finished the hike, we headed downtown to have lunch.
Flagstaff's travel guide boasts, "They don't make towns like this anymore," and that's probably not too far from the truth. For a town of nearly 47,000 people, it manages to retain the feeling of a much smaller community. It also has a vital and thriving downtown, which is an increasing rarity for a town of its size. Janet and I had lunch on the patio of Monsoon, an Asian restaurant on Heritage Square. From there we had a great view of the Weatherford Hotel. Built in 1897, it really reinforces the nostalgic vibe of downtown. After lunch we grabbed some ice cream and strolled several blocks, periodically dropping into stores that caught our attention, like the Golden Aspen Toy and Candy Shop and Armadilla (not with an "o") Wax Works, where we dipped our own candle in the shape of a basset hound.
Although we would've been perfectly happy to spend more time in town, we called it an early day because we're back on the road tomorrow.