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Once through the mountain pass, the entire climate changes. Gone is the desert, to be replaced by woodlands. This happens suddenly, within the space of a few miles. Mountains do strange things to climates.
We are already in the Flagstaff area, though it feels like we are in the countryside. The undulating terrain helps prevent building and urban sprawl.
Nearing town

On the outskirts, with the mountains rearing up over the town.

The old courthouse was being remodeled during our visit. Flagstaff is full of historic buildings, and the streets invite wandering. 
Shady lanes, and awnings help protect us against the bright sun. Flagstaff sits at an elevation of 7000 feet, which makes it a haven of cool relief from the heat of the desert below, but also makes the sunlight a bit more intense. 
A shot down one of the downtown streets. Flagstaff has a considerable amount of charm. 
View from the square. There is a public square. of sorts, in the middle of Flagstaff. As we arrived, there were some people coming to set up a stage and some amplifiers. 
The other side of the square, a nice open are in the middle of downtown.
Even the side streets are busy. Among it's many other distinctions, Flagstaff is a college town, making it very nearly a 24 hour place. There is an amazing amount of activity here, for a town this size. 
A classic old hotel, which has been restored, and is now a bit of a tourist attraction. 
A look up one of the many busy downtown streets, with the old hotel in the background. 
Flagstaff is transitioning into a bit of a tourist town, but the school, along with the considerable business community should prevent the complete transition that has ruined the charm of many smaller mountain towns by turning them artificial. Flagstaff is probably large enough to keep it's identity.
As always, a look up the middle of any broad, main street ends at the foot of a mountain.
Flagstaff is famous for it's university, and for the many discoveries made at it's astronomical observatory. Even so, in many ways it retains the feel of a charming little town which seems to have grown up . 
A charming little tree lined street with a clock tower fashioned after that of the remodeled court house. 
The size, and sprawl of Flagstaff is constrained by the surrounding mountains. The downtown area is pretty much at the mountain base. 
A look up the busy main street of Flagstaff. Though there is a considerable amount of activity, the place does not seem congested, and is very clean.
The hotel Monte Vista, off in the distance, is another first class place to stay. It borders the town square, and was build in the early part of the twentieth century.
Stereotypical main street of a busy mountain town. 
Walking in the shade. Twenty miles form this spot, people are enduring broiling heat; Flagstaff is in the seventies. It is obvious why this place was settled. 
A view of one of the main streets of Flagstaff, with the ever present mountains in the background.

Downtown Flagstaff at the foot of the mountains.

Even from Flagstaff, the pall of smoke from the ever present fires is visible. 
A sports car rally, traveling down old 66, is being hosted for the night in our motel. 
A section of old Route 66 (now known as business 40), as it skirts the edge of town.
The outskirts of Flagstaff at night. 

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