A Whisky Picnic atop Mount Elden, Flagstaff, AZ

Anticipation mounted as the San Francisco Peaks came into view on a flawless day in August. “The Peaks” are as much a part of Flagstaff, AZ as is Route 66, which serves as the city’s main artery (here’s where we sing “… Flagstaff, Arizona – don’t forget Winona”…). Today we are going on our first trip ever to the top of Mount Elden for a fancy whisky picnic. Not as high as its neighbors, the summit of Mt. Elden is 9300 feet above sea level and overlooks all of Flagstaff. The ruggedness of the gully-ridden fire road was made tolerable by the beautiful and bountiful wildflowers along the way. We lost count after identifying about a dozen, including firecracker pestemon, lupine, red and purple thistles, Mexican hats, Indian paintbrush, and purple asters.

Talisker, Arran, Jura, and Glenfarclas single malts complimented our picnic spread of roast beef wraps, hearty cheeses, fancy crackers, fresh fruit and berries, and spicy cookies for dessert. After lunch and a hike (gasp! … we could tell we were above 9000 feet) it was a “leisurely” drive down the mountain. Now, every time we look at  the mountain,

we’ll have special memories of our “mile and a half high” picnic, nearly touching the clouds.

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