When in the forest, its true that the views are not as spectacular, there is definitely a different energy. Maybe its just love emanating from the trees. I quite enjoy it. Plus, the trees offer a bit of sun protection, so the hiking is a bit easier. All in all, it made for quick, easy, enjoyable hiking.
The whole leapfrogging with the car scenario was really great and really ridiculous at the same time. Great because I was still meeting lots of people and doing little side trips to see the nearby historical sites and views from Mogollan Rim. Ridiculous, because the forest road drives between trailheads were often 3 times longer than the hike between trailheads. (ON the AT and PCT the opposite was true). No matter. It was still super fun.
Just south ( and east) of Flagstaff was Walnut Canyon. Such spectacular views! The resupply route of the trail veers west and goes into Flag, taking an urban route through the streets. But since I had a car for resupply, I could stick to the canyon and get more of the great views. I enjoyed Walnut Canyon so much that I went to the nearby national monument and checked out the cliff dwellings.
And then it was into Flagstaff and into April.