Sedona Views

So, you thought you’d never hear about our adventures again, right? I must admit, I didn’t think blogging was necessary once I got back to the States. I thought Facebook updates and regular phone calls to my family were enough. I could tell my stories, post a few pictures, and get on with things. That’s all fine and good, but then I realized another problem: I forget things.

Mike and I have been on many adventures big and small back in the States, but I have no real record of them. I don’t keep a diary. Some people might argue that there’s no real point in keeping a record of the past — just live in the moment, right? I agree to a certain extent, but I also like to reminisce. And when our friends get back from a weekend trip and ask “Have you guys gone canyoneering in Bear Canyon before?” I usually don’t have a clue; “Is that the one with the high rock walls, the freezing cold water, and the ridiculously gorgeous views?” Ummm…yeah. I’ve just described half the canyons in this state. When you can’t even recall the names of the insanely beautiful places you’ve been, maybe you aren’t taking enough time to appreciate them. So, with a little prompting from Mike, I’ve decided to take up the blog again.

It’s tempting to back-track and tell you about all the stuff we’ve done in the past few years that we haven’t recorded, but that would be madness. We haven’t ventured across our borders in a while (except for that doomed rafting trip in Mexico on a river that turned out to be bone dry), but we’ve been to Iowa, New York, Boston, Vegas, Hawaii, and many, many places closer to home. Speaking of home, by the way, we have one of those now, too. Since I’m not going to delve into the madness of a hundred smaller trips, I’ll start with the most logical first step: I’ll talk about the short trip we just got back from.

Sedona, AZ. If you haven’t been, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the United States. And it’s only 2 hours from Phoenix. (And we have a spare bedroom, so come visit us and the lovely Sedona sometime). Sedona is famous for it’s striking red rocks landscape, and it is considered by many to be a place of spiritual significance. We went because we worked out a sweet deal with a friends’ parents, essentially trading photography and editing expertise for 3 nights at a Bed & Breakfast.

A typically gorgeous Sedona view.

After one day of work, we spent our second full day going on various small trips around the area. We started by checking out the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was built by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s proteges. (I’m suddenly fond of FLW because I also went to check out his Taliesin West architecture school recently. That’s another fascinating Phoenix day trip.)

The Chapel of the Holy Cross.

The garish and out of place mega mansion across from the austere Chapel of the Holy Cross. Rumor has it that the man who invented LASIK is the owner.

After that we went to Red Rock Crossing, which is a park area surrounding a creek with lots of great views of the red rocks. There are lots of little paths, plenty of swimming spots, and even wild blackberries along the way!

An old mill at Red Rock Crossing.

A cairn (trail marker) midstream. (Mike’s picture)

Mike napping in a tree.

Mike the monkey.

One of those pretty views of creek and trees and red rocks and sky that is so…Sedona. (Mike’s picture)

The last stop of the day brought us to the Devil’s Bridge. This is a natural archway in the red rock near Sedona. The hike itself is only about 1-2 miles and is fairly easy-going. That is, until you run into a rattlesnake! Mike was ahead of me on the trail, heard the ominous rattle, and leaped back about 3 feet. Luckily we managed to scootch past him after taking his picture. In my 5 years of hiking in AZ, this is the first time I’ve seen a rattlesnake on a hiking trail, so it was exciting, but also a bit nerve-racking. I was a bit more skittish than usual on our hike out.

Devil’s Bridge from below.

The view across from Devil’s Bridge.

Rattlesnake! (Mike’s picture)

Devil’s Bridge from above.

Me on top of Devil’s Bridge. (Mike’s picture)

Mike doing a kung fu crane on top of Devil’s Bridge.

We ate at the most fabulous restaurant called Elote that night and retired to our lovely Sedona Views Bed & Breakfast. We had slightly bigger plans for our last day in Sedona, so after soaking in our own private hot tub under the stars, we plopped into bed.

Bear Mountain was our last-day’s challenge. We hiked up as the vegetation and color of the rocks changed significantly. The bottom was characterized by red rocks and cacti, while the top had white rocks and pine trees. Our elevation went from 4600ft. to 6400ft. over the course of a couple of hours. My feet were a bit sore and the going was a little slower than normal because I did not have my hiking boots with me. (I destroyed those on a canyoneering trip down Mount Lemmon with Mike and my cousin, Chris.) Instead, I had only my Vibram Five Fingers, which are lovely for short hikes (like the one to Devil’s Bridge), but take a bit more getting used to for longer, rockier hikes. Ah well. The small amount of pain was definitely worth it for the amazing views from the top. The Grand Canyon is gorgeous, but so is red rock country. If you’re looking for an exotic domestic getaway, Sedona is worth checking out. It’s good for adventurous families or romantic couples’ weekends. And now I’m sounding like a travel brochure…

The beginning stages of Bear Mountain.

Prickly Pear cactus on the lower portion of Bear Mountain.

Little lizard on the trail.

The whitish rock towards the top of the mountain. (Mike’s picture)

Views to rival the Grand Canyon. (Mike’s picture)

We live in such a gorgeous state!

Don’t fall!

Uh-oh. Maybe I should put down my camera and help.

Do you see the bear on a diving board? (Mike’s picture)

Anyway, we had a great time, and Sedona was beautiful enough to inspire me to take up blogging again. I’m not sure how regular my posts will be since school is starting up again next week, but I’m sure there will be many adventures to come. I hope you enjoy hearing about our adventures and looking at our pictures once again. (By the way, a lot of these shots are mine, and I edited all of them. Mike won a fabulous Canon G11 camera for me, so we take that on most of our hiking trips now.)

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