Sedona Part I, Hiking with Emily.

Sedona was an early destination on our trip last year, and we absolutely loved the days we spent hiking its famous trails with our friends Janie and Al Murrow.  In fact, we were so taken by the striking environment, that we decided to return and spend a significant amount of time exploring and learning the area while on this trip. And what better way is there to wind down our traveling than a month surrounded by some of the best scenery mother nature has to offer?

We were especially excited about Sedona when we seemingly found the perfect lodging for our stay, two bedrooms, large kitchen, private parking, private deck with barbecue, expansive views, great location in town, and well within our budget.  We got very, very lucky!

Once the Old Home was completely unpacked, we picked up groceries, prepared a nice pasta dinner, and had our first home cooked meal in several weeks.

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Thursday we picked-up Emily at the Flagstaff airport and excitedly headed off to see the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, concern overtook our excitement when we were welcomed with a notice at the park entrance announcing “no refunds due to poor visibility”.  It had been raining off and on that morning but the park entrance was in the sun and we had come that far, so even though clouds were on the horizon, we headed to the canyon……and were greeted by this:

I think it's that a way

I think it’s that a way

On the positive side I had my next blog post title, “We went to the Grand Canyon but didn’t see it”.

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We decided to drive east along the rim in hope of finding a break in the fog, but the further we went, the worse it became.  So, accepting defeat, we turned around and headed back toward the visitor center and park exit…..when suddenly we came across an opening in the fog.  I pulled over (along with everyone else on the road), double parked, and we jumped out to see the Grand Canyon.

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Within minutes the fog closed back in, but we got our look (and I lost my blog title). Emboldened, we continued our drive in hopes of finding another opening.  The patchy fog continued to tease us for several miles as it would clear but there would be nowhere to park, or we would come across a pull out in the road but the view would be gone.  We decided to return to the Visitor Center, walk to the rim, and give it some time.  Success!

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Satisfied, we returned to Sedona, had pizza for dinner, and planned the next couple of days.

Friday morning Emily and I went for a short run (altitude and hills slowed us down) while Robin caught up on some work.  Once back home, we all took a quick walk to Snoopy Rock, packed a picnic lunch, and drove out to a remote trailhead leading to Cathedral Rock.

View from our Kitchen. Can you see Snoopy?

Can you see Snoopy?

This may help.

This may help.

Baby Tarantula!

A Baby Tarantula joined our Snoopy Rock hike

The five mile Cathedral Rock hike took us to the base of Cathedral Rock, where you then have the opportunity to climb part way up.  We got about half way up, enjoyed our PB&J sandwiches, and then Emily and I went just a bit further.

On the trail to Cathedral Rock

On the trail to Cathedral Rock

On the trail to Cathedral Rock

Looking for a spot for lunch…..Oh, my aching back!

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On the way back we got just enough rain to get this great double rainbow

On the way back we got just enough rain to get this great double rainbow

Saturday we hiked the West Fork Oak Creek Canyon Trail.  This very peaceful hike leads you just over three miles down a portion of Oak Creek into a beautiful narrow canyon.  The trail is mostly known for its thirteen mandatory creek crossings and spectacular fall foliage.  Glad to say all of us made the twenty-six crossings (there and back) with no slips into the creek.  We also enjoyed the final vestiges of fall foliage.

West Fork Trail

West Fork Trail

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Trail's end

Trail’s end

The remains of Mayhew's lodge, once visited by the likes of Herbert Hoover, Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart

The remains of Mayhew’s lodge, once visited by the likes of Herbert Hoover, Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart

Following our hike we returned to town and took a “Pink Jeep” tour of Diamondback Gulch. Anyone who has been to Sedona is familiar with the pink jeeps that can be seen driving all over town. The Pink Jeep company offers a variety of excursions to locations that are almost impossible to reach by car.  The Jeeps uncomfortably fit 7 people.  Our guide, Larry, was great.  He did an expert job driving the very rocky, very steep terrain, and gave us a nice lesson on Sedona’s local history as well as its unique geological history. We also got some great tips for future hikes.  The stories and history alone were worth the fee, and the drive up and down the steep ravines was like an amusement park ride.  So much fun.

Hold On!!!!

Hold On!!!!

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From the Gulch

From the Gulch

Just prior to heading out on our hike we received a text from my cousin Amy informing us that she was in town with husband Andy.  Followers may remember that we recently had dinner with Amy and Andy in Wilmington, NC, and stayed with them at their home in Durham last year.  It just happens that Andy had a conference in Las Vegas, so Amy flew out to visit with a friend in Phoenix.  They then met up in Phoenix and drove to Sedona for a day of hiking while on their way to a short vacation at the Grand Canyon.  Amy checked our blog, saw we were in Sedona, and fortunately we were able to arrange a dinner.  Can’t wait to see where we run into them next!

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Saturday we had to get Emily to the Flagstaff airport early in the afternoon so we planned a short hike up and around Doe Mountain.  The trail traverses up the side of the 400 foot mountain to a mesa where you can then hike the one mile rim.  This “not for the faint-of-heart” hike was a lot of fun.  The climb was short yet challenging, the rim walk was as unnerving as you wanted it to be……and the views were just extraordinary.

View of Doe Mesa from behind the Old Home.

View of Doe Mesa from behind the Old Home.

Our picnic breakfast site.

Our picnic breakfast site.

Emily on the rim.....

Emily on the rim trail….

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Hoping the Vertigo doesn’t kick in..

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Mom…come here…take a look!

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Some other hikers on the trail….we decided not to pose from that spot.

We somehow got caught up in the middle of a hiking club’s descent of Doe Mountain so we got down in record time!  And with that bit of extra time on our hands, we decided to have a nice going away lunch for Emily at the Enchantment Resort.

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Southwestern Cobb, Taco’s, and Guac

Thanks Emily for joining us in Sedona.  We are trying to figure out how you got out of guest posting!

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Today we slept in (much-needed) and enjoyed a day of watching football, snacking, catching up on a few things, and walking the neighborhood.  Here are a few pictures from our street.

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