Hiking in Red Rock Country

We began the day with no water in our motel room. Frozen pipes! The temperature outside was just a degree or two below freezing, but that’s unusually cold for here and I guess the pipes must run at ground level. By the time we got back from our day’s activities, everything was fine and we were ready for showers!

It was a hiking day. We drove to a spot where several hiking trails intersect and headed out on a 5-mile loop trail with a 900-foot rise in elevation. IMG_9257The day was perfect for hiking: cool and sunny. The trail itself ranged from snow-packed to icy to dry earth to heavy red mud.

The snow clusters on the foliage looked like white flowers, and throughout the hike I kept thinking I heard small critters scampering around and then realized I was listening to the steady drip of snow as the afternoon warmed.

IMG_9301The trail climbed steadily, but manageably, to a bluff with a 360 degree view. Then down fairly steeply. We saw a fair number of people on the trail, but not enough to feel crowded. Most of them were going up the trail we went down. I was glad to have done it the way we did; our climb up was much more gradual than the trek down.

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Of course, vistas galore.

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The network of trails is quite extensive, and they often intersect. IMG_9300We were following a combination of oral instructions and the GPS. Somehow, we must have missed a turn. We were back down to our starting level and heading toward the parking lot which, we were sure, was just around the next bend. We ran into a wonderful couple with a dog who said no, we still had a long way to go–actually they said it, not the dog; their car was parked in a nearby spot, and why didn’t they just drive us to our car? We gratefully accepted. My foot was beginning to hurt, and even Jack was feeling pretty whipped.

Nice people, nice walk…my impression of Sedona has changed a bit since yesterday. It IS a town where tourism is the major industry, and it obviously does that well. The woman of the couple that rescued us (we never got names) says this is the busiest tourism week of the year, which would explain the zillions of cars and people almost lined up with their cameras at scenic overlooks. But if you lived here, I’m sure you could avoid the tourism stuff and enjoy the back country. And, of course, I realize how hypocritical it is to dis tourists when that’s exactly what I am…

A late, late lunch of pizza and beer, and now an evening in the motel room with a pre-made salad in the little fridge for supper. Also some frozen fish things Jack picked  up, thinking they were microwavable—there’s a microwave in the room—but they’re not. So I’m not sure what we’ll do with them…

Goodbye to this land of red peaks and dramatic rock structures. Tomorrow, west—perhaps as far as Joshua Tree.

A final sunset view from our hotel room.IMG_9354

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2 Responses to Hiking in Red Rock Country

  1. Gilles says:

    Sorry, I left you a note on your other post. I am behind in my readings. I am sure you have now left Sedona for warmer climate. Nice to hear that you had a good time. You have brought back great memories for me. Wishing you and Jack a wonderful 2013 and great travels. Keep up the blog – love your stories and commentary.

  2. sandysteer1 says:

    Oh, Paula, what gorgeous scenery! However, I don’t envy you that 5 mile hike! Of course, getting a ride back to the car helped! We saw much of this part of Arizona during the 3 years my brother and his family lived there! Sandy

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