Sedona Weekend Part 1

Last weekend, my two cousins and my grandma (Baba) came out for their annual Arizona vacation.

Last year they came out to Flagstaff, beginning our yearly tradition.  And I had a lot to live up to.  We had gone to Wupatki, Sun Set Crater, the Grand Canyon, and the downtown Flag area.  I wasn’t sure if I could plan as great of a weekend as I did last year.

Allen’s Bend

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Location: Outside of Sedona, AZ, within Oakcreek Canyon

Temperature: 70s

Who: Grace, Margaret, Baba, and myself

Difficulty: Nice and even

Time: 1-2 hours

We left Flagstaff early Saturday morning for Sedona, AZ, taking route 89.  Now our country is blessed with many beautiful drives, in the many location the vast land has to offer.  Route 89 has got to be top ten, at minimum.  It’s full of switch backs, variety of trees, canyon views, and

Though I would beware, this is not the easiest drive.  Firstly, the switch backs.  You need to take your time and not feel rushed by the others around you.  Secondly, you will lose reception at the bottom of a canyon.  Thirdly, there are parked cars along the road as people pull off and enjoy the lesser known trails of Oak Creek Canyon.

Right before 89 pulls into Sedona, we pulled off onto the Grasshopper Trails.  There are a variety of trails, but the one we were looking for was Allen’s Bend.  We chose the trail for a few reasons, the main one being the minimal elevation gain.  (Do you realize how impossible it is to find a trail with little elevation gain in Sedona, Arizona in general?)

Now, while the trail was somewhat level, the girls found plenty of places to climb.

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DSC00559 Before they came out, everyone got their first pair of hiking boots, except for me.  And Margaret (pink) and Gracie (grey) were having lots of fun breaking them in.  I was very jealous.  I’m still hiking in my gym shoes, and spend most hiking trying not to slip down the side of whatever I’m hiking.

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DSC00575And when I say they were climbing on everything, I mean everything!  My aunts and uncles are going to kill me after they see some of these photos.

That’s what’s nice about this trail. There were parts that they could enjoy climbing while the rest of us could keep our feet on the ground.

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Now the trail is varied.  We enjoyed walking through the forested areas on a level trail.

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Other parts were a little rocky.  Which made Baba a little nervous.  Not surprising though.

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And of course you there are always the views of the Red Rocks.  It’s no wonder this area was so popular to visit.

DSC00582 DSC00583And then it was back into the car, and back onto 89.  We were driving into the Sedona area, looking forward to the next adventure.

Fay Canyon

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Location: Outside of Sedona, AZ. Trailhead is clearly marked

Temperature: Low 70s

Who: Margaret, Grace, Baba, and Me

Difficulty: Maintained trail was easy, past that it was big climb

Time: 2 hours

So after lunch in Uptown Sedona, we went for a second hike last week Saturday.  By the way, Uptown Sedona is a lot of fun to go to.  We got some delicious pizza.  Went shopping in some cool downtown shops.  Picked up some dog treats for Bentley who was left behind at her best friend Sally’s.

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The trail was nice and flat, very little elevation gain.  Thank goodness.  However, our two adventurers were a little stir fry.  I was more than looking forward to a nice calm walk.  To compromise, the adventurers went off the trail (a big trail no-no)  and went to walk along the dried river bed.

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By the way, this was the scenery almost the entire hike.

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Now the reason why we had chosen the hike was the possibility of a arch at the end of the hike. Now what I read about was that if you didn’t know you were looking for it, you might not see. And they were right, compared to Devil’s Bridge Fay Bridge was hard to see.  We never got close to it really.  You’re supposed to take a side trail, that we completely missed.

We missed it on purpose.  Silly us.

see the arch?

see the arch?

As we met other hikers, we found that they had not seen the bridge either.  We hiked until we came to this…

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Baba chose to hang back from the portion of the unmaintained trail while myself and the adventurers ran, or climbed, up the side of a butte.  We were promised Native ruins, but we enjoyed watching the view.

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We gave our Baba a bit of a heart attack, she saw how high up we were and must have resisted yelling at us to come down.  And Gracie said her one liner for the weekend: “I just realized we have to climb down this.”

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But the hike was totally worth it, look at those views.

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And then it was back down again.  No pictures of that.  A little too tricky.  Once we got our scolding it was time to go home.  Everyone was tired and looking forward to going back to the hotel and rest.

By the way, my favorite rock formation of Sedona…

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I might drink too much wine.

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A Misadventure…

So we had an adventure today!

A half day for the kids means an early release for teachers.  So a group of us piled our dogs into a car and hit the road for some fun!  We had planed on a specific location, but we never did make it.

But that’s half the fun of hiking, sometimes you just don’t know where you’re going to end up.

An Attempt to Olla House

Hikers: Dave and his dog Demetrius, Jackie and her dog Lyra, and me with my dog Bentley

Temperature: 50s and 60s mostly

I think overall a favorite hike out here is to the ruins of Olla House.  It’s the remains of an Anasazi Cliff Dwelling nearby.  It’s always fun to go and explore the ancient housing, and even more fun to watch the dogs climb over the rocks.

Now to be clear, we did not make it to Olla House.  We missed the turn and started our hike a little ways, or lot of ways away from where we normally would.  It didn’t matter, as Dave put it, it was still a nice walk.

The dogs were hilarious to watch.  Demetrius is used to hikes and spent most of the evening way ahead of us.  He would run off, into any direction that caught his eye, not stopping to dig the burs out of his paws.  Bentley, the newest one to the group was shocked and pleased by this new idea  of being off the leash and took off after him.  Since she is still a baby, she came back on a semi-regular basis to make sure everything was still okay.  Lyra seemed content with running in between them and us humans.  Many times she choose one of us to follow, and we wouldn’t realize it til we almost stepped on her.

We walked along the canyons, where the slate rock met the sand.  When we paused for a water break, looked up and realized we were getting a little too close to the evening.  It was time to turn back.

Calling it a night, we stopped for a couple pictures, but overall it was time to end our little misadventure and go back to reality.

Jackie and Lyra

Jackie and Lyra

Bentley and Me

Bentley and Me