Do you know how many people from the Chicago land area were in Sedona a couple weekends ago? Wear some Bears gear and you will find out. I couldn’t go anywhere without some sort of comment or excited remark.
All you have to remember is that there was a blizzard in Chicago, and no one was in a rush to go back to the winter vortex.
By the way, did you ever notice how the longer vacation goes on the less photos you take? I’m waiting for Margaret to send me her batch.
Our first stop was the Church in the rock, The Chapel of the Holy Cross. Quiet breathtaking and very spiritually moving.
In the gift shop, Baba bought me a second hiking book. Different hikes, different ideas. It has different details about the hikes and we had fun comparing the two. Take a look if you are interested.
Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte
Location: Off of highway 179. (I hate round abouts)
Temperature: Low 70s
Who: Grace, Margaret, Baba, and myself
Difficulty: Nice and even
Time: 1-2 hours
My family is full of one liners. Things that get said and repeated again and again because the memory of the moment is priceless. Those stories get passed on through the extended family again and again, until we forget who was actually their when the original line was said.
I will not forget the details of Margaret’s newest one liner.
The trail we took to get closer to the bell rock and courthouse was a combination of the Big Park Loop and the Courthouse Butte Loop. We weren’t so concerned about distance, we just took whatever turn caught our fancy. The trails are well used and well marked, several signs and map trails are through out the paths. Not to mention there were a lot of people.
On purpose, my cousins steered us closer and closer to Courthouse Butte. We let them get ahead of us, and my grandmother and I chatted about my job, things back in Illinois, and our family. When we got to the girls, they had made a plan.
They found a little side trail. They found a rock for Baba to relax on. They were ready to go for a climb.
I went a little ways up with them before coming back down. When I got back to Baba, I saw that she was looking at someone who had climbed further up the Butte. All we can say is that we were happy to say that the girls did not get any ideas to keep climbing.
So we continued on the trail, saying hi to people. Taking pictures, until we got tired of Gracie always being in the picture.
Gracie conveniently forgot her camera, and of course Margaret and I could more than make up for her. But sometimes you have to make the little one do the work.
After making Gracie take the picture, I thought we could try taking a group one. And got a little to close to a cactus. My family was kind enough to try and get them out for me. Que Margaret: “Isn’t this supposed to be Marshall’s job?”
Can I pretend that I had a clever and witty tort back?
After getting the stickers out, we continued on.
Now I’ve claimed about crowded trails before, but this one was especially crowded. We were passed by multiple bicycle groups and families. Now supposedly there is a vortex nearby, but we never really got near it. But that’s doesn’t mean we didn’t get to at least one vortex on our trip.
Location: Nearby the Sedona Airport
Temperature: Low 70s
Who: Grace, Margaret, and myself
Difficulty: Slight decline to get to the vortex trail head, and a major scramble to get to the top
Time: 1-2 hours
When we got to where the trailhead was supposed to be, we found another crowded parking lot. With no good place to turn around, I continued up and got to the scenic overlook at Airport Vista. Slightly frustrated, the girls and I went to go see the views, take the pictures. On the way back I noticed a trail that promised to take us down to the vortex.
Sedona View Trail
We were going to get to it yet!
Baba, by this point, was ready for a break. She told us to go ahead while she stayed behind and read in the car. So that’s where I get that annoying habit from. Good to know.
So off Margaret, Grace and I went. Along with a family. It was hard not to laugh, as they seemed to have left their filters at home. We learned a little more about their desire to urinate than I think we really wanted to know.
The trail was narrow, with some rocks within it, but overall it was a nice walk down, and I mean down. On the way to the vortex, we almost at a decline the entire time. The trail however was less than a mile and lived up to it’s name.
The trail itself was worth it.
Now the Vortex, the mystery around Sedona… I don’t know how much I want to comment on this. My new hiking guide suggested that we go to the vortex with an open mind. If you went up their just expecting to see the cool view and be able to say you climbed it, you’re going to have an awesome hike. You feel something wonderful, that’s cool too.
The climb up to the vortex was tricky, but not impossible. We did not take the marked path, but not too many people were following it. Take it slow plan where you are going to put your hands and feet, you’ll be fine.
I did not feel anything from the vortex, though the view of the surrounding and the adrenaline of climbing it took my breath away. It was fun to get to the top and see who else was there.
Then it was back down, and we did follow the recommended trail. We ran into who looked like a medicine man, or someone who visited the site often with musical instruments. He kindly pointed out the trail markers for us to follow, and the climb down was easier than expected.
And then it was the uphill hike back to Baba and the car. On our way back, we ran in to some more groups who asked us about the trail, the hike, and the vortex. Since we were booking it back up the trail, we were winded and they always seemed a little skeptical when we promised them the hike was easier than it looked.
When we got back to our Baba, and told her about the hike, she took a closer look at original trail to Airport Vortex. Her comment, “It was probably a good thing that I didn’t go, you girls up there would have made me nervous.”