Sedona

 
Map picture

It seems to have become a bit of a tradition that we take a trip to Arizona for Cheryl’s birthday each year, this year we didn’t spend our time in Scottsdale but instead Cheryl organized a trip to Sedona for us.  Sedona’s an amazing place, an almost Martian landscape, the color of the soil (due to iron ore) is so vividly red.  Once in the town the horizon is full of mesas and buttes, no cactus in Sedona like the lower elevations down in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Red Rock Jeep Tours We spent our first afternoon on a 4X4 tour run by a company called Red Rock Jeep Tours.  I think Tom Brown would have been in heaven!  Lefty, our guide, kitted out with a knife that would have made Crocodile Dundee jealous and a real revolver on the other hip, was a wealth of information about the surrounds and history of the area.  We toured up the Soldier Pass Trail in the Coconino National Forest on the northwestern side of Sedona, it was pretty fun, definitely got a good taste of Arizona off-road Red Rock Jeep Toursdriving.  The overcast skies didn’t make for the best photos, but got some good snaps all the same.  One of Lefty’s tidbits of information that really stuck with me was his description of the agave (not the type that Tequila comes from) that’s native to the area.  There’s a photo down below; the plant is colloquially known as a “cowboy killer’ because its spines are so stiff and as sharp as a hypodermic needle that cowboys who would fall off their horse onto one of these plants most often would be killed.  We felt the spines and he was right, they’re about as sharp as a needle and very solid.  Supposedly the Native Americans would peel off the spines and use them as a makeshift needle and thread.

Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours
Brin’s Mesa (left) and Cock’s Comb (right) on the Soldier’s Pass Trail

Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours
On the Soldier’s Pass Trail (left), the Seven Sacred Pools with Cock’s Comb in the background (middle), and a shot at the Pools in from of Cock’s Comb with Cheryl and Todd (right)

Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours
Lefty and Cheryl standing on the ridge of the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole (left), and an agave plant on the rim of the sinkhole (right)

Red Rock Jeep ToursRed Rock Jeep Tours
Jeeping up to the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole

VRBOVRBOWe also had our first experience with Vacation Rental By Owner; Cheryl found the website and organized a three bedroom house in Oak Creek (the town next to Sedona) for the weekend.  What an awesome find, a beautiful house with a spa and everything else you’d need for less than it would have cost the four of us to stay at a hotel.  Any time there’s more than a single couple on a trip I’m definitely going to be taking a look at VRBO.com before shelling out for a hotel.

VRBOVRBO

We spent Saturday morning on a hike recommended to us by a number of locals, the West Fork Oak Creek Trail about 10 miles north of the town of Sedona.  We got the feeling that the trail was popular amongst the locals because it offered a bit of a respite from the desert-like surrounds of most of Sedona; the trail followed a river up a canyon bordered by huge red rock faces.  But what we were really looking for was some vista views of the red rock buttes endemic to the area, so in the afternoon we took Cheryl’s Santa Fe wheeling down Fire Road 152 for the hike out to Devil’s Arch.  The pictures speak for themselves…

Saturday Morning SunshineSaturday Morning Sunshine
Lee Mountain (left) and Courthouse Butte with Lee Mountain in the background (right) on Saturday morning

Saturday Morning SunshineSaturday Morning Sunshine
Cathedral Rock and The Nuns (left) and the Bell Rock vortex (right) on Saturday morning

West Fork Oak Creek TrailWest Fork Oak Creek TrailWest Fork Oak Creek Trail
The West Fork Oak Creek Trail

West Fork Oak Creek TrailDevil's Arch
Red rock vista on the way back into Sedona from the West For Oak Creek Trail (left) and Devil’s Arch (right)

Devil's ArchDevil's ArchDevil's Arch
The four of us atop Devil’s Arch (left), Todd on top of the Arch (middle), and Cheryl and Todd (right)

Our final morning gave us (well me, anyway!) the skies I was after for some landscapes of the Sedona surrounds.  We hiked the first portion of the Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte loop just north of the house we had rented.  Some of the shots below are definitely amongst some of my all-time photography favorites…

Bell Rock and Courthouse ButteBell Rock and Courthouse Butte
Courthouse Butte and Lee Mountain (left), and House Mountain (right)

Bell Rock and Courthouse ButteBell Rock and Courthouse Butte
Courthouse Butte and Lee Mountain (left and right)

Bell Rock and Courthouse ButteBell Rock and Courthouse Butte
The four of us with Lee Mountain in the background

Bell Rock and Courthouse ButteBell Rock and Courthouse Butte
Bell Rock and Courthouse ButteBell Rock and Courthouse Butte

Thanks Cheryl for organizing such an awesome long-weekend.  Wonder where we’ll meet next year?

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6 Comments

  1. Idaho Youngs says:

    Wow!!! You saw some beautiful country. Again as usual, great photography.

  2. Julie Coldani says:

    Hi guys! I always look and never comment. Looks like another great adventure. Great photos! Happy Holidays to you both!!!

  3. Familia Quintero says:

    The photos and monologue are so lovely it is like we were there, too! Thank you for sharing your adventures!

    Blessed Christmas and new year !!!

  4. Chris says:

    Lovin the photos, what a place.

  5. Banff and Lake Louise | The Pink Lemon

  6. Valda Rubio says:

    I was married in Sedona on the bank of Oak Creek.