Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Mountain West, Fall 2018: Part 6 (Sedona)

(Click on the photos to see a slideshow; hit "escape" to get back to the text.  As always, both Felice and I took these photos.  I edit them on Lightroom, trying to reproduce just what we saw.)

Oct. 5:  We had arrived at the campground in the dark; in the morning light, we could see that the campground had recently been flooded -- there was fresh wet sand on the roadways and some tangled brush in the drainage ditches.  The kiosk attendant told us that the hurricane (the one we successfully dodged!) had caused a flash flood a couple of days back; they had just gotten the debris cleared and had just reopened the campground.  The campground, by the way, was very pretty -- lots of trees.  Not what we expected in Arizona, but our eyes have been opened!

We had always wanted to see Sedona, since it is relatively close to home (less than 500 miles, which is pretty close as compared with most of the West).  We've also heard that there is some good boondocking not too far from town, and the low elevation (around 4500 feet) means that it would be warmer than the Sierra in the winter.

Just to sample the hiking, we took the popular Courthouse Trail, and we were pleasantly surprised -- the rock formations were beautiful, and the trail was not crowded once we got away from the parking area.  The sunlight kept changing all day, and so did the cliffs:



That formation (the Courthouse) is several hundred feet high -- for scale, we are standing on a ledge at the bottom of this photo:



The trail went all the way around the Courthouse:



This is the Cathedral formation, visible from the northwest part of the trail:



We came across a group of healthy-looking ocotillo, which were bright green after the recent rainstorm:



The well-worn boots insisted on this shot -- we were on top of the Baby Bell formation, an easy climb:



The eastern side of the Courthouse was particularly colorful:











After the hike, we stopped off at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built right into the cliff -- this looks post-modern, and yet it was built in the 1950s.  It was designed by a female student of Frank Lloyd Wright:


Back in town, we got some ice cream, and I played the pentatonic xylophone next to the Visitors' Center -- a very beautiful tone, made of thick-gauge aluminum tubing and mounted on coated stainless cable, with spacers (felt? rubber?) to help sustain the notes.  They are made by an outfit called Freenotes Harmony Park:



Oct. 6:  We left for home, with a wonderful overnight stop in the Palm Springs area to see some family members.  Excellent pizza was consumed, at last -- I had been wanting pizza for a month.

3 comments:

Wecamp04 said...

Thanks for taking us along, great pictures

Ski3pin said...

What a nice red rock finish to your trip! It is great to see you two having so much fun and exploring such wonderful country. Thanks for including us!

Gayle said...

Thanks! It brought back many good memories of our camping trips.