Also known as “Thunder Mountain” Capitol Butte forms one of the highest summits in Sedona. It is said to have been the inspiration for Disneyland’s Southwest-themed ride Thunder Mountain Railroad. Visitors arrive to the area in awe of Capitol Butte’s strong presence, as it towers over many of the other mountains and rock formations in Sedona.
We took a little side trip to visit some friends in Corpus Christi – a most enjoyable time I must say. Life on Padre Island is a different place. The water, the beaches, the community – all pretty cool but there’s not place like Sedona!
We left Minnesota on March 25th about 4:00 am for the long drive to Denton, Tx and a well deserved nap. 14 hours in the car is long enough for my bones. Another 6+ hours on Saturday and we arrived at our friends (Jim and Kelly McFadden) home. The next five days were full of laughter, adventures, great food, great company, a little business and a lot of fun.
Left Texas for another 14 hour drive towards AZ. The vast majority of the time we spend literally driving across Texas. Man that place is big! Finally pulled into Tucson about 7:30 for a bit more r&r.
We hit a huge street festival on Friday morning in Tucson, walked about for a few hours then hit the road again for the short drive up to Sedona.
Unloaded the car at our “home” for the next month, went and removed the dead Texas bugs from our poor car and made it in time for the Grand Opening of the Gateway Cottage Wellness Center where a good friend and business colleague is one of the service providers.
Back down to the Village and into PJs for a little dinner and catching up.
All in all, a good start to a great month!
Where did the week go? Last I reported, we were crashing overnight in Trinidad, CO – that was last week Friday.
The second day of our driving journey brought us through the eastern edge of Utah where the weather was amazing. There were high clouds, low handing clouds, clear blue skies and lightening. all you had to do was look in another direction and the weather seemed to change.
Had to take a detour stop in Winslow, AZ on the way to Flagstaff. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, here is the video. Funny thing about that was we blew into town, parked the car, walked down the block, shot the video (in one take because we are that good) and left. Didn’t event take time to look around Winslow – we were in a hurry to get “home”.
Tried to stop in Flagstaff for a beverage before heading down the hill into Sedona but being it was the Fourth of July, the town was crazy nuts so we took a pass. Also took a pass on driving down Highway 89A from Flagstaff into Sedona. Normally, one of our favorite drives but on holiday weekends, the backups and delays can be horrid. Took the interstate down instead and finally blew into town unleaded the car and settled in.
First stop of course was PJ’s Village Pub – one of our new favorite places to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.
The monsoon season is here in AZ the beginning of July hosting ominous looking clouds, frequent lightning, downbursts of rain and then it’s done. Almost like Mother Nature is throwing a tantrum and gets over it. Pretty cool to experience.
Working has proven to be an easy transition. Conference calls and great internet access are pretty much all we need to do what we do.
Theresa was invited to a Women’s Business Meet-up by a friend we met last fall when we were here … resulting in a couple face-to-face appointments to talk about social media management – something we definitely want to explore if we are looking to increase our physical presence out here.
The rest of the week consisted of a small hike around Bell Rock loop (one we have done in the past) just to get our feet red, a day trip over to Prescott because 1). its a neat town to visit and 2). we could. Took a decent hike to Teacup Rock (see the gallery).
The coming days we are looking at temps in the upper 90s which will make hiking real enjoyable! Looking forward to our next one!
Driving day 1.
Left friendly Fridley at 4am for the big trek to the southwest.
the first 6-7 hours was a normal road trip, Twin Cities to Des Moines then on to Omaha and Lincoln, NE. That’s where the fun really started.
Kansas and Colorado each brought their own little adventures. Somewhere in Kansas (it all looks the same), we started following a “wide load” vehicle hauling one of those big ole wind mill blades. Being we weren’t on anything that resembled an interstate, we ended up following this thing at a crawling speed (or so it seemed). Mrs. Mario finally caught a break and threw the Civic in turbo mode and left the tractor trailer in her dust.
The joy lasted all of five minutes when we caught up to another “wide load” vehicle, this time hauling something that resembled a grain silo – only a hell of a lot bigger. The driver wasn’t taking any chances and for the most part rode literally down the center of a 2-lane highway. Oncoming traffic rode off the shoulder to pass and the rest of us behind him could do nothing but smile through our gritted teeth.
Things got a little dicey when another “wide load” vehicle carrying an earth mover (kind of like what you find in the mining towns in northern Minnesota) was coming head on to the silo carrying truck – like two elephants trying to pass each other on a city sidewalk. Happy to report the little dance they did was a huge success.
Our map had us turning off onto another highway and I guess the big silo thing wanted to go where we were going because he turned onto the same highway. Thankfully they pulled off the side of the road and allowed all of us to pass.
We entered Colorado close to Cheyenne Wells for another bout of navigating 2 lane highways bisecting ghost towns where the speed limit would go from 65 down to 35 (guess they wanted to make sure the ghosts were safe). Big open spaces with long flat roads between most of our slow downs allowed us to open up the Honda Civic and see what that baby would do. For any of my law enforcement friends out there, I will not disclose what the speedometer read so as not to participate in any sort of admission statement which could potentially lead to several years of being incarcerated in a town jail in one of those those towns we blew through.
We hit Trinidad (in record time I might add), found a place to sit down and have dinner and a place to crash for the night.
Last day here in Sedona for this time anyhow.
Yesterday’s hike to Turkey Creek (see pics) was the longest in terms of distance we’ve done out here so far. 6 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet. To put that into perspective, our favorite hike has always been Cathedral Rock Trail which is a mere .7 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet.
We had an opportunity to meet many new friends during our trip this time. With us spending our time this trip down n the Village of Oak Creek vs. our usual staying uptown Sedona, we discovered the people down in the Village are much more friendly and treat everyone like they are locals. Hardly anyone here is originally from here and a large percentage of the people are either from MN, WI, IA or the Midwest.
One of the couples we met moved to the Village about 3 weeks ago. He is a life coach and she is from the UK. She has a background in Social Media and is interested in setting up shop here in the Sedona area. Suffice it to say, we had plenty to talk about. She was very grateful for the advice and direction I gave and I think she will really make a go of it here.
Off to a new restaurant for dinner, Cucina Rustica – a Mediterranean restaurant with an Italian flair. The food was incredible. In breaking with tradition, we decided not to order separate items from the menu so as to not have left-overs. Instead we decided to share an entree and settled on one of the specials of the day, the cioppino followed by an apple bread pudding for dessert. This did not disappoint!
Stopping by our new favorite hangout on the way home, PJ’s Pub (where the pub is the hub) where we of course met even more new people forging new friendships and relationships that will last a long time.
This place is starting to feel like home but for now its back to the daily life and continuing to put the plan in motion to where we can spend more than 7-10 days at at time in our HomeInSedona.
A little adjustment of turning in early leads to getting up early which lets me get work done and still have time to enjoy the day.
Exactly what today was like.
Started out with a client conference call and a little work that needed to get done then off to our first hike for this trip – Broken Arrow trail leading to Submarine Rock. See the Gallery here.
Stopped on the way home to one of our favorite places in the Hillside shopping area – an Irish pub called Mooney’s where the views never disappoint. One or two cold ones and back to the Village for a light snack, a little deck dwelling and a little watching the sun creep it’s way across the red rocks – an ever changing painting right in front of us.
Off to another local spot, a first for us Famous Pizza. Hopefully the food is as good as the reviews!
I’m sure the rest of the day will include – yep butts-in-chairs-on-deck – what else is there?
Tried something a little different this time. We took an oh-dark-thirty flight out of MSP and got to Phoenix about 9 am. grabbed the rental and took that all-familiar drive north.
Something about the weekend day – I think most everyone from Phoenix wanted to take a quick jaunt north for the day or the weekend – when we got into the Village, traffic was horrible. Adding to all the mayhem is the fact that for whatever reason, navigating traffic circles remains a mystery to the people here and with the Village of Oak Creek and the town of Sedona spending millions of dollars putting them in several years ago the people are simply going to have to learn.
Finally made our way through the Village and on to West Sedona. Stopped at a new place this time, Pisa Lisa where the first order of business was an ice cold Oak Creek Brewery Amber ale followed closely by an Antipasto plate full of good eats.
After a light snack it was off to the grocery store for some sustenance for the week – apparently we can’t just sit on the deck, smoke cigars, drink beer and screwdrivers – we have to eat food as well. So be it.
We made our way back down to the Village where we decided to stay for the first time since coming here. Cautious optimism turned into shrieks of joy and delight when we entered the place we are staying and saw the view from the deck. Only in two, maybe three times that we have come here have we had a view like the one we have here.
The town home we rented this time is nestled in the Canyon Mesa Country Club. Boasting an executive 9-hole golf course, club house, swimming and tennis the homes here are built around the golf course itself.
After a walk-about in the complex, dinner was in order and then I do what I do – find time to get some work done.
Darkness has fallen over the red rocks but according to the weather people, everything will be right back on track tomorrow – sun shine and warm weather. The only interruption in our spending the day outside will be to find a watering hole to watch our beloved Packer’s play another exceptional game of football.
Monday was rather uneventful here at our “home away from home” for the week. Dick spent a couple hours in the morning working (No, we didn’t close e-Merge Online Marketing down for vacation, it’s not really that horrible though, the view from the “office” is just that much nicer. Theresa worked hard at eradicating the albino look we Minnesotan’s seem to take on during our excruciating long winters.
Spent a couple hours in the afternoon wandering about the coolest outdoor shop called Son Silver West. The place was simply loaded with everything you can imagine to “Sedona-ize” your indoor and outdoor living. If I had a dollar for every time Theresa said “We are going to get that for our house here”, we could afford to have a house here!
The hot afternoon sun called for an ice-cold beer. One of our favorites in the Hillside shopping area is an Irish Pub named Mooney’s The views from the front patio are to die for. A couple cold ones and we were on our way back “home” for a little cook out and yet another night of deck dwelling.
Today was hike day. we decided to take it a little easier and hike to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. There is a hiking trail just south of the Chapel called Little Horse. The Little Horse trail provides one of the best pictures of Courthouse Butte in the area. From there the rocky trail meanders some 1.5 miles or so where it intersects with Chapel of the Holy Cross Trail. From there, another 3/4 of a mile on Chapel Trail ending up at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The rest of the tourists came by car (most likely with their air conditioning blasting). We walked up in hiking gear.
The route back was the same path although we did take a little detour thinking we would just pick up Little Horse trail back to the parking area until we discovered the trail we were on would be another 3 miles before we picked up yet another trail back to the car. The 5 mile hike was enough for us for the day. Pictures of the hike are in the Gallery under Hikes – Enjoy!
At home for a bit, scraped another layer of red rock dust off (except our shoes, we are keeping the dust on them as a “badge of honor”. Uploaded pictures, enjoying a cool beverage on one of the decks, enjoying the view (and the heat). Later, it is off to Javelina Cantina for “Taco Tuesday”.
Another trip to Sedona. November seems like an eternity since we were here last – especially due to the harsh, brutal, long and ugly winter we had in Minnesota combined with the fact that we have had little to no spring. Something about this place “does a body good”.
First, our home away from home this time was a unique find on Craigslist. We stumbled across this listing and while I generally shy away from Craigslist, I did as much checking on this place as possible and have to tell you, no website or Facebook page can do it justice. It is absolutely stunning. Anyone wanting to get a better handle on where we are, visit their website at Best Sedona Vacations.
Our first order of business (after the grocery store and the beer store that is) was to scope out the first hike of the week. One of the most popular rock formations in Sedona is called Bell Rock, located between the Village of Oak Creek and the town of Sedona itself. Bell Rock has a neighbor called Courthouse Rock.
The Bell Rock hike consists of three levels, the first (and easiest) is called “lower Bell Rock trail” and is a relatively easy 3/4 mile walk about around the base of the formation. The second is a little more difficult called “upper Bell Rock trail”, there is a little more ascent to the base of the spires of the formation. And of course the third is the most difficult, actually involves climbing to the tops of a couple of the spires on the formation itself. Guess which one we did?!
Pictures of the hike are on the blog site under the Gallery Section / Hikes / Bell Rock. There are a couple great shots from the top of the spires and one of my favorites; Theresa sitting at the top, absorbing the view.
Back down the “hill” and home to scrape several layers of red rock dust, a little deck dwelling then uptown for a little shopping and dinner at a Open Range Grill and Tavern.
Back home, enjoying another stunning sunset, waiting for the stars to come out and planning our adventure for tomorrow.