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.
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?
Getting to the car rental place – where we had a reservation for an SUV – something with high enough clearance that we could climb Schnebly Hill Road without ripping the bottom off a standard rental sedan. Unfortunately they were out of SUV’s and the only thing they could offer up was an upgrade to a Jeep Wrangler, 4-door with a removable soft-top. How cool.
The climb up the hill from Phoenix was uneventful, we did pause to reminisce at the spot where I met the friendly state trooper last May when we were here last.
Taking the turn off the highway, through the village and around the curve to see the amazing panoramic view of the red rocks never fails to get me, today was no different and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Still a lot of green around here but some of the trees have started turning gold – an even more amazing sight against the red rock formations.
A quick trip to the grocery store (where we finally got a rewards membership card, thus the first step in establishing our dual citizenship) for a few provisions to get things underway and back to the Casita, a very nice place – cute and cozy with amazing views, an outdoor fireplace and a hot tub.
A little deck dwelling, nice cigar, couple glasses of wine watched the sunset. Some dinner then a dip in the hot tub. The stars are amazing, you could just about swirl the milky way around with your index finger. Sat there wishing to myself how much I would love to spend much, much more time here and then it happened – a shooting star.
Thanks to our nephew Zander for the lift to the airport this morning. We know it was early for you – particularly since you had to close last night. We appreciate it!
After a near strip-search at the airport (not really, but I was close to going gangsta having to take my belt off and damn near losing my shorts (yes, I am wearing shorts – heading to Arizona after all), we finally got to the gate and discovered a whole new world in terms of airport dining.
Restaurant next to the gate called Volante – some sort of upscale, trendy place that make even techo-geeks like me nervous.
Each table / seat at the bar have an iPad mounted with a credit card reader next to it. You want a drink? Order it from the iPad, food? order it from the iPad, want to play games or read the news, it’s there too. Makes me wonder if Apple shares the tips.
After one 10 oz Bloody Mary and a modest breakfast for each of us, my wallet was a measly $62 lighter. Guess someone has to pay for all those iPads.
Boarded on time and up in the air.
Almost time to head back to Sedona.
When we were back there in the spring, someone told us we needed to come back early November and see the fall colors. That decision took all of 30 seconds. Found a place that boasts an outdoor fireplace and hot tub – perfect setting for 70 degree days and 40 degree nights.
Less than a week from now, we’ll be boarding the big bird (no offense Mitt) and heading towards our place in the sun. Can’t wait.
This trip; unlike some of the others we have taken so far, will be a little different. First off, our beloved Green Bay Packers will actually be playing the AZ Cardinals on the Sunday we are out there … Second, the elections will be on Tuesday the week we are there. We’ve already voted. Quite frankly being out there for the four days before the damn thing takes place is probably a blessing – don’t have to hear any of the annoying commercials about the political crap. We do a pretty good job of shutting the TV off when we are there and this trip won’t be any different.
Let the organizing begin – getting the house together and the stuff needed to work out there for a week, will make the time go fast. Saturday can’t come soon enough for me.
Next trip could be really interesting – looking at possibly up to a month!
Good thing airplanes don’t have rear view mirrors.
We are cruising along at 30,000 feet with Sedona in our rear view mirror. it’s a sad day.
It’s funny though how the place is like home to us. The sites, sounds and smells are all too familiar and it’s amazing how quickly it comes back to us – especially when making the trek up 179 through the Village; you come around the bend and it’s right there, there in your face – the glorious views, peace and tranquility that we will call home some day.
We spent our last evening doing what we came to do; deck dwell, have a beer or two and stare. We added one ingredient last night, searching through purchase and rental listings to see what it would take to make our dreams a reality. Turns out, it’s not that far a stretch.
So for now, it’s so long to Sedona and back to Minnesota to be with our friends and families but we will hang on to the memories of the past ten days and this site with all the words and pictures will help keep that in front of us.
Next time let’s go for a month.
With over 80 hiking trails in and around the Sedona / Village of Oak Creek area, it has become an obsession to hike as many as possible.
We have walked about a couple places in the past when we’ve been here in the past but this time seemed different. We decided that we needed to be better equipped (something more appropriate than sandles and a 12oz bottle of water), so we brought a Camelback water pack, got some appropriate footwear, a funny looking hat, some hiking sticks, sun screen, and of course the obligatory trail mix to make the trek comfortable, stay nourished and hydrated in the process – I guess these things are important.
So where to start? A couple years back we stumbled across a trail head for Cathedral Rock. Not knowing that much about “hiking” other than put on your sneakers and start walking, we made the trek up (and up and up and …) until we reached the summit where we immediately pulled out a smoke and puffed away.
Now it’s like we are on a mission. We have a list of the 80+ hiking trails in the area, how they are rated, length, elevation change and everything we possibly need to know about the individual hikes themselves. So where to start? Back at the beginning of course – with Cathedral Rock.
Well, let’s not start easy and work our way up by any means. Cathedral Rock is more of a rock climb than a hike with elevation gain of some 600 feet. The first .25 miles is pretty much standard hiking trail emerging on a broad ledge with spectacular views. You are ascending steeply over bald rock, with a shallow crevice to navigate your way up to a small knob at the top. Continue up a moderately steep trail to the top of a wide saddle between two spires. For the more adventurous (like us), there is an additional climb on an unmarked trail providing a display of two more spires between sheer rock faces.
Words don’t do it justice – pictures help. See the Hiking gallery at http://www.homeinsedona.net/image-gallery/hiking/.
The next adventure was Brewer Trail. A short walk down the road to the trail head and up an easy climb on a well marked trail to some incredible overlooks of Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte, and the Village.
Brewer Trail merges with Coconino trail, both of which are relatively easy walks. This started out as a good idea to give our legs a break from the strenuous climb up Cathedral the day before but certainly didn’t end up that way. We would like to apologize to the Forest Service for our complete and utter inability to stay on the trail and ascend to elevations that clearly were not marked on the trail map. Seems that higher is the goal.
An easy walk around Brewer Trail and Coconino trail turned out to be a couple hour adventure resulting in some awesome photo opportunities! Look for the Brewer Trail pictures in the Hiking gallery as well.
The last hike of the week was to Devils Bridge. This hike just about eclipsed Cathedral Rock in that it was a little lengthier but the top of the bridge was so amazing.
The worst part of this hike was getting to the trail head. A 1.3 mile walk down a “road” that wasn’t suitable for passenger vehicles (no, we decided not to give this one a shot like we did Shnebly Hill several years ago in the rental car). We made the trek down the “road” and found the trail head.
The trail meanders some .75 miles where you reach a fork in the trail. The lower trail brings you around to the area beneath Devils Bridge and the upper trail is the money trail! There is an amazing steep natural rock stairway leading to the top of the trail then all of the sudden you get slapped in the face with this amazing view of Devils Bridge. You don’t know its coming and you can’t see it from anywhere else along the way so it comes as a complete surprise.
The top of the “bridge” is about 10-12 feet wide making for some shaky legs if you are not into that sort of thing. The drop off the side would prove perilous, making the adventure all that more exciting!
See the pics of us standing on top of Devil’s Bridge and the rest of the pictures from our hike on that trail in the Hiking Gallery.
The night before and I want to make sure I can post blog message to our blog from my trusty iPhone, technology has come so far in that we will be able to hike to the top of a red rock formation, share both the pictures and thoughts with the world I something we are really looking forward to – I know, kind of geeky but still pretty cool none the less.
So here it is, the night before we head out, testing writing a blog post from my iPhone – I should be sleeping, the time will go by faster!
One week to go …
With so much going on in our world, we’ve resigned ourselves to creating lists; what do we need to buy, what do we need to do before we leave? Clean the house for the guests who will be staying here retrieving our mail, newspaper and making sure Prince Scotch the kitty has a never-ending trickle of water at his disposal.
What do I need to make sure I get done business-wise and what can I bring along to work on while I’m there. This trip will be a real test for me to see how well I can run my business both remotely and with all the eye-candy distractions around me (a.k.a. the red rock formations, golf courses, and of course the visually relaxed Tink with a screwdriver or glass of wine.
So here we are, a week out … but the week will go quickly – how do I know? I put it on the list.