Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Sedona (2) 2017

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Week 2

Saturday, Oct 28

We took a short hike to Chicken Point on the southeast side of Sedona.  We have done this before.  However, as we were starting out we talked to a hiker who has done it many times.  He pointed out another trail close by that we could take and make it more of a loop.  Turned out to be a very nice trail and less busy.  Another cloudless beautiful day for a hike.  Twin Buttes, High on the Hog (part), and Broken Arrow trails (3.62 miles)  Some people ride jeeps in this area and some people even ride mountain bikes over this trail!

Sunday, Oct 29

Hiked to Devil’s Bridge.  We had also done this hike before but tried a new access trail.  Started on part of Mescal trail, then a bit of Chuckwagon trail, to Devil’s Bridge trail (4.39 miles).  Just can’t believe the beautiful weather we are having day after day after day and the beautiful scenery around us day after day after day.  It’s a fairly easy trail until the last bit where it was very steep with large rocks to climb over.  Ron walked out over the natural bridge while Sally Jo was content to stay back and just take a photo of him.  On the way down we took a side path which took us partly under the bridge.

In the evening we walked to sunset point near the resort.  There were no clouds to make a spectacular sunset, but the evening light was beautiful.

Monday, Oct 3

A couple of people had recommended to us the West Fork trail (7.39 miles).  We finally decided to do it today.  It is an out and back trail.  It is considered an easy trail – and it was for the most part.  EXCEPT: the trail includes 13 river/creek crossings – that is 13 crossings ONE way which means 13 x 2 = 26 crossings.  Sally Jo does not like water crossings.  Sally Jo’s heart worked extra hard 26 times today!!!

It was a beautiful trail through the canyon of the West Fork of Oak Creek.  The fall colors were beautiful among the green pines and white and red canyon walls.  The canyon walls themselves were very interesting.

Before beginning the actual West Fork trail, we stopped to see the ruins of an early lodging site.  The first cabin was built in 1870’s and eventually more people built here.  In the 1920’s a log lodge was built and used until 1968.  A fire burnt the dwellings but there are brick remains.  Famous people stayed here – Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney.  The canyon and its area inspired Zane Gray in his book Call of the Canyon.

We met a number of interesting people along the way, as well as hearing a variety of accents/language.  British, southern U.S., Korean, Indian.  Several people had heard of Goshen either through relatives or from formerly being a Hoosier.  One man was especially interesting as he was carrying – and playing – a didgeridoo!  He also told us that ponderosa pine either smell of honey, coffee, or vanilla.  We tried smelling several pines and indeed verified the smells!

Tuesday, Oct 31

We visited Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater National Monument, both northeast of Flagstaff.  Wupatki has a number of ancestral Puebloan villages mostly from the 1100s.  What was especially interesting to us, is that it is thought that some of these early people moved to Mesa Verde (which we visited 2 weeks ago) in the 1200s.  These villages are built above ground rather than in cliffs.  We were able to walk to several of the pueblos and examine the buildings up close.  Visited Lomaki and Box Canyon Pueblos, Citadel Pueblo, Wupatki Pueblo, and Wukoki Pueblo.  We felt that the Visitor’s Center presented the information very well—telling both the Native American viewpoint and the colonist’s viewpoint.

Sunset Crater erupted in the late 1000s—the most recent volcano in this region.  We could see a number of lava flows and large areas of cinders, plus smaller vents as we looked out over the countryside.  Some plants are beginning to grow in areas.

Wednesday, Nov 1

Today we did a hike we have done before—Thunder Mt (1/2 mile), Lower Chimney Rock, Chimney Rock, and Lizard Head (1/2 mile).  It was a 3.82 mile loop—not very far but a lot of up and down.  AND one other caveat—we hiked the summit trail.  We had not done this before. It was strenuous, quite steep with a loose-gravel path.  But the view at the top was magnificent!  The entire hike had great views.

Thursday, Nov 2

We hiked the Doe Mountain trail.  Again, we have done this trail several times but never get tired of the views.  It’s a .06 mile UP and then over a mile of hiking around the mesa top for a total of 2.8 mile hike.  Not long, not strenuous, just beautiful!

Sedona 2017

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Week One

This, and the next blog, are just an abbreviated version of our two weeks in Sedona. There are not many photos because we already have hundreds of photos from this area!  It is partly for us to keep track of what we did.  But, of course, we did take some photos – it is just too photogenic of an area not to take pictures!

Saturday, Oct 21

We hiked our usual “first-day-in Sedona” path—the Airport Loop.  The 3.3 mile hike became a 4.65 mile hike since we parked at the top of the mesa and needed to hike ½ mile down to the start of the trail and back.  It was lovely.

Sunday, Oct 22

Sally Jo had picked out new, nice, long, circular hike.  However, when we tried to find the trailhead for the hike, we discovered it was located on a 5-mile rocky road that we could not drive. Since the trail was already going to be 7 miles, we didn’t feel like adding on 5 miles to get to the start.

Re-calculate.  Not far away was a trailhead to Long Canyon.  (6.61 miles) It was trail out and back rather than a loop.  It was a scenic trail along a canyon.  It was helpful that the trail went slightly uphill the entire way so that we could go downhill most of the way back!

Monday, Oct 23

A day at a Ranch. We went to Canyon Creek Ranch near Black Canyon City.  We opted for the hour-long horse ride.  Fun!  Going through the desert area was beautiful, though hot.  Ron tried both skeet shooting and archery. In skeet shooting he hit the target twice!  We had a steak/chicken lunch with some Navajo entertainment.  A nice flute solo and a fantastic hoop dance by the world’s championship dancer, only 17 years old.

Tuesday, Oct 24

We took a short hike to Scheurman Mountain.  (2.77 miles) It was only 1 mile one-way but we were able to start from our resort, rather than driving.  We looked out to the airport mesa, Sedona town, and to our resort.  The high school which is at the beginning of the hike is fully solar-powered.

Wednesday, Oct 25

Hiked Soldier Pass Trail and Jordon Trail.  (6.5 miles)  Even though it is quite long – for us – we think we like these trails the best. The scenery is spectacular and the hike is quite varied.  We hike through pine forest at the beginning, gradually ascending.  The trail goes along the top of a mesa where we can climb a large rock outcrop with fabulous views (and eat lunch), and then a steep descent after which we meander up and down on a path back to the beginning.  The one problem today was the heat and dryness – 85 degrees and 14% humidity.  We felt like dry toast!

Thursday, Oct 26

Took a drive to Jerome with a short stop in Cottonwood on the way.  Walked around Jerome and had lunch.  Decided to drive back to Sedona a different way.  On the map it looked interesting.  Turned out to be an adventure.  Roads started out good but got smaller and smaller.  Through wilderness.  Gravel road.  Beautiful scenery.  Felt uninhabited.  Only one photo.  The afternoon light on the mountains coming back in to Sedona was outstanding.

Friday, Oct 27

Went to Williams to visit a friend.  Elaine and her husband live in a beautiful rural area.  Lots of birds; they also have wild animals, though we didn’t see any.  That morning Elaine had seen a mountain lion in her front yard.  Good time.  No photos.

Destination – Sedona

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Our final destination for this trip was Sedona.  It is beautiful country.  We hiked every day, though two days the hikes were cut short because it began to rain.  One evening we attended a great meal at a local winery.  The cooks gave us tips on creating a “roasted” salad and tips on barbecuing.  Our salmon pieces were excellent!  We also attended a local Taize service at an Anglican Church (forgot to photo) and visited a Buddhist stupa and Meditation spot.  Some tourists like to hire “Pink Jeeps” to travel over the rough terrain.  We like to hike it by foot!  We saw a lovely sunset our last evening.



Friends, Old and New (continued) – Phoenix

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

We spent two nights in Phoenix and met new friends (Deb and Rachel) through the SERVAS organization.  Besides, learning to know them, we visited the Museum of Musical Instruments and took one hike in the Squaw Peak area.

thumb pianos

thumb pianos

The Museum of Musical Instruments opened only 6 years ago and is one not to be missed.  At any one time more than 6,500 instruments from over 200 countries are on display.  Generally, the displays are arranged geographically with a few special spaces.  Museum goers are given special headsets.  These audio guides provide the sound tracks for videos at more than 300 sites.  The guides automatically cue to the exact sound track when viewing a video so that each visitor has their own tour.  Many of the instruments were donated by the makers or the musicians who owned them.

We took a short hike with Deb and Rachel on a trail which was familiar to us.  Even though they have lived in Phoenix for a number of years and have gone on hikes, this trail was new to them.  In the evening they invited some of their friends to share supper with us.  In the morning, Sally Jo picked tangelos and grapefruits to take with us.

Friends, Old and New (continued) – Tucson

Monday, April 11th, 2016

As we are writing this blog, we realized we have a theme—Friends.  We visited many friends along the way and also in Tucson.  But when we looked at our photos from Tucson, we discovered we have pictures of only one friend!  I guess we spent too much time talking, playing pickle ball, or watching March Madness basketball with them.  We do have photos of Harold’s new tree house and his lovely home.

When we were not with our friends we hiked.  We did one short hike in the Tucson Mountains, and then three longer hikes in the Sabino and Bear Canyons area—Seven Falls, Blackett’s Ridge, and Phoneline trails.  We have many, many photos of cacti, flowers, hills, trails.  It was a beautiful time to be hiking; it was not too hot, the desert flowers were blooming.  One day we drove up Mt Lemmon to the 9,000 ft summit and even saw snow.

Friends, Old and New (continued) – Douglas

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

In Douglas we got an introduction to border issues while staying with Jack and Linda.  They have been living in Douglas for several years working with Mennonites and Presbyterians in relating to migrants and in helping others understand what is happening.

Wall in Douglas, road for Patrol

Wall in Douglas, road for Patrol

Every morning they walk the nine blocks to the “Wall” where they pray.  When they first started the practice, the Border Patrol was very suspicious.  The Patrol now accept them and rarely ask questions. From the Wall we toured a large cemetery where at several places there are graves for unknown migrants who have tried to cross the border.

We crossed the border and spent time in Agua Pria visiting organizations working with migrants.  Immediately, across the border, beside the gate, is the Resource Center for Migrants (Centro de Recursos para Migrantes).  Here, migrants who have been brought back to Mexico are able to make phone calls to family, receive clothes, obtain food, and gain help in their return.

Some of the male migrants who have returned, are housed in a Catholic Church compound.  Here some are learning to make furniture from wood pallets.  We passed the C.R.R.E.D.A., considered one of the best centers serving people with drug and alcohol problems.  We visited a small urban project run by a group of local women focusing on gardening, chickens, and small sewing projects.  They are currently working on a special order of Donald Trump dolls / pin cushions for a retailer in Tucson.  We stopped at Justo Coffee which buys Mexican coffee beans and roasts, bags, and sells coffee in the U.S.  We ate Sonoran hot dogs from a street vendor and then had Mexican ice cream.

Wall on Mexican side

Wall on Mexican side

We viewed the “Wall” from the Mexican side.  Several artists have painted nature scenes on the Wall.  We were told that they had also painted on the U.S. side but those were removed by Border Patrol.

Late afternoon we returned to the U.S. and drove east about 5 miles along the wall.  What a sobering experience to look at this artificial border extending for hundreds of miles.  There are 20-feet high metal sections to lower vehicle-prohibiting sections to barbed wire to nothing.  Sensors and cameras are located all along the border.

We ended our day with a visit to the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas.  It was opened in 1907, burnt, and rebuilt in 1929.  There is a solid white Italian marble staircase and four soaring marble columns. An authentic Tiffany stained glass mural extends forty-two feet across one wall of the massive mezzanine.  The hotel has been in several movies and is purported to be haunted!  It is also said that Pancho Villa rode his horse up the staircase, shooting his gun!

On our way to Tucson the next day we stopped briefly in Bisbee, viewing the large open-pit copper mine which finally closed operations in 1975.  We had coffee and walked some of the streets of old Bisbee. Bisbee and Douglas were in their heyday when the mine was in full operation.


Friends, Old and New (continued)

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

We next drove to friends, Peter and Francis, living near Portal, Arizona.  However, on the way we stopped at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  We spent several hours hiking and driving around the area.  We saw a fair number of water birds.

the ranch

the ranch

Our friends live on a huge ranch in southeastern Arizona on the eastern edge of the Chiricahua Mountains.  They have several hundred cattle, plus horses, llamas, alpacas, chickens, and camels, plus dogs and cats.  We shadowed them during the day as they went about various jobs they needed to do.  They both have other professions (nurse practitioner and construction) so spend most of their weekend working on the ranch.  We went along as they carried some extra food/nutrition to a group of cattle.  Sally Jo got to bottle-feed a 10-day old orphaned calf.  We went along when they went to an older part of the ranch where they were looking for a leak in the water system but also had time to show us remains from an early 1900s stone home and the pottery remains from Native Americans from the 1300s.  We climbed a hill near their home to look at remains from early mining days.

We also hiked a few hours in the Chiricahua National Forest on the way to Douglas.


Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Sedona is as beautiful as ever.  We enjoy the red rocks, blue sky, dry plants, and all the hiking that is available.  One day we rode the Verde Canyon Railroad.  This train took us on a four-hour journey through Arizona wilderness.  There is spectacular geology along with Sinagua Indian ruins dating back to 600 B.C.  The tracks follow the Verde River north and west of Clarkdale, Arizona to the ghost town of Perkinsville and back (about 40 miles).  It was originally built to support the copper industry in the area.

During the week we spent at the resort, the Red Rock Fantasy opened.  This celebration has been held for 22 years.  Two dozen displays created by families from the Southwest, bring cartoon favorites, children’s stories, and the biblical story to life in dazzling Christmas displays.  More than a million lights are used.  Proceeds help local charity and community organizations.

One evening we attended a Native American flute concert performed by Wolfs Robe, a world-renowned traditional Native American flute performer and educator.  His flute sounds wove melodies and improvisation through nature and Native American culture.  He is committed to the preservation of the Native American flute as well as his own ancestral connections.  He played a variety of flutes from a bone flute from 600 A.D. and a thunder flute.  He explained the “Grandfather” tuned flutes—not tuned to the Western scale but “tuned perfectly for Nature.”

We took hikes most days.  We chose two hikes that we have done before and tried out three new ones.  All provided beautiful scenery.  (We cannot capture it in photos!)  On our last hike of the week, the sign at the beginning warned that bears have recently been active.  We decided it was time to head to Goshen!

On the way …

Monday, November 12th, 2012

We travelled to Sedona, Arizona via the flat lands of Nebraska, through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, through the dry lands of Utah, through magnificent Grand Canyon National Park, to our friends near Williams, Arizona.  From Moab, Utah to Williams we had very stormy weather—frequent rain squalls in some areas to dust storms which turned the clouds pink from the red soil in other areas.  We woke in Williams to snow on the ground.

Our friends in Williams took us to “Bearizona” where we drove through open areas to visit animals and also attended a “”free flight” rapture demonstration.  We saw hawks and a huge Great Horned Owl fly inches above our heads.

Arizona 2010 (5)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

We ended our week in Arizona with a short trip to Phoenix where we had lunch with Ron’s nephew and niece and families.