Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gorgeous Sedona and Red Rock Country

11/12-13/2015,  Thursday & Friday.  Sedona, the land of soaring red rock monoliths in a mesmerizing geological wonderland.  On the list of Most Beautiful Places In America, Sedona is number 1, and we can see why.  We have been before and my last post on Sedona was in the Spring when I took the overnight hiking trip with the group from our park in Tucson.  Since Sedona was only 30 miles away from Camp Verde, we just couldn’t resist the chance to go.  So we went twice!  Even as you get closer to Sedona through Oak Creek from the South, the scenery just jumps out there to awe you. 

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The first day, we got up early and had breakfast at the Teapot Café in downtown Sedona.  We had eaten there before many years ago and the food was good!  Sure is popular because the place was packed.  Of course, it seems that Sedona is always that way after becoming a real tourist trap.  I think it is that way all year around.  We managed to be lucky enough to grab a parking spot right on the main street.  Doug was so sweet as he waited for me to look for an item I couldn’t find in Albuquerque Old Town.  Mission accomplished! That was after finding it in the very last store I went in after going up and down both sides of the street.  Guess I should have started at the other end! 

The day was just beautiful, so we took a short 6 mile drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Slide Rock.  It is a state park with picnic area and people hike down to the river to swim.  It is a nice setting but  Slide Rock is a fee pay area and at a $10 entrance fee, it  was just too much for such a short visit.  So we turned around and headed home.

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The drive goes further up the canyon to a higher overlook, but we had been up there twice on previous trips.  The sky was so blue and just really showed off the contrasting colors of the rock canyon walls along the drive. In the first photo, can you spot the dragonfly?

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The next day was also gorgeous, so Doug said he wanted to go as far as oak Creek and Bell Rock and do a little hiking.  It was a cool morning so just right for a hike.  We parked at Bell Rock for our first of 2 hikes. If you want to hike in the area, you better get there early!  We were parked before 9 A,M. and when we finished our short hike, the parking lot was completely full.  Even after hiking the same area in the Spring, the scenery from the trail was just as awesome as it was then.  The colored rock formations are just so striking!  Believe me, it was difficult to chose which pictures to use out of the 100 I took! 

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We knew there was a nice view of the valley from the airport on top of a mountain, so we drove up there to see it again.  Still a great view!

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Our second hike was just a real short one part of the way up the trail to Cathedral Rock not far from Bell Rock.  The parking there was even worse.  The small parking lot was full, and we saw that people were having to park all along the road and right far away from the trailhead.  We drove past then turned around.  We tried our luck in the trailhead parking and caught a spot just as someone was pulling out.  Others were still driving around and around waiting for someone to leave.  Cathedral rock is the icon of Sedona (2nd picture at the to).  You see it on many postcards and on front of the travel brochures.  We were facing into the sun so some of the pictures had a glare, but still a nice walk through the landscape. 

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What a fantastic 2 days we had in Sedona.  Both were just picture perfect!  We would return in a heartbeat!

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