Tag Archives: sedona

The Red Rocks trail to nowhere….

Entering Red Rocks State Park…

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It was almost 60 degrees.

At what point do you think they remove that sign?

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There was a long bridge…

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Over what we in Maine would call a stream.

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We walked….

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Not always on the trails.

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I spotted part of the Apache Fire House…

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And said wth.

It’s right there, let’s go take a look.

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So we walked on paths.

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And through the woods.

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Sometimes literally.

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We climbed.

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And climbed.

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And climbed.

And I wondered where the hell we were going because it was right there.

When we got near the top of the Apache Fire Trail?

Named for the Apache Fire House?

The damned thing was way the hell on the other side.

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I know!

Somewhere, some evil trail planner was doing this….

Without giving a thought to the poor flatlander lady tourist who had altitude sickness and no booze.

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We climbed up a little higher…

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But still couldn’t get to it.

Yeah. Kind of like that…

Except your feet hurt and you’re out of breath.

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Granted, down was easier than up.

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Probably because I was busy envisioning the trail planner’s fiery demise with every step…

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I hardly even appreciated all the wonderful red rocks.

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My bad.

Red Rock State Park

After a disappointing morning where everything I wanted to see was closed by the shutdown, we ditched the National Sites idea and found a nice (open) fully staffed state park.

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Yes, more rocks.

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Exactly!

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Our first stop was the visitors center,

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Which was a pretty impressive group of rocks in and of itself.

Inside?

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Well…. rocks.

Shocked

But hey… there were fun rocks as well.

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Can you read the petroglyph?

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I’m a little rusty, but I think it says if you follow the river..apply heavy mascara.. do a couple of dizzy Izzy’s.. you’ll find a bug. They also spelled whom incorrectly.

There was information about a rock house…

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And about different rock layers…

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Hang on… this will make you smile.

There was a photographic middle finger to tease me with the places we tried to go that morning but couldn’t.

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Rude rocks.

That’s different, right?

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Damn. This is a tough crowd…

But look.

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There were bugs!

Apparently my glyph translating skills weren’t as rusty as I’d thought.

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Heading back outside, we found a rock hummingbird that seemed to be pointing me towards….

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A big Prickly Pear cactus….

From whence all wonderful margaritas grow.

*sob*

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Did I mention there were rocks?

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And they were red?

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Some even looked like giant eyeballs.

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I spotted the Apache Fire House off in the distance…

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While the husband read the history and laughed that the couple divorced before it was finished.

I laughed harder because the wife got the house.

And then we started hiking…

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Uptown Sedona, where I meet a prickly footed lizard.

After checking in to our new resort, we decided to enjoy the beautiful day and take a walk around uptown Sedona… an area filled with shops, restaurants, street performers and the occasional lizard. Who knew?

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It’s a lovely spot with a stunning red rock backdrop.

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I have no idea what these were… and was almost afraid to ask.

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But there was a large horse…

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With a really large gun and a Christmas wreath.

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This fellow drew a crowd by twirling a length of PVC pipe.

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I spotted my first roadrunners…

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Sadly, they were metal and wearing bandanas.

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This t shirt seemed appropriate considering our current political climate.

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I wanted to buy this one. It reminded me of my misspent youth, but the husband was not amused.

And then, as we were walking by a large group of people….

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Someone handed me a gecko.

Why? I’m not quite sure…

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But he was lovely, with prickly little feet.

And I kind of hated to give him back.

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Moving on, the husband tried his hand at whatever this was. The results were not audio worthy, trust me.

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We found an extremely jarring bright green patch of astroturf in front of  a pizza parlor and could only ask… why?

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And then some hot pink Javelinas with White Walker eyes. (Game of Thrones reference. Winter is Coming!)

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They were displayed in front of the Pink Adventure Center whose bright pink Jeeps you can’t escape in Sedona. They’re everywhere and specialize in off road tours of the red rocks. I seriously wanted to take one, but the husband was not in the least bit interested.

Boo husband.

On the way to lunch. we passed this woman who clearly had been shopping too long….

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It took a while to choose, but when I saw the chicken (Goose? Dinosaur?) tracks…

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I knew I’d found a suitable place.

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We sat outside.

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With a killer view.

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I got a little teary eyed at not being able to order the Prickly Pear Margarita.

Because yes … I was still observing the doctor’s alcohol ban, dammit.

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The husband ordered the massive Southwest Chicken salad..

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While I had a lovely patty melt and sweet potato fries.

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After eating, we bid farewell to the Buffalo…

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And I choked back a sob as we passed the bar…

(Okay, I may have openly wept. I’m not proud of it.)

And we headed back to the resort.

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Passing more decoratively painted Javelinas.

Who knew they were so stylish?

Arroyo Roble Resort….

Resort #2 was a bit different than the first, and quite different from what we’re used to when we time share travel.

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At first, I was disappointed to find it was directly off the main drag of Uptown Sedona. We tend to like quiet, out of the way places.

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But as we turned down the driveway, past a large Best Western…

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It was like another little world.

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Tucked away at the bottom of the hill, and sitting at the base of the canyon… it was remarkably quiet. We checked in… and to our delight, got none of the usual high pressure “Come tour our property! We’ll give you $100 in restaurant coupons if you sit through our mind numbingly boring hour and a half presentation.”  We didn’t have to repeatedly say no, because they never asked. Matter of fact, you couldn’t buy one of these units if you wanted to, they’re all sold. This is an older resort, and family run…. which is highly unusual. The staff was wonderfully attentive, and we received a complete bath towel change in the middle of the week. (Trust me, that’s huge!)

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We explored a bit of the common areas….

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With it’s indoor, outdoor pools.

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I chuckled at the grand piano…

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Sing a longs? How old was this place?

(Please note I also twitched at the haphazard electrical cords. Seriously, wth?)

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We made our way to our assigned building…

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And were thrilled with how large the unit was.

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Cathedral ceilings and a fireplace in the living room…

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With the biggest tv I’ve ever seen in a timeshare unit.

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I think my husband drooled at this point…

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Southwestern colors dominated….

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And though the kitchen cabinets were old, the appliances and granite countertops were new.

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As was the awesome black slate sink.

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Two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.

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The master had a fireplace…

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Naturally I commandeered the larger bathroom…

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Complete with tile.

Tile.

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And more tile.

Even on the vanity.

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Did I mention there were 3 balconies?

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And they were big?

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Well, they were.

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I could easily have stayed here for the whole winter. Hell, this unit was bigger than our first home… almost 1,500 square feet.

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And forget desert brown, this place was green.

Good God Almighty…  it had grass!!!

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Exploring out back…

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We found a veritable oasis…

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And Oak Creek, one of the few bodies of water that doesn’t dry up come summer.

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It was peaceful and quiet, just as we like it.

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With ample places to grill your meat.

What more could you want…?

Moving day… and rocks.

The one week mark of our trip arrived Saturday…

And I’d spent 4 days of it sick. 3 in bed.

And now that the first week was over, it was time to move to our second resort… which I kind of hated to do since I never had the opportunity to fully enjoy the first.

Check out time was 10:00am, but check in time at the next one was 4:00pm so we had some time to kill. I floated numerous ideas, all of which the husband rejected as he drove straight to the next resort. I’m not sure what part of 4:00pm he didn’t understand, but off we went.

Naturally, our unit wasn’t ready and they told us…. are you ready?

Come back at 4:00pm.

Shocking…. I know.

So we revisited my idea of exploring and went to Bell Rock Park.

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Yes, more rocks!

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And you know they were fabulous because there’s my husband who never takes pictures… taking pictures.

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We read a little history…

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Hoped we’d see a roadrunner…

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Compared sketches to the real thing…

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Not bad.

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Close, but no cigar.

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We promised not to bust the crust…

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And headed down the Bell Rock Pathway.

Mind you, I’d just gone to the doctor the day before and still wasn’t feeling 100% back to normal…

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But the rocks were gorgeous.

And we walked…

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And walked….

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And walked some more.

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I was tempted to walk the whole thing and even climb up Bell Rock like these people did…

See that speck on the top left? Person.

Speck on the second tier rock on the right? Person.

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But every few minutes the husband was asking if I was okay, and it made me start to doubt he was. High elevation can make you sick… like it did me… but it also can drain your energy, cause you to burn more calories than usual, as well as leave you fatigued and out of breath after shorts bouts of exercise. So after walking a bit farther, and watching the husband purposely stick himself with a cactus….

We called it  a day.

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And said goodbye to the rocks.

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Hey now.

That’s a little harsh….

Prescription? Cottonwood.

 

After leaving the medical clinic, and arming myself with a large jug of Gatorade against the altitude sickness…. we followed the doctor’s advice and drove to Cottonwood, Arizona where the elevation was much lower. She told me to have lunch, slowly walk around and drink plenty of fluids.

 

 

Sadly, not my kind of fluids… but I obeyed because I was still feeling lousy.

 

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Cottonwood is an old western town and Main Street plays that up for the tourists.

 

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Although Santa looked a bit too happy if you want my opinion.

 

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I really have no explanation for this.

So we walked…

 

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And found a nice restaurant.

 

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With a bit of history.

 

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You have to hand it to their interior decorator.

Heck, I didn’t even know charred concrete was in this season.

 

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There were also cacti in soup cans on each table. Very high class…

 

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The husband ordered French Onion soup with Caesar salad, which came with an out of proportion loaf of bread.

I hemmed and hawed over the menu since…..

Sigh.

 

 

 

It would be an alcohol free meal.

 

 

But after not eating for 3 days I wanted comfort food…

 

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And went with the ham and cheese stuffed meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies.

And then… Maple Bourbon Creme Brulee.

 

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Because a girl can’t go completely cold turkey ya know.

After lunch we ducked in and out of a few shops where I saw purse that was screaming my name…

 

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Have wine, will travel.

 

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And passed by a plant called a desert spoon, which looked nothing like a spoon.

Really.. A spoon? How would you eat your Rice Krispies with that.

I think the botanist had my lunchtime cocktail. And then some.

 

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Heading back to Sedona there were rocks…

 

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Glorious, breathtaking rocks!

 

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And this….

 

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Beware!

 

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Hula Hooping cowboys ahead.

 

Enchantment…. and rocks.

 

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Don’t worry Forrest, Sedona’s got more than enough rocks.

 

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They were everywhere..

 

 

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And they were glorious.

 

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This was Boynton Canyon.

One of the most stunning scenic drives we found….

 

 

 

I know, you’re getting tired of rocks…. but come on.

 

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You have to admit they’re beautiful.

 

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At the end of Boynton Canyon is the Enchantment Resort.

 

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I’m not quite sure why it was enchanted…

 

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Though they did have some nice rocks.

 

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And houses built into the rocks…

 

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Rocks.

Houses.

And a couple of scattered cacti.

 

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Nice.

But not my idea of enchanting….

 

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The teepee?

 

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Maybe.

But I’m guessing it was the rocks…