Tonto Natural Bridge
This is from under the natural bridge. The cars are parked on top of this. You can see the rocks that I had to scramble over/on/around in my little climbing adventure. It was a little more unnerving than I remember from my 30's.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - quite a few days so far in Sedona and we’ve done a few things as well as just relaxed.
I picked up Les at the Phoenix airport on Sunday without a hitch and we ambled our way up to Sedona, stopping for lunch and some shopping on the way. We settled in with our friends in their rather spectacular home that overlooks the whole Sedona valley. The place is pretty special as is the company of our friends.
I’ve been up a few mornings early and out for a walk before the heat of the day hit. What a great way to start the day. I get to see some unique morning wildlife which are bunnies and a lot of little lizards scampering out of the way.
We are here just in time for the cactus flowers and they are spectacular. Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful ones of all in the front yard were eaten by some animal during the evening, probably an elk. This reminded me of the challenges our friends on Vancouver Island have with the local deer cleaning out the garden if it isn’t fenced.
We have settled
Gate at Tlaquepaque
I have put several images of this place in this blog. This is in Sedona, but one might think they were in Mexico when looking at these scenes. It is a neat place.
in to a local coffee house that is pretty good. Beside the coffee there are a host of ‘characters’ that frequent the place. Some of them are ancient flower children. (Think of me, at 70, with a pony tail! Good grief.)
On Tuesday at dinner time I was looking out of the window and noticed some low clouds that were darker in colour and rising over a nearby mountain. They turned out to be from a forest fire that started up Oak Creek Canyon, which is a beautiful area where we like to go hiking. We hadn’t got around to that area yet and it looks like we never will on this trip. The fire has grown and grown into something quite serious and is still burning, uncontrolled, as I write this on Thursday. It is taking out not only beautiful landscape but is now threatening homes, businesses and a small town to the north. For us, we are safe because the wind is from the south, blowing the fire toward the north which is away from us. Nevertheless, the smoke is everywhere and is not nice on the respiratory system.
On Wednesday we were treated to a
trip up to a small town of Pine and to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
. It is off to the east from here and was a complete revelation for Les and me. I thought most of Arizona was comprised of this almost desert-like environment, but when you drive east from here you climb significantly into classic ranching country with pine forests, streams and, in the winter, snow. It reminded me of some of the country in the interior of B.C. and I liked it very much.
At the Tonto Natural Bridge I decided to hike the creek valley down to the bridge so I could walk under the natural bridge. The trailhead sign said it was arduous and not to take it on if you had any health issues. I looked at the surrounding country and thought it couldn’t be anything like what I was used to in our local Rockies. It turned out it wasn’t arduous for me, but what the sign hadn’t said was that a short course in mountaineering would help. The challenge was provided by huge boulders that had come with a rock slide into the valley a long, long time ago. There was no choice but to
clamber over these things, and I was glad that I had my heavy duty hiking boots on. The soles of the boots were perfect for gripping the rock.
We were taken on this trip by Jim and Pat, who are friends of the folks we are staying with and own a high class art gallery in Sedona. They have lived here for sometime and know the country well. The six of us had a great day out and Les and I went to sleep last night with some good memories and some new learnings.
The upcoming weekend is the Memorial Day long weekend down here, so this place would normally be hopping with visitors from Phoenix. However, the consequences of the forest fire may cause many to go elsewhere. We’ll wait and see.
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