Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hiking Sedona - (Our amazing hikes into the red mountains.)

Have you ever been somewhere and said to yourself-
 "This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen."
 Go to Sedona. 
You will say it again~~

One morning near the end of our vacation, we stopped for breakfast at a little cafe restaurant and my husband found a book in the gift shop there called "Sedona's Top 10 hikes".  Looking through the book, we realized that we had already done 3 of the hikes without even knowing their significance. Not bad for being "new in town!"
 Come along with me as I take you along on these amazing trips into, around, and on top of 
the red rocks of

Our first hike will take us to the famous
"Cathedral Rock".

When we first arrived in Sedona, we stopped at the Ranger station to pick up some trail information.  In one of the photo books there I saw THE most amazing photo of Cathedral rock towering over still waters, the reflection of the majestic rock shimmering in the water.   "Where is this?" I asked.  "I want to go here!!"  

The ranger explained that we would need to follow the river and that the trail to the reflecting waters was not marked.  Just keep bearing to the left she said~~

Well, we found the water.  Come on -- we must be close!  
~~famous last words~~

"Courthouse Butte" in the distance
(we will go there later!)

3 hours and a few wrong turns later~
we found it!

I was so hot --
and tired--
and hot--
and that water looked so cool
and wonderful~~

I just had too!

we just totally gave in to the cool waters
swimming and laying in the sun

 the view looking away from Cathedral Rock

but, eventually we had to leave~
Trail info:
3 miles round trip
(via the Templeton trail)
moderate difficulty
trail head starts at Verde Valley School road

Sedona is more than just a quiet little town nestled between ruggedly beautiful red mountains~
It is something of an artistic mecca, with handicrafts, art galleries, and a hint of hippie/new age character thrown in for good measure.

Sedona is a haven for those who seek the healing powers
of mystical forces. 
Deep within these mountains are reputed to be
powerful soul cleansing vortexes. 
Bell Rock 
is said to be one of those places.

Come along with us --
we're going to the top!

Along the trail head were artists
painting the legendary

there is no real trail that leads to the top-
just a worn path over the rocks
where over time
souls have climbed in search 
of the mystical powers
that are hidden within the

It's a big climb! 
Here we go!!

We are near the top here~
I'm not sure that I'm feeling any mystical powers,
but the climb has been

leaving our mark to commemorate
this incredible climb~

Sending you all
a little love!

I'm straddling this deep crevice
Working my way back down from the mountain~
and my phone rings!
"hello-- ahh, could you make it quick?"
"I'm sort of in a predicament here!!"

"just down from the mountain"
we did not actually make it all the 
way to the top -- almost,
but I admit that I kind of 
wimped out just short
of the top! 
Trail info:
3.5 miles (to the top and back)
Moderate to hard difficulty
(this trail joins with the Court House Butte trail)

The Courthouse Butte trail is a meandering hike that takes you through lush fields and desert areas as it circles both Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte~

No serious climbing for this hike -- 
we are just taking the long way

Trail info:
4 mile loop trail
easy to moderate difficulty
(this trail intersects with the Bell Rock trail)

We hope you have enjoyed hiking with us in beautiful Sedona. My apologies (again!!) for such a long post -- (I wanted to keep all the hikes in the same place.) During our visits to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, we stayed in Flagstaff and drove the short distances between our hiking destinations.  We LOVED Flagstaff -- it is a destination all by itself and it was the perfect place to stay on our trip.  I have one more post to share with you regarding our trip to this area-- Sunset Crater (and the surrounding Pueblo ruins).  That post will be coming soon-- 
I'm taking a few days to try and organize the Sacred Yarn room so that I can participate in Karen's "Where Women Create" event -- and believe me, this room needs a lot of work!!  This is the one time a year when the room gets a good cleaning and reorganizing -- so I can thank Karen for that!! I hope you will join me here when I open the doors to this special place where I create.  I'll try to make it look pretty for you~~

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hiking the Rim Trail (Grand Canyon South Rim)

"We have an unknown distance yet to run,an unknown river to explore..... with some eagerness and some anxiety and some misgiving we enter the canyon below."
John Wesley- (leader of the first exploration into the Grand Canyon in 1890)

The Rim Trail extends from the village area to Hermits Rest and covers a distance of almost 13 miles. Viewpoints along the way allow for quiet contemplation of the amazing scenery below. The beauty of the rim trail is that you can begin and end at any of the viewpoints, riding the shuttle bus between stops if you wish. 

The South Rim trail is considered to be one of the most scenic hiking trails in all of the canyon. The trail meanders along the canyon rim leading through pinyon pine and Utah juniper, often windblown into exotic shapes.  Come along with us as we casually hike this amazing trail~

these windblown trees have so much character
honestly -- they were one of my favorite things about this hike.

We started our hike in the early morning -- the fog was just lifting over the canyon.  In the early afternoon we took a little break - caught the shuttle back to Bright Angel Lodge and ate our lunch there.   In this photo we are sitting in front of the lodge and have just finished our ice cream cones.  (Espresso with chocolate chunks for me!)  Now we are off to catch the shuttle and resume our hike~

It's a great big place-- this canyon. Just standing here looking out on this vast expanse of space you can't help but think about all that had to happen in order for this place to be here.  This canyon puts time and our short lives~ into perspective.  It demands contemplation -- it cannot be seen in a day, a week, or even a lifetime. 

The Geology Museum
as seen from the rim trail
At the end of the day~
we completed about 8 miles of the 13 mile distance,
stopping to take lots of photos and just
gaze upon the amazing scenery.
 next trip we will plan to start where we left off and 
complete the hike covering the distance that we missed
on this trip
for those of you who are not inclined to hike~
you can see many of these amazing scenes
without ever putting on a pair of hiking boots.
You can simply drive along 
the Desert View road
stopping at the various viewpoints
 along the way.

I'm sharing with you some of the great buildings to be found along the South rim of the canyon.  This is the Grand Canyon Railroad station, dating back to the early part of the century. You can find info about riding the train to the canyon here.  

There are just never enough days to
do all the things you want to do!!
Riding the train is on our list
for next trip!

My favorite building (besides the Watch Tower!).  This is the Hopi House -- another of Mary Coulter's famous architectural designs.
Designed to replicate ancient Hopi Indian dwellings -- this is thought to be one of her greatest achievements. 

The Hopi House has been featuring native American artwork, jewelry, and Indian designs of all kinds for over 100 years.  Today, the Hopi House is a beautiful Native American gift shop featuring beautiful Indian jewelry pieces as well as other Native American art.  Watch your step when you enter -- the doors are short!

The geology museum sits right on the edge of the canyon and houses some amazing geological displays as well as a bookstore. The entire back wall of the museum features a floor to ceiling window for viewing of the canyon below.

The heat of the day quickly drops to COLD temperatures when the sun sets behind  the canyon.  At the end of our very long day -- and still we are walking around, I was freezing!! Because I can't stand to be cold -- I hiked to the car and grabbed the only warmth I could find -- this travel blanket.  And because I have NO shame--I wore it the rest of the evening!

Our National Parks are one of our greatest treasures.
If you have never visited a National Park -- by all means do so.
They are here for our pleasure~~ for our lifetime 
and for that of our children~

Some updates -
we have just returned from travels again -- this time we went to the beach and spent 10 glorious days at our condo.

Sunrise as seen from my balcony 

Now that we are home, I am crazy busy catching up with all the things that don't get done when you are away!  We drove to the beach and in tow were all of the latest additions to the Pink Scarf Project. I spent hours taking photos of your beautiful contributions while at the beach -- and I can't wait to share the gorgeous photos with you soon!  While I was there ~ I finished my own contribution to the Pink Scarf Project and I'm very excited to be sharing that with you also.

Up next -- more of our hiking photos from out west -- I'm taking you to beautiful, amazing, breathtaking Sedona. That post will be coming up soon! (I promise not to be gone so long this time!) I've tried to visit every single person who left a comment on my last post -- and I'm trying to catch up with all my blogging friends now!



I'm excited to once again participate in Karen's fabulous
 "Where Blogger's Create party".
If you would like to share your creative space
(no matter how big or small!)
visit Karen for all the info. 
It's an amazing party -- 
and a wonderful opportunity to make new friends.
Plan to visit me here when I 
open up the doors to the
Sacred Yarn room~
(but first I have to clean it up!!)
The party starts July 12!!