This is the second installment in a chapter or section of the book about Sedona.
Links to previous installments:
We followed Highway 179 as it wound through Oak Creek.
Dusk became dark while we filled up with gas and bought some necessities. We checked into Quail Ridge Resort, a rustic collection of A-frame cabins. When we walked into our home for the next week I was immediately reminded of the simple “cottage resort” my family visits every summer.
The main floor was open concept with the fridge, stove, kitchen table, and two single beds. The third bed was upstairs in the loft.
The furniture was the kind you would see in diners. There was lots of melamine, metal, and vinyl seat coverings. It was spare, and durable, but dated – the kind of stuff you would expect at a high traffic cabin of decades gone by.
“At least it’s clean!” announced Debbie, the most optimistic of our trio.
We shrugged it off, knowing our last three days were going to be spent in more luxurious Scottsdale. We were here for what was outdoors – a pool, hot tub and exploring the red rock treasures of Sedona.
The next week we hiked everywhere we could. From dawn to dusk, we explored canyons, trails, sacred pools and Boynton Canyon. We eased our sore muscles in the hot tub at the end of each day before cleaning up and going out for dinner.
It was when we went into town that we were reminded of the apocalyptic state of the new post 9/11 era. It was then that we realized there was a reason that we had the trails pretty much to ourselves. Almost no one was traveling.
We were greeted with open arms and open hearts everywhere we went. One after the other, shop owners, servers, pretty much everyone we spent money with would practically embrace us. Over and over they would say
“Thank you for coming!”
“We’re so happy you are here!”
If we got into conversation it would evolve to “It’s usually much busier.” Or “Your so brave, traveling.”
I don’t think we felt brave, necessarily, but does anyone ever? What I do know is we weren’t so keen on being afraid. We kept our focus on what we were there to do.
Explore the red rocks and enjoy having Sedona unexpectedly to ourselves.
By day we hiked every possible canyon, from Boynton to Oak Creek. I was captivated by the landscape and went to bed every night with a virtual slideshow playing in my head. The more my mind’s eye was exposed to the landscape, the more I came alive. I slept deeply and woke each morning raring to go.
I was the back country hiking virgin of our trio. I had never been on a hike long enough to require anything beyond the facilities at the trailhead. My unique status became apparent the first time our hike outlasted the capacity of my bladder. Up until then, I had kept a delicate balance between how hydrated I felt and needing to pee. In other words, I was running around chronically dehydrated.
On a particularly grueling hike, my desert thirst got the best of me and I upped my intake. Of course it went straight through me. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I had to admit that this city girl had never relieved myself in the wild, and I had no idea how to maneuver and not soak myself.
My admission was met with gales of laughter, and when they realized I wasn’t joking, a lesson on finding just the right slope.
For a rookie, I did all right.