Sunday, February 28, 2010
Anyway, we took the Thunder Mountain trail to the Chimney Rock trail. There are two loops one can take, the upper or lower Chimney Rock trail. We took the Upper loop the first day. It had some spectacular views but I forgot my camera (even though it is on Judy's list by the garage door). What a shame. Chimney Rock is sort of between the formations near downtown Sedona and the formations toward the south, so you get great views in both directions. It was pretty muddy and fairly steep at times so it took us a couple of hours to make the loop.
The next time we took the cut-off for the lower trail. This trail also had great scenery and was a little easier on the thighs than the upper trail. We've done the lower loop again since the first time and it will definitely go on the list of trails to do for our company. Here are a few photos. Remember, you can double click on the photo to zoom it...
Monday, February 22, 2010
We've had a fun few days since the last blog. Curt and I have taken a number of great hikes - Boynton Canyon and the old ruin along with a hike up Doe Mountain. We also took another drive down the Diamondback Gulch road (see last's years blog). We encountered 3 people who had rented ATVs, one of which broke down halfway up the last climb out of the gulch. We helped him shove it to the side of the trail and offered him a ride to the rental office but they decided to stay together and double up. I'm sure they had to walk up some of the other climbs.
My sister Carol, from California, arrived on saturday for a few days. She flew into Flagstaff so we drove up there to pick her up. She had a pretty bumpy flight as the weather was pretty bad. She is leaving today and Flag is snowed in, so she'll take the van to Phoenix and fly home from there.
On Saturday afternoon, I took a half day workshop on Intro to Pastel at the Sedona Art Center with Michael Chesley Johnson. It will finish up next saturday so I'll let you know how it went next week. I like the approach he is taking. We are all working from the same reference and following a process to get to completion. So far, so good.
Despite the shakey weather we had a great day on Sunday. In the morning we took the Jeep over the Broken Arrow trail. Carol and Curt had a blast (as did I).
Then, the 4 of us took the short hike into Fay Canyon and ate lunch on the boulders at the trail end. We got hailed on when walking out. It was an interesting experience. From there we went to the Sinaqua ruins at Honanki. Got hailed on there too. We had the place to ourselves. Who else would go out in this weather? As usual, we took the back trail home from Honanki and encountered lots of slick rock and mud (see Jeep photo).
This back road gives us great panoramic views from the Red Rocks of Sedona to the snow capped mountains to the south. Although it was a bit stormy, from time to time an opening would appear in the clouds and throw sunlight across the landscape and light up some of the red rocks. It was really impressive. Here are a couple of Curt's photos.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
We were able to drive the Jeep along the Rim Road and stop wherever we wanted. (After March 1st, this road is only accessible via shuttle bus.) Sunrise was 7:15 and we got there about 8:45, so the sun had come up a bit but there still plenty of shadows cast in the canyon. We all took about 60 photos. There were just so many opportunities around every bend. I'll include just a couple. I am determined to try to do a large landscape of morning at the Grand Canyon.
A road just above the falls led across the Little Colorado. I wasn't sure what was under the water, mud or ledge, but figured the only way to find out was to drive in. Curt jumped on some rocks in the river to get a photo of the attempt. It turns out it was pretty solid ledge and pretty shallow. Later when the snow melt fills this river, it is fairly trick to cross.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
We left Amarillo before dawn and got to Sedona before sunset. It was a long day in the saddle. At the end, the Jeep looked like it was "rode hard and put up wet". We were glad to toss back a couple of beers on the Sullivan's deck and watch the sun go down.
We got up early to get a good start and got on I-40 before 7am. The Garmin said next turn in 560 miles (or something like that). It is a long haul across North Texas and all of New Mexico. Not much to comment on as the scenery looks a lot like the picture.
We gassed up in Albuquerque and decided to take an early lunch at the Laguna Reservation. Like the Whistle Stop in Texas, we wanted to stop at an off-beat place. We saw hand-made signs on the highway directing us to a place where we could get Fry Bread and Indian Tacos. So we pulled off the interstate and found the little building. The Laguna woman slid the screen window open and we ordered our lunch. She was very nice and friendly and 10 minutes later she slid the window open again and handed us our lunches. Check it out in the photos. It was terrific, if you like that kind of stuff.
After we left El Morro, we passed through the Zuni Reservation. No photos allowed on the reservation. The highway runs through town so one can get a look at the homes. Pretty rough looking accomodations. We did see a number of mud-ovens with people cooking their Zuni bread outdoors.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Well, we made it from Tyler to Amarillo without too much trouble. As expected, it snowed overnight and dumped 3+ inches on the ground. Curt cleaned off the Jeep as Judy and I finished our coffee and we left around 7am.
We had the roads pretty much to ourselves as we headed towards Dallas. The road was beautuful but we saw many cars and trucks in the ditch. The bridges were very iced over. It was pretty intense for a few hundred miles.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The city itself is fairly run down. We took the Scenic Route around the town and ran into a few seedy neighborhoods, some right next to the upscale B&B's. Can you see the cannon on the lawn in the picture to the left? The town is nestled among many rolling hills and ravines which made it nearly impossible to conquer. Grant finally won the battle after many unsuccessful attempts by locking the city down in a seige.
From there we headed south to NC to freeload off the Hathaways. We were picking up my brother-in-law, Curt, who is coming with us to spend a week in AZ. The drive to their home was pretty uneventful despite the record snow that had fallen in the Mid-Atlantic states, until Lady Garmin had us take the loop road around Baltimore. This is where we saw that the snow plowing leaves a bit to be desired. Lanes would just disappear as the plow must have meandered along the highway. Traffic was crawling and we lost a lot of time taking the safe route. We then encountered some driving rain before arriving in Weddington, NC around 6:30.
Curt and Terry had prepared a great meal of pasta with broiled tomatoes and great steaks. Kaleigh was away at UNC. She just got back from a full semester at the University of Ghana, yes, Ghana as in Ghana, Africa. And, guess what, she made the X-country team and competed in meets. What an experience.
Kelsey is a junior in a new high school. There is a new HS at the end of their street, so she had to go there. ALL of her friends are at the old HS. She is pretty despondent about it. But I think we cheered her up by saying, "Who needs friends" and "Friends are overrated". She has submitted some of her art work to be accepted in the Governor's School program this summer. She's pretty talented. Here are a couple of photos. The one on the left looks like an intreresting exercise and the one on the right is a Klimt.
We left NC at 6:45. After a stop at Starbucks we made our way through SC, GA, AL and into MS. We will visit the battlefield at Vicksburg today. The forecast is for a winter storm coming through, so we will hightail it to Texas around noon and hope we miss the brunt of the storm. More to follow.