October 26 – 28, 2012
After leaving the frigid Grand Canyon, we drove straight down to Sedona. Once we descended into Oak Creek Canyon we gained about 40 degrees in air temp. Sedona scenery is spectacular, but the town is a bit busy and full of grouchy retirees. We set up camp in the desert on a forest road south of the Sedona scene. We went back up to town for dinner and had a surprisingly fantastic pizza at “A Pizza Heaven”. After surviving a mild sandstorm at our camp site, Tayler and I looked like extras from Mad Max.
The next day we woke up early to beat the heat and headed to Bear Mountain west of Sedona. The trail was pretty straight up, climbing 2,000 in two and a half miles.
We were glad that we brought lots of water as it got over 80F before we made it to the top.
Luckily, Tayler brought a little bottle of Gatorade:
And was nice enough to share:
We went through two different geologic regions, starting in the dark red rock at the bottom, then about 1,000 feet up the rock switched to yellowish sandstone. I’m not sure what the geology story was.
The view from the ridgeline to the summit was of the sandstone formations around Sedona and the wide open plains to the west.
At Walmart, Tayler found the perfect recovery food, hot dog flavored chips. Don’t worry, no hot dogs were harmed in the manufacture of these chips – they were 100% artificially flavored!
That night we slept at Lake Pleasant which is a misnomer if there ever was one. It turns out that it is the meeting place of all idiots and teenagers with 4x4s within a 100 mile radius. We had the luxury of paying $10 to camp in what amounted to a pullout while people wizzed around us in trucks, presumably completely hammered, until the sun was nearly up again. This is the stuff memories are made of.
After Tayler fulfilled his life long dream of camping at Lake Pleasant Arizona, he figured there wasn’t much else to look forward to seeing in the southwest, so he got on the first flight back to Vermont from Phoenix. He just made out home before the whole country’s air traffic got screwed up by hurricane Sandy.
Later that day we did a much needed load of laundry in Tucson. Then, we visited Jenny’s high school friend Alexis, her husband and three boys that night. We carved pumpkins for Halloween, which was super fun. Jenny and I chose the cat bat, which is pretty scary. Also featured was the guy with scary teeth, the grim reaper and the traditional jack-o-lantern guy.
We considered dipping into Mexico since we were only a half hour away, but chickened out after hearing stories about what goes on right on the other side of the border. If we had more time I think it would have been fun to have driven deeper into Mexico where things are a little less crazy.