On our way to Sedona, we passed by Winslow, Arizona. Back in 1993, Jackson Brown and the Eagles recorded a video in the town to coincide with a line from the hit song, Take It Easy. “I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me.” This was not a planned stop, but how could we not stop by the check it out? We went into the Visitor’s Center and were told that this song put this small town on the map. We walked five blocks to the corner of Kingsley and East 2nd Street to find an iconic mural and sculpture of Jackson Browne on the corner “…in Winslow, Arizona…”and Glen Frey a few feet away. Here I am with Jackson.
Directly across the street is a gift shop with a sign depicting the famous line.
In the middle of the intersection is the image of the old road sign for Hwy 66. I got a shot of Scott driving down the road with our home.
There isn’t really much more to say about the town. It is super quaint and there are several restaurants as well as gift shops in the area selling memorabilia connected to this song and Highway 66. The song, Take It Easy, was the town’s claim to fame.
After we had our touristy fill, we continued on and found a place to boon dock just outside of Sedona.
The next morning, Scott took a walk up a nearby hill and took a picture of our campsite from up above. Can you find our trailer?
We headed out to hike Bear Mountain Trail, a 4.3 mile out and back trail located near Sedona.
It is rated as a strenuous hike and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. It has three peaks, two false summits before you arrive at the top. The trail had steep inclines (gaining more than 2,000’ in about two miles), large boulders and plenty of loose rocks. As the trail begins, you cannot see the actual summit.
A little ways ahead, just before the initial incline, I noticed the trail sign below. I didn’t take the time to actually read the bottom portion of the sign as I quickly snapped a picture of the trail sign as I always do. It wasn’t until I was writing this blog that I realized it was a memorial marker for a man who had lost his life falling off a 70’ ledge. OMG! I googled his name to learn more about it. Scary.
The weather today was sunny and pleasant with temperatures in the low 70’s. There were minimal spots with shade which is typical when you hike in a desert. On the way up, we passed a couple our age sitting in a little bit of shade with their two VERY large Irish Wolfhounds. The larger dog of the two was panting heavily. Scott said that he never saw a dog pant that hard before. They told us that the dog had lost one of her nails, and they were taking a break before heading back down. The hound had been bleeding from the wound, too. I asked how much the dog weighed and the owner said about 150 pounds. Then, I asked if he ever had to lift the dog. He responded no and said he hoped he never would have to. We continued on with our hike. When we came upon a rare shaded spot, we sat down to rest.
We walked to the edge to take a look at the breathtaking view.
By the time we made it to the second false summit, I wanted to turn around and call it a day. Some hikers on their way back down encouraged us to continue on as they said the view on top was spectacular. So, we continued on until I needed to take another short break.
When we got to the peak, there was a large group taking photos, and they offered to take our picture. If you look closely to my left, you can see the snow capped Humphrey’s Mountain in the background.
Here is another look from the opposite viewpoint.
And, here is another viewpoint.
The hike back down is always my favorite. Sometimes, it is hard for me to slow down as it feels like I am skiing on my feet. Today, however, things were different. I forgot to bring my knee band, which meant I had to be extra careful with each step so as not to mess up my left knee anymore. When we were two-thirds of the way back down, a young couple on their way up warned us that there was a dead dog on the trail up ahead. They didn’t want us to be surprised. As we drew nearer, we saw the same couple as earlier with one of their dogs under a small tree trying to find shade. The woman was crying and the man looked distraught. About ten feet ahead of them on the trail, lay the deceased dog covered in a blanket. They were out of water so Scott gave the rest of his water to the other dog, who lapped it up immediately. There were four hikers behind us and they gave their water to the couple, too. Apparently, they did call 911. By the time help arrived, the dog had passed away most likely from heat exhaustion. A firefighter brought up a blanket to cover the dog, and then he went back down to get a stretcher and call for more assistance. It is one of the saddest things I have every witnessed. I could have left this sad story out of the blog, but something pushed me to share it. That dog didn’t have to lose her life today. Should large, shaggy dogs be hiking in the hot desert? I read that they prefer cold weather and often seek a cold, hard floor in the summer months. Did this really have to happen?
On Monday, we went to Slide Rock State Park, originally known as the Pendley Homestead, it is now a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona. Pendley was able to establish a unique irrigation system and successfully grow apples. The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a summer-like temperature of 85 degrees. You have to walk down a flight of stairs to get to the water. First, we chose to walk around the trail up above to see the swimming area down below.
In the picture below, you can see water rapids near the woman in a blue top. That is part of the rock sliding area.
We headed down the steps and found a spot to warm up in the sun before attempting sliding in the cold water, which was only about 40-50 degrees. I found a nice, private spot on the other side of the water.
If you zoom in to the picture below, look behind the man with the blue shirt. You can see people sitting on the water’s edge. That is where the slide begins with rapidly flowing water.
After a little basking in the sun, we both slid down the rock, twice! It takes your breath away! We couldn’t get out of the water fast enough. We have no pictures since we did it together. Somehow, on the way in I forgot to take a picture of the park sign…so I took this one on our way out instead.
When we got back to camp, our camping neighbors from BC, Roy and Shannon, asked us to join them later for a campfire. Another full-timing RV couple, Chris and Ann from Ohio, joined us, too. We had started out just before the sun set. I needed to go back to the trailer to get a fresh drink and use the facility. We left the trailer’s outside light on which made it easier to see. When I started walking back to the campfire, I realized that it had gotten much darker. I had to walk about 30 feet straight and then make a 90 degree turn towards the fire pit. My brain was saying, “Go back and get a headlamp”, but I just kept going. Next thing I knew something hard had stopped me in my tracks and I was lying on a rock with my arms stretched out in front of me. It was not very pretty. I ended up cutting and bruising my left ankle (which took the brunt of the fall), bruising my right knee (thankfully the bad left knee was unscathed), and pulling a muscle on my left side. That pain felt like a broken rib. Unfortunately, it changed our hiking plans for the next few days in Sedona. What I have learned from this experience is that if you have an ailment that is bothering you, just hurt another part of your body and the original ailment seems to dissipate. This is the rock that I fell on.
Here is a picture of Roy and Shannon from British Columbia that we took on our last day in Mesa, AZ.
The next day we walked around the beautiful town of Sedona. It is meticulously manicured with beautiful flowers all around, and the Mountain View is simply breathtaking. Take the time to zoom into the picture below.
On Tuesday, April 9, we took a drive to Jerome State Historical Park. Shannon and Roy had mentioned that is was pretty cool to see this old mining village that was built on the hills. It was considered “American’s Most Vertical City” and “Largest Ghost Town in America”. This historic copper mining town is located on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200’) between Prescott and Flagstaff . Today it is a bustling tourist magnet and artistic community. We parked at the museum and took a photo of some homes on the hill.
Outside in the back of the museum you can see a rather large private residence as well as old mining tools.
In the picture below, you can see the iconic “J” carved into the mountain.
If you zoom into the picture below, you can see the Cement Factory to the far right and Humphreys Peaks dead center.
We found a little cafe in the town of Jerome where we enjoyed lunch.
We returned to our campsite for one last night – alone. Everybody who had been camping out there had moved on.
The next morning, we headed to an RV Resort with pools and saunas…just what my body needed. It was nice to see palm trees lining the road that led into the resort.
It was warm but extremely windy, which made it feel a bit chilly. That didn’t stop me from getting in some laps. It was the one exercise that didn’t hurt the injury to my left ankle.
That night, we saw a beautiful crescent moon in the night sky.
My honey took me out for a nice Italian meal before I headed out the next morning for ten days in New Jersey.
To be continued.