I know I recently made fun of the superlatives of the West, but I have to tell you: Sedona, AZ is amaaaaaazing! I’ve never heard anyone say “meh” about those famous formations, and that’s because this place is so darn pretty! We did lots of research, and discovered an area just outside the no-camping zone of the Red Rocks,where road side stays are permitted. We had a super quiet spot with distant views of the lovely colors, morning hot-air balloon fly-overs, and a roving gang of free range cows. And it was free, because it was in National Forest land.
Our week was mostly lots and lots of hiking. There are about a million trails, and we loved all the routes we explored. We did a couple long hauls that gradually lifted you through the layers, and a couple that were more of a scramble, requiring hands and feet to get you to the top. The one thing they all had in common was perfect views.
Continuously inhabited for thousands of years, this valley contains all kinds of heritage sites. We particularly enjoyed several petroglyph walls, and the interpretations of their meanings from the volunteer docents.
We explored Jerome, an almost ghost town that lives at 5,000 feet, and known for being so steep that buildings have just slid down the hillsides. The skeletons of grand architecture made for some great photography opportunities.
The best part of the week was a visit from my sister, Joan, and brother in law, Richard. Joan rented a house in nearby Cottonwood with a driveway big enough for the RV. We only had 2 full days together, but we really packed in the activities! We went to a couple National Monuments, a state park, and a National Forest.
Slide Rock State Park was a highlight of our adventures, particularly when Joan dared JJ to strip down and try out the natural stone waterslide, flowing with ice cold water. He was absolutely blue when he finished, but he did it!
For a dinky little town, Cottonwood had great food.
It was such a fun visit, but way too short. They are already talking about coming out to see us this summer, to enjoy mountains, hiking, and trout fishing as 10,000 feet!
This morning we said goodbye and moved north. As for where, you’ll just have to guess!
p.s. A giant shout-out to my good friend, Heidi, who learned me about a photo editing app called Pic Stitch. You can thank her for my newly improved visuals!