Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sedona - jeep tour and Little Horse Canyon

Roger here...  In the last post we promised a summary of our late-day jeep tour.  The time-share group did indeed follow through with the trip even though we did not buy a time-share.  Since Dianne and I had different perspectives of the trip, a "he said, she said" might be an appropriate format for this part of the post.

 He said, "Our 4:00 p.m. tour ended up being a 4:30 tour, so we walked a little bit in downtown Sedona, had a delicious Oak Canyon Ale, and a cup of chocolate ice cream.  Beer and ice cream --- the perfect snack.

She said, "Well, the ice cream was pretty good and we had plenty of time to eat it.   Those of you who know Roger already know we got there at 3:30.  Had I known what lie ahead, I would have thought it was my last meal."

He said, "the three-hour tour was conducted in a sturdy and very safe jeep.  It must have been very safe, since we did not sign waivers.  Five other very nice people were also on the tour."

She said,  "Instead of Safari Jeep Tours, the jeep should have been labeled 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.'
I am convinced we were sent on this tour as punishment for not buying into the time share."

He said, "Our driver was Travis.  I liked him.  For our safety, we told him that we liked him, often.  He took us on roads, the likes of which I have never been on before.  I liken the road to a jerky roller coaster that is not attached to a track.  What fun!  Wheeeeee!  Travis also encouraged us to relax and not fight the bumpy ride.  Our muscles and joints will tell the tale of whether his advice was correct."

She said, "Roads?   What roads?!  I was holding on for dear life, eyes closed for much of it.   Travis did seem like a nice kid, but I cannot believe some of the rocks and ledges we climbed and went over.  I still can't believe we didn't flip over.   'Going with the flow' was not really an option if you did not want to land in the lap of the very nice person seated opposite you in the back of the jeep."

He said, "We were able to see portions of Sedona that we would not otherwise have been able to see.  Our low-clearance Toyota would have bottomed out after the first 100 feet.

She said, "No sh#t."

He said, "Travis did a great job of describing the importance of the Century (Agave) Plant that will be explained in the next section of this post."

She said, "By that point I was ready to render my own tequila from the agave plant and suck it dry."

He said,  Travis took us to the ruins of an ancient native-american culture. Dianne and I probably agree on this one --- no comparison to Mesa Verde."

She said, "Agreed."

He said, "As evening crept over the landscape the lighting over the formations enhanced their beauty."

She said, "By this point the rock formations had lost all novelty and I just wanted to go home."

He said, "Travis joked often about not knowing the way back.  What a hoot!"

She said, "Travis was funny, all right, but I couldn't laugh because my jaws were too tired from being clenched for three hours."

This picture has nothing to do with the jeep tour other than the fact that it was taken as we safely pulled out of the parking lot after the tour.  I am pretty sure that I have alluded to the mystical aura of this place :-).  

A night of sleep.  Then...

Roger here...  We decided to sleep a little later the next morning.  We both woke up without any sore muscles from our off-road adventure.  A little surprising.

With a little coffee, the morning cobwebs cleared.  We walked the dogs, put them into the car, and drove to state road 179 on the opposite side of Cathedral Rock from where we were before.  We stopped at a forest service information station and got directions to the Little Horse Trail.  This trail was one-and-a-half miles in, and then the same distance for the return trip.  It came highly recommended --- for good reason.

This is the trail head.  The forest service cairns that mark the trails are essentially wire baskets that are filled with rocks.  When we could find them, they were very helpful.  A few more of them would be nice.

I actually DID live through the jeep ride, as documented above.
We could have done a 3-miler around the perimeter of Bell Rock (in the background of this photo), but I think this was a better choice.  The views were ho hum spectacular --- the norm in the Sedona area.

During the first third of the hike we turned a corner and were surprised to see this architecturally iconic chapel.  We  tried to visit it after the hike, but like many attractions in the Sedona area, we could not find a place to park.  Honestly, seeing it from a distance might have been better anyway.  We might try to see it again before we leave.

We did not know it at the time, but our destination was on the other side of the rock formations in this picture.

Here we are a little closer.  

Before reaching the end of the trail, we walked around this petrified flying saucer...

... only to find out that it had crashed into a second flying saucer.

We also passed the gigantic busts of two Aztecs --- a lady in the foreground wearing a crown with her husband behind her.

We walked by this dry creek bed while climbing up to a solid rock plateau.

We passed this colorful wall taking note of the rockslide in the center.  

We admired the effects of erosion on all of the rock formations.

We talked several times along the way about how we would know when the trail ended, and why was the trail name, "Little Horse"?  As we were wandering around the top of a red rock plateau we discovered the answer.  The horse in the formation has a rider.  The formation is "little" only in the context of the surrounding vistas.

Can you see the horse rearing up and its rider?

Hey-y-y we're half-way there...  Oh-h-h livin' on a prayer. 

What a view of our trip back to the trailhead from the top of our rocky plateau.

That looks like a climbable rock.

What a waterfall this probably is on a rainy day.

We have seen many agave plants here (also known as century plants).  This one in full bloom was especially striking.  btw.  You do know that tequila is made from the agave plant.  No agave plants = no margaritas.

Dianne especially liked this prickly pear cactus flower because of its reddish center.  btw.  No prickly pear cacti = no prickly pear margaritas.  

Speaking of tequila... There were plenty of lizards for our dog, Tequila, to chase.  A six foot hop-lunge before reaching the end of her leash.

Can you spot the small cairn on the edge of the ledge atop this rock formation?

So much to see, but we have been hiking for three days in a row.  

A good lunch with outdoor seating for the dogs at the Blue Moon Cafe was a perfect end to our trek.

The next post... another six mile hike.  This time in Oak Creek Canyon.

The pet pictures of the day show Bandido and Tequila attentively sitting before receiving treats at the half-way point of our hike.  Dianne insisted that I take pictures from two angles.  Mom and Dad had apples.


Nancy and Bill said...

Love the "He said, She said" really is all about point of view;o)) Still this area sure is on our radar. Be safe and keep having fun or whatever you call it!!!

heyduke50 said...

Ha! Glad to see Diane enjoyed it as much as you ;)