Our next to last day in Arizona and our last in Sedona. Woke up early as usual and was putzing around on the Ipad as everyone else was still sleeping. Lisa woke up around 7 and looked out the window and said come look, the clouds were all low in the sky so a quick get dress and I was out(more like ran) the door and told her I'd be back. Now I'd wish I had looked outside when I got up but this was pretty cool still. The clouds were low enough that they were floating by the peaks. First stop was at the Bell Rock Trailhead and some shots of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.
Next stop is the North Bell Rock Path parking lot and heading for high ground. I climbed up a path on the small knoll that starts right from the parking lot and when on the top of this hill start taking pictures. Turning to the north and oops, there is the back of a house right there just beside the incline at the top of the hill. Didn't see any signs posting it as private property but respectfully headed to the south side out of view and took a few more pictures.
Next stop, oops, almost forgot about The Chicken Bitch:
Anyways, next stop is the airport and all the views north from this vantage point.
An hour and half later and I was back at the motel to pick up the girls and go eat breakfast. Afterwards it was off to Cathedral Rock and then over to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
While at the Chapel I discovered or named a formation that looked like Ronald Reagan. He is up on the cliff behind the Chapel as well as The Eagle.
Then it was off to meet the devil, Devil's Bridge that is. Heading west on 89A we turned onto Dry Creek Road and then took Forest Service Road 152 in as far as we dared with the rental car. The FS roads are not maintained dirt roads and not recommended for passenger vehicles. The walk to the trailhead was about a mile and then another mile to the natural stone arch. Taking our time we made it to a spot just below the arch and rested for a bit.
I went ahead up the trail to see how much farther it was and the last couple hundred yards were steep staircases that I did not think was a good idea for Lisa with her fear of heights to do. So back down and we followed a trail that goes to the bottom of the arch and we were rewarded with the incredible view.
Leaving Lisa at the bottom Nakita and I quickly went up to the top and then braved going out on the arch. When I went up the first time and saw it by myself I had no intention of going out on it as there is a big fracture in the middle of it. Also it did not look very wide from were I was standing. But when we got closer to it and on the side that leads out to the arch it is much bigger and wider than I thought. So out we went much to Lisa's disliking and she snapped a picture of us on it from down below. Nakita then went down to get the camera and came back up and a couple who was up there with us took a picture of Nakita and I on it (I don't even know if Lisa knows about this until now).
Our next plan was to head up 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff through Oak Creek Canyon as it is supposed to be quite the scenic ride. After a stop at Dairy Queen we started to head north and almost immediately the monsoons came rolling in. Pouring non-stop rain and that ended that trip. So back down to Sedona and a quick drive on the Red Rock Loop Road and it was not raining in this area. There was time for one more hike and it was only 2.5 miles one way and came highly recommended from someone Lisa knows. Back onto Dry Creek Road and this time all the way up to Boynton Canyon Trail. This trail is a relatively easy trail with very little elevation gain and plenty of views. Not far into this hike and Lisa was not sure if she wanted to do the whole length so she told Nakita and I to go on ahead of her. Now I do not like doing this ever bit she insisted and I still am not comfortable, even now, with leaving someone behind. I left the keys with her and after being assured that she knew which way to get back to the car and if she did turn around to make a big X and leave a stone in the middle of the X so we knew she turned around. This still bugs me that we did not stay together for several reasons but it is what it is and I can assure you never again. The trail is well marked and with all the sights around us and my over zealous picture taking Lisa was right behind us a couple times catching up to us. We passed the Enchantment Resort and came to a stream crossing that if it wasn't for the recent rain would not have been there. Nakita and I stopped marking the path and Lisa came up on us and crossed the stream making me very proud of her for doing it on her own. It was not a big stream but the fact that she rock hopped it without my help was very cool. So ahead we continue and about halfway up the trail changes from open scrub to more woodsy. At one point Nakita comes across a spot where someone had left some incense burning so we knew that somebody (the new-age vortex believing people) else was on the trail. Lisa came up again behind us as we were looking at this spot. Continuing on we kept getting whiffs of the incense and couldn't quite figure out if the scent had stuck to us or if the person was up ahead. I finally guessed that the person (there was only one set of tracks in front of us and the shoe was small so figured it was a female) was ahead of us and burning incense along the way. Incense is not my cup of tea and smelling it on a walk through the woods kind of takes away the reason for getting out in the woods. Well eventually we did come upon this person and indeed I was correct, it was a woman and she was carrying a burning incense as she was walking. Passing her and getting away from that aroma was a big relief and in the end a big miscalculation on my part. In my hurry to catch up to this person and get past her the pace picked up and Lisa was no longer within distance to us. As we got closer to the end of the canyon the trail began closing in and no longer a comfortable trail it was now a path through the woods much like the trails in the White Mountains. At one point I hear Lisa calling us and I yell back with it echoing in the canyon. I assumed she had heard my (another mistake) and Nakita and I continued to the end. The reward was worth the hike as it comes to a complete end on a slabby section and even a trail sign marking the end, try finding that around here!
A quick set of pictures and Nakita and I are off and literally running to find Lisa. As we are running and walking (only for the twisting and rocky sections) back I see something that gives me great relief. My girl did good, she made an X on the trail and put a stick on it. Then another and another and Nakita went off to catch up to her and not much further up we were all back together. I wished and still do that as soon as I heard her yelling that we had turned back to get her and gone up together. She was so close to the end of the trail (about a 1/4 mile) and never got to see the reward for hiking all that way. So we all head back just beating the next batch of rain and our last night in Sedona is upon us. Tomorrow we are off to Jerome and then back to Phoenix for the flight home.