Sunday, February 16, 2014

WE SLIPPED QUIETLY IN & OUT OF SEDONA THIS MORNING WHILE IT WAS STILL SLEEPING:))

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(this is Sunday’s post)

Pheebs had me up at 4 a.m. wanting to go out.  That’s unusual for her.  She wanted out again at 5 so my day started very early.  Combine that with a long blog post & getting to bed late Saturday night & I was a definite leading candidate for the Mr. Cranky Pants award today.  Other than having to put up with myself all day we had us another great Jeep tumble & a hike plus some ancient Indian ruins.

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KELLY SPOTTED A COUPLE OF GOOD BOARDS SO HAD ME BACK UP TO GET THEM…SHE IS SO MUCH LIKE HER DAD:))

We knew we had to get on the road early to beat the rush so to speak so we were out the door shortly after 7:30 a.m. headed into Sedona.  Spotted 5 hot air balloons just lifting off into the cloudy morning sky.  How nice to drive along Sedona’s main street without all the rabble rouser traffic.  Picked up some gas & headed for Sedona’s mountain top airport.  We were up there one time back in 07 & remember seeing the red bi-plane sitting on the tarmac.  No red bi-plane this morning.

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This morning we parked near the viewpoint & hiked down the Airport trail.  Near the bottom the trail intersected with another trail leading up to the top of a large Vortex rock formation.  A good rock scramble for Pheebs & I while Kelly headed back up the Airport trail to retrieve the Jeep & bring it down to the lower parking lot.  Didn’t take Pheebs & I long to scramble ourselves all the way up to the top of the big rock for a big game of ‘King Of The Castle.  Pheebs is just the greatest climber.

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Great views overlooking Sedona all round from atop the rock.  Big red mountains everywhere.  One lady meditating.  That is till Pheebs walked over & planted a smooch on her.  Unlike me, Pheebs is such a big people person.  Took a bunch of photos as I orientated myself as to where things were.  Saw highway 179 was already getting busy.  That was the highway we used as an escape route out of Sedona Saturday. 

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PHEEBS & I HEADED UP TO THE TOP OF THIS VORTEX HILL

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PHEEBS SLIPPED UP BEHIND THIS MEDITATING LADY & PUT A SMOOCH ON HER

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THAT’S HIGHWAY 179 & THE ONE WE USED TO ESCAPE SEDONA’S TRAFFIC SATURDAY

Even got a picture of Kelly coming down the Airport hill with the Jeep.  I knew she wasn’t interested in climbing up the rock so Pheebs & I came back down to meet her in the parking lot.  From there it was off to JoJo Love’s coffee shop for a couple of brews to go.  And go we did as the morning was wearing on & traffic was building.

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DOWNTOWN SEDONA

We headed north out of town on Dry Creek Road knowing this would eventually loop around the rocky mountainside & bring us back to our rig.  Also knew it would take us in close to more mighty fine mountain scenery.  A couple dead end roads finally had us turned around heading the right way.  Pavement soon ended & we were once again off like a herd of Turtles in a cloud of Arizona Heifer dust as we went merrily bouncing along another rough & tumble Jeep road. 

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I TOLD PHEEBS TO WATCH FOR MOM COMING DOWN THAT ROAD IN THE JEEP

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SHE’S SURE KEEPING A VIGILANTE LOOKOUT

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AND SURE ENOUGH PHEEBS SPOTS HER AS KELLY GETS OUT OF THE JEEP IN RIGHT PHOTO & WALKS TOWARDS THE HILL…PHEEBS WASN’T LONG IN GETTING DOWN THE HILL TO GREET HER

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I COULD TELL BY KELLY’S CROSSED ARM STANCE SHE HAD NO INTENTIONS OF CLIMBING THE HILL SO PHEEBS & I HEADED DOWN BUT NOT BEFORE PHEEBS POSED FOR A TOURIST PHOTO

We knew the Sinagua ancient Indian dwellings were somewhere out in this neck of the mountains somewhere so that became our day’s destination.  We didn’t encounter many vehicles as we wound our way further out & away from populated Sedona.  This wasn’t a road one could go fast on so we puttered & bounced along just enjoying the awe inspiring mountain scenery around us.  And of course all the greenery.  Lot of Manzanita plants out this way.  They have the loveliest dark & shiny smooth burgundy bark to them & are sought after for walking sticks.  Think it was 5 or 6 miles of dusty twisting road before we finally reached the HONANKI HERITAGE RUINS

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I was elated to see nobody was there.  Kelly & I both enjoy quietly exploring around old ruins opening our imaginations to what once may have been.  I always try to get a feel for places where history has left old ghosts, old memories, & old legendary tales.  But alas, it was not to be today.  We hadn’t even got out of the Jeep when 2 Pink Jeep tour vehicles came noisily rumbling into the parking area.  A minute later it sounded like a whole flock of Geese had landed as people came tumbling out of the Jeeps.  I just couldn’t believe our luck.  What a rotten piece of timing!!!!!!!!!!!  If I thought I was cranky from lack of sleep before I was now a total basket case of crank.  Kept my door closed with the windows up so I couldn’t hear all the noisy cackling while Kelly walked over to a small building where a trail guide was stationed.  Didn’t know it but the Pink Jeep Tour organization has the contract to look after & maintain these ruins & the lady in the kiosk building works for Pink Jeep Tours.  Very nice lady.  Of course no dogs allowed on the trails so I stayed in the Jeep all in a huff.  Kelly motioned for me to hurry up & we could get on the trail before all the people did.  So leaving Pheebs in the Jeep that’s what we did.

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WE QUICKLY RUSH DOWN THE TRAIL TO THE RUINS AT THE BOTTOM OF A CLIFF FACE

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It was cloudy & not hot so Pheebs was fine staying in the Jeep for a bit.  Lady said all the Jeep people had to stop at the trail head first anyway & if we hurried we could get to the ruins a short distance away.  And hurry we did as we scooted along a well worn trail with trees & green shrubbery all around us like a tropical Isle.  We were soon upon the ruins themselves scurrying around like a couple of nervous little ground Squirrels trying to see as much as we could before the ‘gang’ got there.

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LOOK CLOSELY FOR THE ANCIENT STONE WALL

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PICTOGRAPHS

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These are amazing ruins sheltered under the lee of a huge rock cliff.  Many walls are still standing & it is easy to see how rooms were laid out & how the ancient people lived.  There were countless Pictographs on the rock face along with a few Petroglyphs.  Much history here & I managed to grab a few photos before the crowd showed up.  We heard them approaching down the trail so we quickly faded ourselves away on another trail & made our way back to the trail head.  Talked to the lady there for a bit then Jeeped ourselves away a short distance to another trail head.

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Lady had told us about another trail heading in to a ranch nearby so off we went in search of the old Hancock Ranch.  We all needed some hiking exercise anyway so it felt good to get some boots & paws on the ground again.  No matter where one goes in these parts there are always mountains & huge colorful rock formations present.  Would have been extra nice if we would have had some sunshine to bring all the colors out but no matter, sunshine or not the scenery here is always outstanding. 

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LOVE THESE MANZANITAS

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SCRUB JAY

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Hiked in far enough to see the ranch across a meadow.  A caretaker looks after things there now & the owner has moved into town.  When we stood looking at that secluded little ranch way out there I couldn’t help but think, if only I could get this restless nature of mine under control I could easily see myself contentedly living in a place like that for the rest of my days with very little contact with the outside world anymore.  Well, I’d keep my computer for blogging of course:))  Now this might surprise you but Kelly feels much the same but not quite to the extent I do.  In fact it’s not out of the question that at some point in the not too distant future we just might make a few necessary changes & do what we have often talked about doing for a long time now.  Yep, we just might alright………………….

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Back to the trail head it was Peanut Butter sandwich time again before resuming our dusty homeward trek back to the rig about 6 miles away.  Just as the day before we noticed a lot of vehicles coming the other way as more & more people were heading out onto the roads & trails.  Had a bunch of ATV’s behind me so pulled into a clearing that happened to have a wooden cattle pen.  Looked interesting so we got for look around & discovered a pond of damed up water commonly referred to as a Tank.

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This road to & from the Honanki Heritage Site can be done with a domestic 2 wheel drive.  Just know the road is very rocky & bumpy in places so you might want to cinch up that seat belt an extra notch.

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We were back to the rig about 2:15 just as a few patches of blue began to appear through the mottled gray cloud cover.  All & all a good day despite Mr. Cranky Pants having a few snarly melt downs along the way.

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GROANER’S CORNER:((  News reporter Teresa Brown was interested in gender roles Sunni Muslims practiced particularly in Afghanistan.  Back in the 1990s long before the current Afghan hostility she noted that women walk about four paces behind their husbands.  When Teresa returned to Kabul in 2011 she noted with regret that women still walk behind their husbands.  She pondered why, despite the establishment of women's rights, wives still walk behind their husbands.

Later the intrepid reporter fell into conversation with one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?'

The woman looked Ms Brown straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, "Land mines."  She filed her report back to America with the leader:  Behind every Afghan man, there's one darn smart woman!

20 comments:

  1. You would probably not be happy at the ranch, being as the pink jeep organization knows about the place. Well, I guess you could post "no pink jeeps" signs. :-)

    Craig MacKenna

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  2. Loved loved loved the photos today, Al...beyond wonderful. Red rocks are colorful no matter the weather and Pheebs looked adorable on those rocks

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  3. Heh heh ... Mr. Cranky Pants! (we call Finney Mr. Sassy Pants!!!)

    Your hikes are so lovely, and the red rocks of Sedona are just amazing. You take such good pics that each one is like a postcard.

    Your sweet Pheebs was so adorable watching for the Jeep on the road. She sure is a great hiking partner!
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  4. Gorgeous photos. I feel like I am them.

    We really enjoying looking at pictographs. I try to image how the people must have felt when they were drawing the images. Wonderful that we have these treasurers.

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  5. Great photos, we've been to the Sedona area twice, but never went near the town or any sites on the weekends.

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  6. What beautiful pictures today Al.
    Pheebs is an awesome pup!

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  7. It's been years since I was in Sedona, and it's beautiful, but I'm like you guys - prefer solitude. I bet it's even worse in the spring. But boy is it gorgeous.

    I've been known to leave a place the minute another person shows up - LOL.

    Have you guys ever thought about leaving the Winnie in storage some place like Kalispell and then Jeeping it out there for a couple of summer months in Montana, Idaho, etc. - that way you would break up the seasons a bit, but of course you couldn't spend as long in AZ and it would cost more. Heck, Al, you just need to get your US citizenship so you can come and go as you please. Can't you do that since Kelly's a US citizen?

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  8. Gorgeous country--great photos! The meditating woman was one lucky person to get kissed by Pheebs! Always good to get an early start, especially if you're cranky. It can turn your day around.

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  9. Nice that you got to beat the rush of people. JUst absolutely love the colors and formations in Sedona. maybe we need to head back that way again someday.

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  10. I wonder if the "taggers" of old were frowned as much upon as the "taggers" of present? interesting thought.

    those water pictures at the bottom of the page took my breath away! Stunning!!!!!!

    cindie

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  11. Can't say enough about the wonderful pictures. If I ever decided to live anywhere other than Oregon, I think it might be the red rock country (as long as I didn't have to be in the city!). It's been quite a few years since our last visit to Sedona and I am longing to go back. Pheebs looks so beautiful against those red rocks and I agree with the other commentor who said the meditating woman was lucky to get a Pheebs smooch!

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  12. Absolutely STUNNING photos today, Al...We have never been RVing there, but it is now on my bucket list of places to take the RV..You have re-ignited my love of those Red Rocks!

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  13. Yeah,, this feeling of "could-live-in-this-area does hit me too. But I know that will not happen ever. Besides, it'll be way too hot come summer.

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  14. Al - gorgeous pictures of the red rocks. You sure have captured the feel of Sedona. Phebes is a great little hiking partner, we have a springer spaniel with the same temperament and we love having her out with us. The manzanita is one of my favorite high desert plants, the red bark is lovely. Becki

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  15. I took my parents to Sedona many years ago and my father and I were lucky enough to ride in that red biplane. What a thrill that was!

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  16. Well, Mr. Cranky Pants, you sure did get a lot of really great photos on your outing. Love those shots of Pheebs...and Kelly, too! Sedona is a favorite place for us, and we haven't been back there for quite some time. Makes us want to go there again, and enjoy it (in the off season!!!!) Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Awesome pictures of the ruins and the surrounding scenery. I was laughing imagining the jeep pulling in just as you were getting out. I would have felt the same way about the "cacklers"!

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  18. I'm sure you know that one way of avoiding people is to go places off season. i bet there are not as many other tourists inthe summer months. Take your pick.

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  19. Kathy and I both loved the intensity of today's pictures. They make us feel as if we are there.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  20. One of my good friends lived in Sedona and Cottonwood prior to moving to Indianapolis. All she did was complain about how terrible the Indiana landscape is. I used to bet angry about that.

    After seeing your photos, I understand what she was talking about. Absolutely breathtaking photos, Al. Thank you.

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