(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.
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.
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.
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.
PHEEBS & I HEADED UP TO THE TOP OF THIS VORTEX HILL
PHEEBS SLIPPED UP BEHIND THIS MEDITATING LADY & PUT A SMOOCH ON HER
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.
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.
I TOLD PHEEBS TO WATCH FOR MOM COMING DOWN THAT ROAD IN THE JEEP
SHE’S SURE KEEPING A VIGILANTE LOOKOUT
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
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.
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.
WE QUICKLY RUSH DOWN THE TRAIL TO THE RUINS AT THE BOTTOM OF A CLIFF FACE
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.
LOOK CLOSELY FOR THE ANCIENT STONE WALL
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.
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.
LOVE THESE MANZANITAS
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………………….
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.
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.
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.
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!