Travels to Sedona, Jerome and Oak Creek, AZ

An email began it.

Last October, I got an email from Southwest Airlines, with a $49 one way fare sale, good for specific time periods, and must be booked by tomorrow evening. What would you have done? I showed it to my husband who suggested several trips, San Francisco, maybe Tucson? I asked what we would do in Tuscon, and he suggested we go to Sedona. I had learned about Sedona many years ago, and having never been, I quickly said “Yes”. He decided we would fly to Phoenix, and drive to Sedona. Looking at the time restrictions, he decided we would fly out just before Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, and have a long weekend in AZ.

As we are known to do when traveling, we booked accommodations on Airbnb. We found a place called ‘Agape Mountain View’, which was an in-laws apartment over a garage. When standing on the deck, we could see Tuziqoot Indian Ruins.

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We arrived Thursday morning, having taken a 6:50 a.m. flight from LAX to Phoenix. (As a side note, do you think taking a very early morning flight sets you up for a full day somewhere? Just wondering.) We drove through Sedona, pulling off at several parking lots to take pictures.

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Bell Rock, in Sedona AZ

Friday, we went to Jerome. We saw the Haunted Hotel, and walked through town. It began to snow, and then snowed heavily. We never made it to Jerome State Park, heading back down that hill, watching as the snow turned to rain.

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The Jerome Hotel was built to be a hospital. Many people connected to mining died here, and the nurses claimed the building was haunted. In the years since, it has been converted to a hotel. Known as the Haunted Hotel, is it haunted?

This was the best way I could quickly think to photograph snow. It was snowing!

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A snowy drive away from Jerome. Driving switchbacks requires slow speeds in good weather, in snow it can be treacherous.

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On Saturday, my husband thought it would be a good day to hike. He has 15 year old Uggs, and I brought the best I had, a pair of old New Balance sneakers. We began walking, and due to the precipitation of the day before, the paths were very wet. My sneakers began sinking in the mud, sliding my feet in directions I hadn’t intended. We never made it on to the Courthouse Loop trail, with my husband deciding we should hike up the backside of Bell Rock. It wasn’t my best moment. But according to my Fitbit, I did ascend 25 flights.

When we returned to the car, we headed directly to the Famous Footwear outlet and bought me the only pair of hiking shoes they had. In a town with many trails, how could these be the only ones they had? I wore the shoes out of the store, abandoning my New Balance on their front mat.

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We left the outlets and continued to a sports bar in Oak Creek, to watch the Patriots secure their place in the AFC Championships.

On Sunday, we headed back to the trails, intending again to hike the Courthouse Loop, which is estimated to be 4 miles. The trails were still muddy, and this day we hiked almost 6 miles, ascending 49 flights.

 

Kens picture

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Why are the red rocks red? From a book by that name, “…is due simply to rust. A very thin film of oxidized iron coats each grain of quartz sand in the sandstone formations around Sedona. This iron oxide is a powerful coloring agent. … As the iron-bearing minerals react with oxygen and water, red iron oxide is created and forms a very thin, paint-like coating on the quartz sand grains. Over millions of years, the loose sand grains are compressed and cemented into the rock called sandstone.”

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On Monday, our last day, we packed our bags, and headed to Phoenix. Every vacation must come to an end, and ours was no exception.

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