Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fay Canyon Hike

We asked our Pink Jeep driver for suggestions about hiking trails, and he recommended the trail into Fay Canyon. A little less traveled and off the beaten path. To get there you take Dry Creek Road off 89A.
 Then you turn onto Boynton Pass Road.
 Fay Canyon is across the street from the parking area. Two other trails lead from here in the other direction. So many hikes, so little time.
 I wonder if it's possible to get bored with red rock formations. I didn't in the time I was here.
 Fay Canyon
 This was another fairly level trail, and no creeks to cross.
 Don't know what this little flower is.
 But it made a pretty ground cover along the first part of the trail.

 As we entered the trees we began to hear more birds.
 So Birdie started doing what she does best.
 Red Rock formations.
 Trees take root where ever they can along the ledges.

 I like the little tree growing on top of the hoodoo.
 When she's birding I like for Birdie to go first. I don't hear the birds like she does and tend to scare them away.

 So we have a lot of Birdie butt shots, lol.

 End of the maintained trail.
 We stopped for lunch and watched the little critters.
 Birdie knew what kind of butterfly this is, but I forgot.
 Didn't even notice the tiny blue butterfly when I took this picture.

 We watched two lizards, one pursuing the other.
 This lizard was regenerating a lost tail.
 He was doing some impressive pushups. Don't know if this was a mating ritual, or an aggressive/defensive thing.

 Like West Fork, you can hike beyond the maintained trail if you want. We didn't as it involved scrambling over big boulders.
 WE noticed this arch that we missed on the way in.
 Another pretty butterfly.
 Flycatcher...don't know what kind.
 Bushtit that kept hopping around in the bush, so a blurry picture.
 Back to the parking lot.
 We stopped in Sedona at this shopping center at Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream. We deserved it.
And so ends our tour of Sedona for this trip. We'll be spending a week at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon starting tomorrow. Probably won't have internet or phone service while there.

Snow Day and Red Rock Scenic Driving Loop

Friday afternoon after our long hike the campground was filling with tents and campers for the weekend. Two guys set up a tent campsite next to me with what looked like brand new equipment and a ton of firewood. I took this picture because of the unique humongous chair one guy had with enough drink holes for a six-pack.
 During the night it started raining hard and was still pouring in the morning. Those guys broke camp and tossed all their wet gear into the truck and left, throwing their leftover firewood in the pit.
 Then the rain turned to snow and soon began to accumulate.
 The kayoo got wet, haha!
 Many other campers left, but some stayed.
 Later Birdie, Thistle and I ventured out for a walk.
 As far as I know this was Thistle's first experience with snow, and he seemed to like it.
 These tenters left their tents but went somewhere in their cars.

 I had to tell Thistle we weren't taking that trail today.
 Down by the creek.
 Do you see the Great Blue Heron perched high in a tree?
 I felt sort of sorry for him. He must have been wondering, like we were, "What happened?"
It stopped snowing and all the snow melted overnight. In the morning the birds were out. This is a Dark-eyed Junco.
 White-breasted Nuthatch
 The sky was blue, and the temperature rising. We decided to drive the Red Rock Scenic Loop.
 Views from the road.
 We were looking for a place called Red Rock Crossing where I read there are spectacular views of Cathedral Rock. This isn't it.
 More views

 Ah, we found the park, Crescent Moon Recreation Area, formerly Crescent Moon Ranch. That is Cathedral Rock.
 The small waterfall on the left and the waterwheel provided a source of water for irrigating fruit trees and other crops, and later powered a generator providing electricity to the ranch.
The waterfall.
 A little history.
 The waterwheel.
 Oak Creek. I was looking for a particular viewpoint I have seen in magazines about Sedona.
 It has the creek with Cathedral Rock in the background. Not quite like this.
 Almost, but still not what I remember.
 One of the irrigation canals.
Vortex Sites are popular around Sedona...places for meditation, prayer, or worship for those of many different religious beliefs. This must be one of them.
Hundreds of people have left little cairns marking this spiritual site. One man asked us later how to get to Buddha Beach. 
I guess this is what he was talking about.
 I will say that God has surely created some beautiful places here for us to enjoy.
 Thistle has discovered that drinking from creeks is a lot of fun.

 Maybe this is the place for the famous photos?
 One more drink, Mom.
 And then I want to run!
 And jump!
 And sniff the smells along the trail.
 Sycamore Tree
 The trail leads back to the creek at the other end of the park.
 We watched some swallows dip up and down for awhile. Birdie says Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallows. Couldn't get a picture...too fast.
 Finally! I'm sure this is the place.
 Cathedral Rock
Look for this view in advertisements about Sedona. Red Rock Crossing
The Loop Road continues past Red Rock State Park, but we didn't stop there.
We had one more day in Sedona, so selected one more hike that was recommended to us by our Pink Jeep post.