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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Too Many Hiking Options

~Friday, November 20, 2020~

Day 159

Our biggest challenge in New Mexico and Arizona is finding potable water. We’ve already resupplied once since we’ve been “independent” on water since last Saturday. So tomorrow, rest assured we will be filling the full 40 gallons and at least 2 collapsible bottles for back up, as we will be boondocking for the next 4 days in Flagstaff. We’re finding we should just factor that we’re using about 10 gallons of water/day. And our max timespan for boondocking is 7 days because of the black tank. With the exception of Sedona and all the good weather that hung in there for us, we’re usually ready to move after 7 days anyway.

After we took care of a few things at our campsite, we had plans to go to (2) top-rated hiking trails. One, the Cathedral Rock Trail and two, the Devil’s Bridge Trail. But the funny thing was, we passed at least 4 other awesome trails, just to get to our main trails today. Being here with this kind of weather, just makes you want to get in as much as possible. But, we will be back!

Jeff commented that I have really good parking lot mojo, as the parking lot for Cathedral Rock was very small. Someone just happened to be pulling out as I pulled in. Many of us had the same idea in mind. To hike one of the most popular spots in Sedona, in the best possible weather as it was 75 degrees. Sadie was also eager to get the show on the road. When you see this amazing landmark, it makes you eager to want to climb it. And if you believe in this kind of stuff, Cathedral Rock is also home to one of Sedona’s famous vortexes which is supposedly located at the saddle (at the end of the trail). As we started the 0.7 miles up, everything was cool, but then as it started the steep 500 foot ascent, that was the end for Sadie and most dogs for that matter. None of the reviews we read talked about dogs not being able to do the whole thing. Too slippery and narrow footholds for furry friends. We did see a few smaller dogs traveling along in their owner’s backpacks. So Jeff and I decided to take turns going to the top. Sadie and I pulled over and greeted all of the hikers coming and going while we waited for Jeff to go up first which took about 30 minutes. When it came to my turn, I started up the short narrow slickrock section and had a hard time finding a foothold or anywhere to grab onto to pull myself up. Luckily, a few people descending offered a hand in this section. Once you get through that, the trail becomes a bit easier, though still steep, until you get to the saddle which gives you views of the amazing vistas and rolling landscape to the west.

I’ve always felt descending is way harder than ascending. As you revisit the narrow steep rock coming down, it’s all by butt, feet and hands. As I was coming down, there was a beautiful wedding going on at the perfect time of day. I overheard someone say that anytime they’d been here in the past, there was always a wedding ceremony taking place. Because the 1.4 mile trail took us longer than expected, especially with the fact we had to wait for each other to do it, we ran out of time to do the Devil’s Bridge Trail. 😢Another time I guess.

One place we had visited many years ago was a church called Chapel of the Holy Cross. And since it was close to Cathedral Rock on our way home, we decided to see it once again. There happened to be a wedding party waiting for the chapel to close to the public to be able to hold their ceremony, as this is one of the most iconic and beautiful ceremony places in Arizona.

The chapel which sits atop the beautiful red rock of Sedona, was inspired by the design of the Empire State Building and commissioned by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Staude. Construction completed in 1956. What a lovely way to end our day, and our time here in Sedona.

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