Saturday, March 10, 2018

Devil's Bridge, Sedona Sunrise Hike on Christmas

As someone mentioned on a hiking page, Devil's Bridge is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona.  If you are looking for quiet solitude, you won't find it here.

Cars park up and down each side of Dry Creek Road, up and down Long Caynon Road and fill the trail parking areas, too.  

Initially, we were going to hike Doe Mountain Trail but Brad and Rachel wanted to see Devil's Bridge.  We pondered, turned around and was the first car in in the Mescal Trail parking lot.  

Since we were hiking at sunrise, we had the trail pretty much all to ourselves except for a couple or two coming down from Devil's Bridge.  The Devil's Bridge hike provided us with a little rare gift of quiet solitude on Christmas morning.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sunrise Hike Christmas Eve on Brins Mesa Trail

I am testing out sharing an "album" through Google Photos as we took many pictures on our two sunrise hikes in Sedona.  Christmas Eve we hiked from Brins Mesa Trail to Soldier Pass Trail to Cibola Pass Trail.  Starting before sunrise allows you to enjoy the beauty all to yourselves and engage with the wildlife that live there, too.  We saw a Mule deer from a far and I spotted a beautiful coyote.  The mule deer pictures are before the dead tree and "tall shadow" pictures; #35 if you count them.  My coyote picture did not turn out so I added Rachel's picture in this post.  Rachel and I took hundreds of pictures so the hike took us over three hours.  Nathan and Brad were taught with us while Max, his mom and grandma and Art when to see Star Wars.

We were the first car in the parking lot but there were a few people on the hike that live along the trail head.  Other than a couple or two with their dogs, we did not see anyone until we came back on Soldier Pass Trail.  Sunrise temperature was 45F degrees and I thought I would be cold but I took off my fleece vest within 30 minutes of hiking.  We started climbing on the hike but with the dry air and jeans, I was comfortable in my urban clothes until 10 am when the sun warmed the land.

Sedona Hiking

Family arrived around noon and we chowed down vegetarian crock pot chili and turkey sandwiches.

After unpacking, we all went hiking at Fay Canyon Trail except Brooke who was sick as a dog.  

Dinner was at Bella Vita Ristorante with a wonderful lounge crooner, Anthony Mazzella.  Our meals were tasty and decent portions, too.  I had Pappardelle Funghi assorted mushrooms in a champagne, truffles, shallot cream sauce.  

Holiday Prepping in Sedona

Rise and shine with Rodney Yee Yoga, Michael Hedges, lounging, errands and a short hike.

I prepped meals and snacks for the family. Usually Roxanne or Nancy or Eli hosted us for the holidays (missing you Eli). We have hosted at our house in Lancaster but it was just Eli or Nancy and Art when they were in town.  So it is our turn to host a party of nine, including us.

Prepping started at 7:45 pm after Friday night dinner with brads mom and Art.  I love to cook but to do it in someone’s else kitchen is disorienting which can add time to preparing the dishes.  I had to find the proper utensils, pans, knives and storage containers.

Thursday, I used the garbage disposal and it seemed to work well.  Since the owners didn’t mention the garbage disposal in their house notes, I thought cool!  At the same time, as I chopped cilantro, green onions and cracked 18 eggs - I thought maybe I should not use the disposal.  You know where this is going.  My couple hours of prepping meals turned into a whole night affair.  Call me Josephine the plumber. 

I was all beside myself as Ober was in bed from smokey prickly pear mescals.  I am one that cleans as I cook and the sink was backed up.  I tried to stay on task but I was fixed on fixing the clog as I wanted to run the dishwasher before bed.

I finally unclogged the disposal with basic plunging.  I finished cleaning and chopping the vegetables and prepping the dishes.  Dishwasher ran and nothing else exploded or leaked.  

Sunset hike before Friday night dinner

Cleaned the green beans, prepped six pounds of mashed potatoes (used some potato water and milk) and prepped the vegetarian chili for Saturday's lunch. I read that you make the mashed potatoes with everything but the butter.  When you make the meal, you add the butter to keep the mashed potatoes tasting fresh. 

Able to prepare the Breakfast Enchiladas ahead of time, too.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Our Sedona Home

The owners of the home are looking to be part of AirBnB and we were their guinea pigs. So far the place was sufficient to host seven people overnight and nine for dinners.  Four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, spacious living room, open kitchen and dining area.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Shortest Drive of the Trip

We took the scenic route through Oak Creek Canyon which took us about an hour to arrive in Sedona.  Sedona was bustling holiday vacationers and we joined the crowds.  We walked around a little bit taking in the sun and shops before we settled in our home in West Sedona for the holidays.  Mariposa Latin Inspired Kitchen is the latest hot spot with beautiful views of the red rocks.  We started with drinks; Smoky Pear and the Mariposa and the Aton ceviche appetizer.  Sushi grade yellowfin poke, avocado, mango chili salsa, bibb lettuce, chipotle aioli, crispy shoestring potatoes.  I created a ceviche wrap out of the bibb lettuce and it was amazing.  We loved the Smoky Pear - the pink drink on the right the most out our three drinks.  The third drink was the Pricky Pear Swizzle.  Too much fizzle swizzle - a soda like cocktail.  We ordered the three empanadas and the funghi sublime flatbread which was a small flavorful pizza with a mushroom medley, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, chevre, gorgonzola and white truffle oil.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

On The Road Again

On the road by 7:44 a.m. Overall, I really enjoyed Taos.  Not quite what I expected but I think I wanted it to be snowy.  We drove south along the Rio Grande on SR 68 to Flagstaff. Beautiful, mountainous, rolling terrain except we saw a dead horse on the way out of town. Sad.  

I did pretty well not getting car sick on this trip but the drive out of town was winding and I got a little queasy.  I needed to put the iPad down.  I used to get car sick when I was young.  And as a young adult, it got better but I could not read in the car. I could not sit backwards in a train, either.  In the last twenty years, I could read, write and take pictures as a passenger.  Except on the winding roads through valleys or over mountain passes.  Even looking out and taking in the landscape would make me a bit queasy.

We arrived in Santa Fe at 9:36 a.m. for a short excursion to the Post Office and Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  The Post Office was packed on December 20th.  I tell you, I love my post offices.  

Back on the road after 11:30; ate lunch in the van on our way to Flagstaff.  We crossed into Arizona at 2:05 p.m.  I had offered to drive but there was a high wind advisory in effect.  Brad pushed on the whole drive from Taos.  
We spotted regular looking homes in Winslow, Arizona.  Tumbleweed blew across the road as well. 4:15 p.m. arrival in Flagstaff.  I saw a hotel that reminded me of McMenamins in Portland and I had Brad stop so we could check it out.  The Historic Monte Vista.  Their Rendezvous bar was hopping and that was my draw.  But we were knackered so we ordered decaf coffees. We did surfed on internet for hotels and we decided on our first stop (again).  When I went to the reception desk to reserve a room, there was a few of us waiting for service while one of the staff members was on the phone giving the caller recommendations for other hotels.  Eventually, the other young woman leaned over and asked her to wrap the call up as she said the caller can do their own search online.  She needed to service the customers standing in front of her.  Google it, people.

The establishment recommended Martannes for a quick Mexican dinner (aren't they all quick).  Camerones de la diablas and Brad had carne burritos.  I have been too quick to eat and my pictures have been half-eaten dishes.

The free, hotel parking was limited so I cased out a parking spot.  It took about a half hour for someone to leave the Rendezvous bar as patrons were parked in the hotel spots.  Here, I find out in the morning that Wednesday was happy hour ALL day.  No wonder the place was packed at 4 p.m. and people were not leaving at 6 p.m.

After we settled into our room, we walked to some outdoor stores and I got a recommendation from the Aspen Sports dude where to find a Belgian beer.  Historic Brewing Company.  What a comfortable space and the people were friendly.  I had a dubbel and Brad had the Apricot Tripel.  I had my hand-knitted Bernie cap on and the bartender acknowledged it. He wants Bernie to run again.  He doesn't care about his age. He is working two jobs to make ends meet and has to buy his own insurance as he is not working enough hours to be considered full-time with one of the employers.  With one-fourth of his salary going towards rent and more than another fourth going towards health insurance, he struggles to pay bills and save money as well.  The bartender wants leadership that cares about his situation and future generations. 

I wanted the barleywine but Brad was already out the door.  Maybe we would find more Belgians but none were to be found at another taproom so we headed to bed. There was a chance of snow and the winds were to pick up overnight.  Our room happened to be on the fourth floor and situated at the intersection.  The freight trains traveled through town about every half hour.  It actually was more melodic than bothersome.  What was funny early on were the folks leaving the bar screaming as the wind hit there faces.  It was as if they never experienced the cold wind before.  But as it continued until 3 a.m. in the morning, it was not so funny.  Before we left the next day, we hiked in Buffalo Park with a brisk wind at our faces.  We tried not to scream like the patrons of the Rendezvous bar.  We did a little shopping and ended up at Sosoba for lunch.  It was fantastic. All in all, Flagstaff was a fun town.  

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Drive to Flagstaff with high winds

Flagstaff in the horizon

Vanilla Lavender Latte - Delish!

Hotel Monte Vista


SoSoba, Flagstaff

 Sweet Chili Calamari - served with greens, shaved vegetables, cilantro, ponzu sesame seeds, seaweed salad.  Amazing flavors!

TanTanMen Ramen - ramennoodles, hoisin ground pork, sautéed greens, seasame seeds, menma scallions, soft egg, in a spicy miso pork broth.

Sweet Chile Glazed Udon- Udon noodles, pork belly, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, peanuts, greens, ponzu, cilantro, chicmarron.