Friday, June 13, 2008


We'd heard so many good reports about the whole Sedona area that we really were expecting a pretty cool place; and we weren't to be disappointed! Part of the appeal was the race track quality mountain roads (obviously I didn't act like I was on a race track; ok well maybe a little bit then... after all Helen was away in Houston for a few days leaving me alone with the bike...), not to mention the stunning scenery - There seemed to be something to do in every direction; to the east was the Coconino National Forest, south to Prescott was the local area brewery which Helen made the most of whilst I rode us there! Like so many brew pubs we've been to, the food was pretty spectacular so I didn't do so bad out of the deal. It was no surprise that the brewery was there as the town has the original "Whisky Row" street from way back in the days of the wild west; they had a fire once, (as most old American towns seem to!) and the patrons of one particularly popular bar managed to get together and physically lift the wooden bar out in to the street to save it - it's still there!

On the way to Prescott was a small town called Jerome that although now quite a hippy/arty town, was once a virtual ghost town; it was a big, (in fact the biggest in America) copper mine built on the side of a 7,000 ft mountain overlooking the Sedona valley but partly due to a lack of demand but mostly because of a huge land slide that dropped more than half the town down the mountain, people moved out and almost but not quite, deserted the place.

In and around Sedona itself are the most amazingly red rocks and mountains so hiking was big on our list; unfortunately the pictures will never do it justice - you'll just have to go there and see for yourselves! Sedona is well known, (apparently...) for its vortexes; not really my chosen subject but the area is said to be full of high energy points which means everywhere you go there seems to be a bunch of people chanting and offering sacrifices, (thankfully not live goats and things) to whoever I don't know.

This was our hike out to the West Fork. Lovely shaded hike and at the end the trail just dead-ended in water. At least I'm sure it would go on if you wanted to get your feet wet!! We paddled a little just to see what was round the corner but it was COLD!! On the way back to the trailhead we were treated to a glimpse of this Hummingbird faithfully guarding it's nest. Didn't seem bothered by us even if we were poking a camera lens in it's face!

And then there was Slide Rock State Park; the name might hint at the theme here; basically a large park cum picnic area with a river running through a very rocky valley. The river of course had worn away the rock over the years leaving a smooth, narrow and thankfully, cold channel in which one can slide one's way downstream. We should have perhaps taken more notice of the fact that the locals were all wearing heavy duty shorts or cut-off jeans; let's just say my backside hadn't felt like that since my last caning at boarding school!

Last but not least was the winery just outside the campground gate; too expensive for us travellers to shop there but we of course had to at least go through the rigorous process of tasting the choices they had on offer...

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