|View of Flagstaff|
|View from Ridge Trail|
|Additional view from Ridge Trail|
|And yet another view!|
28 April - Christ Lutheran 8:30 AM service: Cynthia assisted with communion. Ron immediately noticed her hesitation to say, "The Body of Christ given for you" as he approached first in line. She enjoys ministry. Terrific sermon. After breakfast at Red's frozen yogurt seemed like a good thing. 62 ozs.? On top of egg white veggie omelets with the hottest chili powder made??? There is no room for dinner. Worked on receipts while Cynthia is working on Bankston genealogy. Walked for a couple of hours on Oak Creek Trail talking to Ed Kellett the entire time.
27 Apr, Sat: The Smooch Smooches hiked Soldier's Pass Trail - 4 miles RT. A cute young couple approached while we were resting on a log at the junction of Brins Mesa and Soldier's Pass Trail. An offer was extended to let them sit on our log. They opted not to do that but with huge smiles accepted a caramel. Cynthia hiked on ahead, but, the guy looked like he could use a few pointers to keep love alive. Catching up with Cynthia, "Guess what I told that couple?" Cynthia knew immediately, "Guys can never say I love you too much; it only took 60 years to learn how much girlies love fleurs. " Girlies also panic too easily: The gate closed promptly at 6:00 PM with us inside at the trailhead. With utmost confidence we drove up to the gate and it opened immediately. Did Ron whisper, "Smooch Smooch?" (Don't tell Cynthia the gate has an electric eye to allow for late exits. OHHH those baked sweet potato french fries are goooood at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill!
|Sinkhole 1880; additional sinking 1989|
|View from Soldier's Pass Trail|
|Cameras Can;t Capture Such Grandeur|
|Top of the Trail!|
26 Apr, Fri. Another marvelous day; funny details to be added to the blog if we remember if we find time. Photos of the past four days are uploaded to Picasa:
Roses are a riot of colors! Smooch Smooch reported a stress free ride into Sedona. Lovely visit with more new best friends over breakfast at Red's followed by visits with more best friends eating yogurt at Zainey's. Cynthia went to Verizon's so Ron could scarf down that yogurt! A retired nurse from the MIT infirmary, now living here part of the year, was fun! Linda Goldenstein at the Goldenstein Gallery was standing outdoors looking like she needed conversation. She, too, lived in Santa Fe for several years. From there - we first hiked Fay Canyon, then onto Boynton Pass Trail to check the century plants. Another full moon tonight draws out the New Age-ers meditating to the accompaniment of drums. Some extra security at Enchantment due to the McCain Leadership Institute Forum tonight that included Joe Biden speaking on democracy. We quickly dismissed the idea of dining at Enchantment! The dinner at New Frontier's is always good: organic veggies ... stopped at Basha's for jelly beans after dinner, Safeway for bird seed, and returned home to a box from Aerostitch. NEW BOOTS! But, the toe box is uncomfortable; back they go; we shall shop at a Red Wing boot store. e full moon tonight the New Age-ers are meditating accompanied by drums.
25 Apr., Thurs: Bear Mountain - the toughest, most challenging hike (so they say). The 1.2 miles we did took a mere 2.5 hours to reach the halfway point or the second plateau. Incredible views. The return trip took an hour. A hiker (in great form) flew past us on the ascent, but stopped to chat on the descent; Bear Mountain is his favorite trail; he hikes it every five days. The first 900 foot ascent plus boulders make this trail so time consuming and challenging. We did not attempt the remaining 800 feet upwards, described by the hiker as the toughest part. Another glorious day accompanied by a feeling of accomplishment, hunger pangs, sore feet and thirst. Extreme thirst. The cabernet and dinner at Olde Sedona Bar and Grill was very pleasant. Thanks to the manager for seating us on the outdoor balcony despite lack of servers; Ron helped him out. See photos of the full moon rising over Cathedral Rock on Picasa link pasted above on 26 April https://picasaweb.google.com/113780268026608859160/April262013
24 Apr, Wed: Sedona is it. The views are magnificent from every corner. Our circle of friends increases from the wait staff at our favorite restaurants to the hikers we meet on the trails. 5000 best friends in Sedona; plus, the 5000 tourists on the trails that quickly become best friends. Because we enjoy Sedona so much, we booked a month in the fall for a return visit. After a 32 ozs. Zainey's frozen yogurt we climbed Doe Mountain. It is a gorgeous hike - not so difficult as yesterday's on Devil's Bridge. Once reaching the mesa overlooking Boynton Canyon we luxuriated in the splendid 360 degree views. (See picturtomorrow). From there we returned to Boynton Canyon Trail to check on Century Plant #1 and #2. They are growing indeed. Dinner tonight at the Barking Frog was marvelous followed by a lovely sunset walk along Oak Creek. Cynthia was surprised to read Ron's Registration in the hiking book, "I love you Smooch Smooch!" met gallery owners Linda Goldenstein..
Cynthia had a horseback riding accident a few years ago (thrown 30 feet from a race horse, smashing her pelvis and lots of ribs). Almost fully recovered, she struggles with balance at times and is easily startled. This was not true before the accident. Now that we have had two spills on the bike, her fear has increased. Accelerating or quick turns on the motorcycle is frightening. Exposure climbing is uncomfortable. The hike down today and the ride back into Sedona were much more comfortable. By the end of the summer all will be well.
23 Apr, Tues; UP and AWAY - off to breakfast filled with energy! By one PM we were embarked on the Devil's Bridge Trail - 4.5 miles RT filled with blooming cactus and century plants. We met thirty best friends en route who were quite engaged by the Century Plant Hiking Guide. Ron discovered a rodent on the rocks across the cavern; upon closer look it was a log. With the aid of binoculars it became part of a fallen arch. And he thinks Cynthia is silly when her imagination finds creature like images in the rock formations. Bummer, Cynthia got scared sliding on the loose rock on the last difficult climb before reaching Devil's Bridg; she FROZE in place waiting for the century plant trail guide to assist her back down the rocks to sit in a safe place. Once she was safely ensconced on a boulder, he ventured up and onto Devil's Bridge sending back instructions to a threesome to tell her he fell off the bridge.
After dinner at the Olde Sedona Grill, with a stop at Basha's searching for Vit A and MSM, we returned to admire our happy hummingbirds; the gorgeous roses blooming in abundance (thanks to Ron's watering). The cottonwood fluff is covering the ground like snow.
|Century Plant Trail Guide|
|Baby Barrel Cactus Blooming|
|Zainey's Fat Free - Sugar Free - 32 Ozs Delight|
|Roses Blooming on Cottage Porch Side|
22 Apr, Mon: We slept until noon. Worn out, we did not hike after breakfast; but, instead enjoyed a 32 ozs. Zainey's frozen yogurt. Nor did we go to Sedona for dinner. Instead, we walked along Oak Creek until it became too dark. We dialogued way into the night over genealogy questions that have been puzzling; an interesting and probable theory developed out of the evening's research.
21 Apr, Sun: Early worship service with the Lutheran Campus Ministry assisting and preaching. One of the young men delivered a provocative sermon on the baptism of the Eunuch by Philip in the book of Acts. Eunuchs were not allowed baptism by Jewish law; baptism was a demonstration of the far reaching love of Jesus Christ. In light of the despicable acts of the past week, how do we then love like Jesus?
Breakfast at Nick's followed by the Mescal Trail Hike around Mescal Mountain was 5 miles. We spotted a garden snake, wore ourselves out, followed by dinner at the Barking Frog. Has the century plant grown taller? They are supposed to grow a foot a day. Three days in a row we have encountered the flautist; today, we heard him play from atop the vortex.
20 Apr, Sat: By noon-thirty we were en route to the Deadman's Pass Trailhead off Boynton Canyon Road. Our first task was to photograph Century Plant #1 to see how much it grew overnight. You be the judge.
Dinner at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill was the usual delicious fish steamed with veggies in parchment paper, sweet potato "fries" that were baked instead of frying, salads without dressing.
In Walgreen's we encountered the fellow who gave Cynthia the stone heart yesterday. We were eager to know if he was the flautist that climbs to the top of the vista to play. YES. He was indeed.
A unique blooming cactus caught our eye... .
19 Apr, Fri: We were vortexed today. Yes. VORTEXED. After checking on the Century Plants that grow a foot a day, we took the Boynton Vista Trail up to one of Sedona's famous vortex (es). The first metaphysical seeking person, (a photographer from Cheyenne, WY) said this particular vortex had both male and female energy but combined. She was quite captivated by Ron's talkative spirit describing him as a vortex. A local second seeker said it was male and female but not combined as he handed Cynthia a heart shaped stone. Ron thinks he is looking for a wife. Cynthia will take the stone to her aunt's 90th birthday party in May. Two young gutsy girls climbed high up the mountain and scampered down nimble-footed. We survived without any mystical experience. Dinner at the Natural Food Market was once again very fine, organic raw veggies and steamed Opah fish. Cynthia had great news that she will be a great grandmother for the first time. Cynthia's daughter Julie watched the ultrasound and declared the pattern indicates extreme intelligence. Granddaughter Corrie is an MA therapist; Alan, completes his MA in architecture from A&M in three weeks. They are in training to become missionaries in East China leaving in February for three years.
|View From Vortex|
|Ron and Metaphysical Seeker #!|
18 Apr: Cynthia and I enjoyed sleeping in until 10AM, as has been our typical pattern here. Our individual colds seem to have returned and perhaps are causing our sleepiness. After breakfast at Sedona Rouge Reds restaurant as usual, we returned the Gray Goose to Safeway before threading our way around the traffic circles to the Back O Beyond road and the Cathedral Rock trailhead. Two traffic lights turned red just as we approached and my quick stops alarmed Cynthia. Ever since our two "falls" Cynthia has been easily frightened by sudden stops and other quick motions. She was a bit shaky until our hike was well started. The hike along the Cathedral/Templeton trail to Red Rock Crossing was wonderfully pleasant and do-able - 2.5 miles RT in 2.5 hours. On the other hand, Cynthia is in bed already at 8:27, and I'll be following soon. We were told several times that the hike to the top of Cathedral Rock is not impossible although it is very demanding. The views are reported to be spectacular. Again we enjoyed the "fish in paper" entree for dinner at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill.
|View from the other side of Oak Creek|
|A Very Happy Man|
|Spectacular rock formations for 360 degrees in Boynton|
|Interesting rock formation with moon upper right.|
|Cliff dwelling (centered in photo)|
|View from the top of Boynton Canyon Trail|
|Ron teaching about new century plant sprout|
|Weirdos in the back seat had the best views.|
|Driver and front seat passenger were the best views.|
|Da hippy glass blower at woik.|
|But Pam wanted the symmetric pose.|
|I thought the coordinated pose was terrific.|
14 Apr, Sun: Beauty is all around us; we just need to recognize and appreciate this beauty with our God given senses. We are missing out on the splendor of life when we long for something we don't have. Instead, we can simply open our eyes to see, ears to hear, and our hearts to feel what we already have. With grateful hearts, in the presence of beauty we "become"... gifted and spiritually advanced souls. Smooch. AWWW. Smooch smooch! Walt and Pam arrived in the early evening and agreed that dinner and views at the Cha Ah Che restaurant at Enchantment were indeed enchanting.
13 Apr, Sat: One of us slept until 12:30 while the other one was up having way too much fun on the computer. After a late breakfast for lunch we stopped to eat Yogurt and raced to be home by 4 PM so we could get in a bit of a hike before we return for dinner. And desserts. Christ Lutheran serves a marvelous brunch between worship services so Cynthia bought a bunch of cake to bring. Tomorrow Pam and Walter arrive mid-afternoon. We have been making plans to limit the times we say I love you to only forty an hour. We will have excuses for the noises in the night. Hummingbirds food preparation. Reservations are made with Enchantment Resort for dinner in the evening. They really need to stay an extra day because there are four restaurants to try.
12 Apr, Friday! ONE YEAR AND ELEVEN MONTHS! What fun is this! We celebrate anniversaries with such joy, we decided when we reach the two year mark we will celebrate each day. The cleaning women cleaned, the birds are fed and photographed. We are fed and happy.
This is a link to more spring photos from the camera now posted on Picasa https://picasaweb.google.com/113780268026608859160/SpringInSouthTxToSedonaAZ
|The Photographer at Work|
|The photographer at Work!|
And comes the following from Cynthia's cell phone taken today of the gorgeous wildflowers blooming in the desert following the rain a few nights ago:
And comes the following from Cynthia's cell phone taken today of the gorgeous wildflowers blooming in the desert following the rain a few nights ago:
|The hummers are hungry|
|The desert is dry, dontca know!|
11 Apr Thurs: Cannot believe how much we are sleeping! After breakfast at Red's we came home to houseclean for the maid who comes to clean tomorrow. One of us cleans enough for the maid to have work. The other cleans to prevent the maid from stealing recycling thinking it is some kind of trash. We had a good 1.5 hour hike before dinner at the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill
10 Apr, Wed: Sleepless night while obsessing about the spill. Off to breakfast and in line through three traffic lights (or maybe a hundred; the traffic was slow) only to see a highway patrol motorcycle loaded on a wrecker. The officer was medi-vac-ed to Flagstaff with a broken nose and possibly nervous system injuries in his back. We learned of two highway patrol officers riding side by side doing security for a big car auction at Enchantment this very morning. One of the officers hit the dirt and spilled; fortunately he is ok. A Kawasaki biker dressed in leathers was pulling a three wheeled wagon with a brown standard poodle also dressed in black studded leather. The dog has been owned a short time and already driven 20,000 miles. Filled with boundless energy, we hiked to Chavez Ranch Road and continued up to Secret Slick Rock Trail; this is a neat trail that leads over to the Coconino National Forest right next to our cottage. Total hiking time was 2.5 hours today.
|Ron at Red Rock|
|Secret Slick Rock Trail|
|Secret Slick Rock Trail|
|Gorgeous colors on this Hummer!!|
9 Apr, Tues: SNOW! We saw snow on the mountains while we froze en route to Sedona for breakfast. Cynthia was mostly comfy in her heated Gerbings. Ron waved barehanded broadly at an oncoming biker huddled behind his windshield to show off his MACHO, "I'm not cold, are you?" The high is about 55 today. BRRRAPRIL! No frozen yogurt today, but we slowed down the return home drive by shopping at Safeway for munch edibles. Cynthia is planning to make her "famous" cheese ball for Pam and Walter. The hummingbirds (including a brilliant green one and a ruby-throated one are enjoying the feeder. They ought to after someone in this family (not to mention names) got up out of the warmest bed at 2:00AM to boil water to make the food (bang, pounce pounce pounce, bang, slam). Who me???? So - home again we pulled into the parking space to make the three corner turn and tipped. Ron went flying high to avoid landing on Cynthia with a rock and roll landing. Cynthia landed on her knees. Shaken, but ok. Bike is fine. Fortunately, Cynthia trusts Ron's driving even if she won't let him turn around and talk to her anymore.
8 Apr, Mon: This is the day of a BIG hike. We don't know where but it will be early! Well - we learned there will not be a hike early this morning when fierce winds knocked a tree limb on the roof of the house. The air was dark with air-borne dust. Rain was predicted but only appeared in a few tiny raindrops - just long enough to talk our selves into slipping into Zainey's for a 32 Ozs while we waited for the "storm" to pass. The frozen raspberry yogurt takes the place of lunch and mid afternoon snacks for a mere pittance of calories. ZERO fat. ZERO sugar. MUCHO delicioso. We dined "in" on zero fat sourdough bread, cereals and fruits. It rained during the night.
7 Apr, Sun: It was pleasant sleeping last night; this morning is very cool. Christ Lutheran is on the far side of Sedona. One of us is an alarmist about arriving at church on time: we were early! The pastor's sermon was enjoyable -- about humor. We especially enjoy the after worship coffee hour with tasty treats and most interesting folks to go with the coffee and treats: "Mike" is a pilot; next to him sat a 93 year old who flew B-52's in WWII where he was downed and rescued by a member of the French underground whom he later married! Another delightful woman told us about being a Marine in WWII, and offered to help Cynthia meet anyone she wishes while here. The pastor's wife is also a Pastor but Presbyterian with a very strong voice. Thanks to Richard G. in Cambridge who responded to our blog comments about being ill with his Mayo Clinic miracle cure for sinus and colds: gargle once a day with warm salt water. Richard and his dog Jasper must move by the end of the month so he is searching for an apartment near Fresh Pond. After Cynthia napped, we hiked to Chavez Road where we encountered three local law enforcement officers; one from Cape Cod recognized Ron's MIT cap calling it a Mitt cap and reported he is slowly reclaiming his r's. Our conversation was very pleasant visit; they suggested we zerox our "Golden Age" passes for the bike since we cannot leave a pass displayed on the bike windshield. Ron enjoyed trail maintenance along the route but the clippers are not sharp enough. Ron's passion for Sudoku has taken a new twist with the Ipad: NOW the Sudoku is timed. No more Sudoku. The hummers were most enjoyable tonight.
|Trail Maintenance Work is Never Done|
|Three is not meant to be - Don't you see!|
|Tale of Three Duckies - two He and a She|
|Fat Free/Sugar Free Zainey's 70 calories 32 ozs.|
6 Apr, Sat: It is indeed April already with April 2014 merely a year away! Congratulations to Rachel who will be married in a year to this day. We slept late once again; the hike lasted a couple of hours followed by dinner at the New Frontiers Natural Marketplace; it was quite tasty including a vegan brownie with no oil or butter, sweetened with applesauce. mmmm .
The humming birds are discovering the feeder on the house entertaining us with their brief appearances. One has a peculiar ruff to his head feathers. One is tiny and petite (this may be the girlie).
|Lauren, Grandmother, Rachel|
5 Apr, Fri: Cynthia's cousin Lee from Iowa was going to meet us for lunch today but cancelled yesterday; his father passed away; he returned to Iowa. Strange turn of events: two days ago, Lee's paternal cousin "happened " to walk past Cynthia's sister's flower garden in southern CA - and complimented her sister in a strong MN accent prompting her sister to ask questions. They discovered they graduated from the same HS. She was visiting southern CA for the first time. Lee's cousin is now en route to Iowa to sing at her uncle's funeral. Small world. We went to L'Auberge for lunch anyway. The ambience was lovely; duckies bobbing up and down in the waters of Oak Creek. The staff was less than happy about our menu choices and brought the overly large salads with the entree - no attempt to dress up the five extra small pieces of fish. It is challenging to know what to order. Some restaurants serve huge portions and others tiny ones. We thought this quite arrogant and don't plan to return.
|L'Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek|
4 Apr, Thurs.: Great 2+ hour hike up Oak Creek into the canyon - across the creek and almost to the houses we could see from Chavez Canyon Road. Dinner in the evening at Olde Sedona Bar and Grill outside on the terrace was pleasant. A young girl with her father (we think) was shivering; Ron brought her his down jacket to wear). Baked sweet potato fries (looks like french fry, but they are baked without any oil). MMMMMM Delicious. The days are short; we sleep until ten AM and are back in bed at 8 PM. Soon we shall be well!
3 Apr, Sedona, AZ: Today is a better day. We cannot seem to get started until 10:30 AM but we did and that is a good thing. Ron is feeling much less congested. Neither of us have much energy. After breakfast we walked to Chavez Road (about two hours RT) through the park, along Oak Creek and up the mountain in the hot, blazing, AZ sun stopping for shade breaks whenever one appeared. En route we spotted the Blue Heron - soooo close. Cynthia will post a photo later. The plan was to walk to the dead end of Chavez Road which is down several switchbacks past some home sites; but the idea of returning UP UP UP that same road in the HOT AZ blazing sun was discouraging. Considering that we are feeling better, we made reservations for dinner at Enchantment (Cha Ha Che) which has a dress code. They do let us in after negotiations. Tennis shoes are no-nos. Cynthia's care package from Texas arrived with cute shoes and western fashion jeans which passes Sedona dress code.
|Great Blue Heron Hiding|
2 Apr, Sedona Arizona: We are both still sick, and Cynthia slept late this AM. It was challenging to leave the comfort of home, dress and drive into Sedona for breakfast at Red's; but we did and felt better by 1 PM followed by an hour's walk along Oak Creek in the shade; what a surprise to discover bear pooh on the path. Interesting to see the water flowing in the canal. When we returned to the cottage, we laid outside in the sun behind the house. Cynthia was soooo disappointed her new bathing suit was the wrong size; toooo tight/short. We met an animated and delightful couple from Michigan in the restaurant tonight who had been together 28 years but plan to divorce in six weeks. Perhaps one last vacation together? Sad, yet it was fun to talk to them. Still sick we are ready for bed. Ron: What about those mountain sheep en route to Silver City???????
|Great Blue Heron|
|Intelligence at Work|
|Great Blue Heron in Flight|
|Moon Rising Over Cathedral Rock|
1 Apr: Immediately after breakfast today Cynthia mailed Sedona tourist brochures to Walter and found a hair salon next door to the post office. I rode home solo, answered e-mails, and picked her up at 4PM to go to dinner. That left us no time for a walk. We've now eaten the salmon and halibut at the Barking Frog, and I'm guessing that we will continue eating there since Cynthia LOVES their salad. The big news today is that the hummy birds are patronizing BOTH feeders and I've been able to focus on them with binoculars at a distance of 8 feet. I got up early to pry the bases of the feeders apart and discovered mold in one & slime in the other. Congratulations to Bro Dean Beatty for fourth place in the US 880 Masters Marathon.