Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oak Creek Canyon

Cindy and I went for a day trip up to our favorite water hike along Oak Creek Canyon
(I'll keep the details secret so it doesn't become too popular!)
In spite of it being fall break, when many schools are on vacation, and in spite of all the hiking spots in Sedona having full parking lots and people parked along the skinny road with a cliff on one side, "our" spot had barely any people!

In fact, when we got to our little sandy-bottomed, red-cliff-walled bend in the river that has a small beach (!!!), there was not a single other person there!

We felt HAPPY and blessed!

Going north from the Phoenix metro area, we eventually hit the Mogollon Rim.
We go up from around 1000 ft in altitude to 4000 ft very quickly and then all of a sudden, we're on top of the rim and it's flat as far as we can see!

The foliage is pretty and varied in color and texture.

We went past Horsethief Basin;
the names of stuff in Arizona are crazy!

The road is very close to the rock walls, and since the rocks come down sometimes, they've put protective webbing over the rock walls.  Nice!

 Bloody Basin Road:

We entered Prescott National Forest!

And drove by the exit for Montezuma Castle National Monument.
I've never been there (yet!)

There's a Beaver Creek, and there's a DRY Beaver Creek . . . 
and a Wet Beaver Creek.
Cindy and I hiked the Wet Beaver Creek trail once and it's a rough one.
There was a beautiful payoff at the end, though - a red-walled canyon filled with cold clear deep water!  I've done that hike twice, but it's eight miles in all and woo-eee, is it long and hot and challenging.  

The dirt near Sedona starts to get red.

And then we saw the red hills!

Here's a Juniper Pine tree with lovely little Juniper berries! 

 This trail has some twisted metal along the top of the trail because the road runs right along the top of the canyon.

Here's some Chapparal.
It smells DELICIOUS and desert-y.

After a little bit of walking and boulder hopping, we hit the river!

This huge tree was growing on the river bank.
Look how it's growing AROUND that big boulder!

And it's reaching to the sky.

This is what the river bank looks like.
It's very boulder-y.

And someone drew lovely drawings on a couple of the boulders.
This one reminds me of the Tree Of Gondor a little bit: 

Of course, we didn't miss the picture of marijuana, either.

This year, there were TONS of raspberry plants growing everywhere!
If I were a bear, I would definitely be frequenting this area.
Water (we even saw fish!) and berries!

Here's our little bit of water, where we had lunch!

The water was COLD and made our feet/lower legs numb after a while.

But we waded across with courage and fortitude.

Neither of us fell in even once!

Here's down stream.

And here's upstream!

Here's our little beach.

The water was clear and gorgeous:

I swished it up and splashed around to make patterns.

Dragonflies were everywhere!
and really, what a blessed day to be able to get a photo
of two dragonflies in flight with the sun in my eyes!

Leaves were falling off the trees and zooming downstream.

Too short a time later, it was time to go home . . . 

Hope you enjoyed a little vacation from your day by experiencing our trip along with me!

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