No, we didn’t change continents, but it feels like we did. We boondocked for a few days near Sedona, AZ and it felt like we were dropped into a scene from the movie, Out of Africa, somewhere on the Serengeti. We half expected lions and tigers to appear. Not so much, but we did see Pronghorn Antelope (reportedly the fastest mammal in North America and second only to the Cheetah in the world) very close to where we camped. And coyotes serenaded us at night. Either that or there was some lecher out in the scrub howling at the moon.
The Baroness Blixen and I camped on US Park Service lands in the kind of environment that suits me best – out in the open, on our own, and no one within sight (the next closest camper was maybe a ¼ mile away and couldn’t be seen from our site). The “campsite” was really just a pull-off from a dirt road. But it was really cool in that we were camped next to a tree (oh great, you were camped next to a tree! How unusual!). It was just beautiful, and at sunset the sun reflected on the mountains behind us.
Part of our agenda was to explore some hiking trails in the Sedona area. Having secured a good map and counsel on where to go, we headed out. Because of wildlife (heavy on coyotes), Rosie did not go with us, and instead stayed home in the trailer – probably doing what dogs like to do best. zzz
The hike we chose (Brins Mesa Trail), located in the Red Rocks Secret Mountain Wilderness (part of the Coconino National Forest) was a 5+ mile hike that started just outside of downtown Sedona. Even with its proximity to town, this was not an urban hike but instead a hefty workout with about 500 feet elevation gain, starting at about 4,500 feet elevation. For flatlanders like ourselves, we felt the elevation. The reward, though, were spectacular views in literally every direction.
What struck me as unusual was the number and variety of fir trees in this wilderness. As you first start hiking it smells like you are in a Christmas tree forest, with all those wonderful smells. It just seemed unusual to have such a dense floor of trees to this otherwise dry and rocky area. And all this beauty is highlighted with the bluest of blue skies.
Clearly we will be back to Sedona to explore more of the views, sunsets, and hikes, as we felt like we had just scratched the surface of this stunning area. And the skies? OMG. Even the passing jets and geese left beautiful views!