Trip Start May 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 02, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Derek has a bad cold and decided to stay home today.  Larry, Erin, and I headed for Sedona about 8:15.  We drove down 180 to Flagstaff and then south on 89A to Oak Creek Canyon.  We stopped at the Overlook and walked to have a look at the canyon which begins quite suddenly.  The canyon is located on the Oak Creek Fault and the sides of the canyon are not the same height.  While we were there we walked down to the viewpoint past lots of Native Americans selling their arts and crafts. We saw a zone-tailed hawk riding the wind above us.  I'm not sure if we have seen one before.  After leaving the overlook we descended into the Canyon and soon began seeing  red rocks.  We followed Oak Creek and there were lots of oak trees and other greenery all the way down. 

It wasn't long until we stopped at Slide Rock State Park. We paid the entrance fee of $20 and walked back the Pendley Homestead Trail to Slide Rock.  Larry and I had been here before in 2000 when we actually got into the Creek and slid down the slide.  Erin did the Clifftop Nature Trail to get a better view of the Slide.  At Midgely Bridge we stopped for pictures and saw our first Century Plant blooming. 

We arrived in Sedona shortly and tried to find a tourism place.  We went by one three times before we saw it amongst all the tourist shops etc.  We found a parking lot and went to get maps.  The man was very helpful and we decided to go to the Village of Oak Creek and hike the Baldwin Trail which looped around a large butte and gave us great views of Cathedral Rock.  On the way there we stopped at a "scenic" view which was little more than a trailhead.  No views we could see. When we got to the Baldwin Trailhead, we decided to take our lunches with us. When the trail descended into a little glen, we sat on a log and had our lunch.  We continued on the trail, with views of Cathedral Rock on our left.  The trail was a two mile loop and took us almost two hours.

On the way back to Sedona, we stopped at another Viewpoint and this one was truly a good view of Bell Rock and several other prominent features.  At this stop we saw our first Phainopepla, a all black bird with a crest and white in its wings when it flies. We also went down Chapel Road to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  It was built on a large rock up a steep road.  The views from the driveway and courtyard were magnificent.  The chapel itself was small but the view behind the altar was stunning.  I lit two candles for mom and Joe and visited the gift shop downstairs. 

Our next stop was at Pink Jeep Tours.  We walked in and decided on the Broken Arrow Tour which was leaving in just a few minutes.  We went and got our water bottles and waited for our name to be called.  Our jeep tour guide was Mike and four Japanese people from New York were with us.  Larry and Erin sat in the back where it is the bumpiest.  I rode up front with Mike where it was the least bumpiest.  First we road about a mile through town and then turned at Canyon Drive.  We soon came to the end of the paved road and took a dirt road created by Pink Jeep Tours into Coconino National Forest.  Mike was a great guide with lots of information on geology, botany and wildlife.  The first hour of our tour was very informative with Mike pointing out rock formations, trees and plants.  Our first stop was at Submarine Rock where we walked up to the top of submarine and had a 360* view.  We got back in the jeep and headed up to Chicken Point.  On the way there was a Black-tailed Rattlesnake in the road.  When we got to Chicken Point, we got out again for pictures and more information on the rocks we were seeing

When we got back in the jeep, Mike told us it was time for the fun part of ride and to be sure we had our seat belts tightly fastened.   He got out and put the windscreen down so we got the full effect of the experience.  The second hour we went faster, up and down steeper inclines.  One place we were at a 45* angle.  At another place we were at steeper than 45* and he just stopped and we hung there while he told us the story of the woman who said she had not signed on for this and he would not get a tip.  He told her that right now was not a good time to tell him that as he supports his family on his tips.  Mike told us many jokes and puns.  One was when he told us about the Utah Juniper that can have a straight trunk or a twisted trunk.  We came upon a tree with two trunks, one straight and the other twisted.  He called it the Split Personalitree.  Anyway, we are just hanging there like you do on a roller coaster and Mike lets go of the break and we start down.  It was bumpy and "groovy" as Mike called it.  He was an expert at knowing just where to go and how fast.  He has been doing this for 28 years, so he should have it "down pat."  At the bottom of this "road" we saw four Mule Deer but my picture of them did not turn out.  We also saw more Century Plants in bloom which Mike called Parry's Agave.  Way too soon, we were in familiar territory and headed out of the National Forest.  We stopped to put the windscreen back up and were soon back at tour headquarters.  We enjoyed our trip and Mike a lot.

We decided to eat Mexican for supper, it seemed appropriate.  Erin had a recommendation for Elote from someone at Expedia.  At Expedia they have a place online where you can ask for recommendations when you travel.  Erin had the Pink Jeep Tours recommended to her as well as Elote.  Erin and I had Passionfruit Margaritas while we waited.  Larry had a local beer.  For supper we all had enchiladas, Larry's was beef, Erin's was chicken, and mine was vegetable.  They were all very good.  Erin and I got The Flight Margaritas, three small margaritas, lime, original, a El Roble.  Larry had another beer.  We left after sunset, stopped for gas in Flagstaff, and got back about 9:30.  Derek was feeling bit better and had received one of the messages I left during the day.  He had his phone off so I couldn't get through. 

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Peg Bishop, osf on

This is awesome! I'm so pleased that you have had such a renewing time soaking up God's beauty in creation. What a perfect way to be inspired and let God speak through you so we can hear how to now live our care of creation and let God transform us along the way.
I am e-mailing you my Jubilee reflection that immersed from my retreat this week. God took over on the Care of Creation part. I hope this opens us to the week with Ted Dunn on this charism.
This reflection can also give you some help in creating the petitions for the Jubilee. No need to do it now.
Tomorrow I return to work and don't want to forget to get this to you when you return from vacation.

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