Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting 'Loopy'

We were determined to hike the 'Airport Mesa Loop' after we had been thwarted on Friday so we decided almost immediately to return on Sunday, but much earlier.....of course 'earlier' is a relatively subjective term when one is no longer part of the workaday world.  For us departing at 9 am to drive into Sedona is early.  I decided to drive I-17 north to Arizona 179 and it probably took us 10 minutes less going that way mainly because we were following cars occupied by drivers who understood how to drive through the numerous roundabouts without coming to a complete stop.  We arrived at the trailhead around 9:45 am snagging the last parking spot.....I love it when a plan comes together!

Most hikers seem to hike this trail in a clockwise fashion, but the book we have recommends hiking it counter-clockwise, so that is what we did.  Depending on how ambitious you may feel on a particular day you can make this a 3 mile loop, or a 4.5 mile loop.  The great thing is you can make your final decision just before you arrive back at the parking lot to add the extra 1.5 miles, or just be satisfied with having hiked 3 miles on this advanced-intermediate trail.  It is quite rocky, and in some places quite narrow with big drops so you must pay attention.  Nevertheless, it is well worth the time and energy as the views are amazing.......

Still adjusting our hiking poles for the hike

As you work your way around the mesa, which does, by the way, have an airport on top with a landing strip long enough for business jets to land.....we know because we saw one coming in for a landing as we round the southern end of the mesa.....the view continually changes, which is why this trail is a local favorite, and is referred to as having '360 degree views'.

Bell Rock in the center, and Courthouse Rock on the left

 Taking in the 'Sedona View' , which is also a popular 'vortex', at the end of the hike

We finished the 3 mile portion of the 'loop' in about 2 hours having stopped frequently along the way to just take in the views.  As you come within view of the small parking lot you have the option of continuing on past the parking lot on the trail that loops around the north end of the mesa to add the additional 1.5 miles to your hike.  As always, TLE has the final say as to how far we will hike, or bike and she decided 3 miles was good on this day, especially as it was coming into the heat of the day, and this day the high was forecast to be in the mid 80's.....a little warmer than we have been used to for a while.

Since we weren't done enjoying the view we opted to visit the local Starbucks which offers more of the views for which people journey to Sedona to enjoy.....a Moca Frappuccino for moi, and a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino for TLE.

TLE had picked up a few grocery items at the local Bashas' in Camp Verde the day before, but she needed to do a 'big' shopping, and her store of preference locally is Fry's in Cottonwood.....mostly because we get points towards fuel discounts at Fry's.  We reached Fry's in Cottonwood by 1:30, and were home by 2:30 airing out the coach which had gotten warm while we were gone in spite of us leaving most of the windows open.  We actually opened the coach door, dropped the screen down, and then turned on the 'attic' fan for the rest of the afternoon.  This kept the inside comfortable without the need for air conditioning.

I spent the rest of the afternoon slowly putting more stuff away in the trailer....stopping occasionally to watch basketball, or golf on the trailer the way I want to put this 'putting stuff away' into some context here.  Some might believe it takes me way too much time to organize the trailer so we can re-insert the VW when we get ready to re-position.  The truth is in order to keep the process from becoming too onerous I spread out this task over several days doing a few things each day leading up to our departure.  Of course, the amount of stuff I need to put away is directly proportionate to the length of time we have been sitting in one place. By spreading out the housekeeping over several days it never becomes burdensome, or overwhelming.

Thanks for stopping by!

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