Arizona & California: Day 10

As primised, I said I would write. As my trip draws to a close I've been able to find some time to get out of the house. My dad arrived in town this past Friday night. If you're wondering what happened to days 3-9, they were spent here, in my grandpa's office, a 500 page open book to my right and a digital copy here on my computer, studiously adding each page to his genealogy website. Quite tedious work but worth the reward. (I'll share the finished site once the loose ends have been tied up.)

Today we made a trip out to Sedona to one of the locations my mom and I had stopped briefly at when the two of us were out before, Cathedral Rock. In my post "Arizona: Day 3" you can see the overlook of Cathedral Rock at the bottom of the post. After parking we struck out following our little 1$ map, a dollar well spent I might add as some of the trails were not as clearly marked as I had hoped. The path we chose crossed Oak Creek (the same Oak Creek Canyon as featured again on previously mentioned post) via stepping stones, some slightly submerged, enough to get my toes wet. And this trip I came well prepared with my hiking boots as last time I was ill prepared, lets just say Toms are not as comfortable as boots for hiking. You can't tromp through grasses, mud and streams in Toms like you can with boots. Enough said about my boots though.

The trail, for the most part, followed the creek bed. Fairly flat. Several mountain bikers passed us during the day, coming and going. As we rounded the edge of Cathedral Rock we began climbing the edges of the hill and left the creek bed. Behind the Rock the trail leveled out and you could enjoy walking again on flat even ground. The surface of the rock that we then bagan walking on, and eventually climbing up, reminded me of climbing Ayers Rock, "Uluru", in Australia as a child with my dad and brother.

At first I wasn't so sure about climbing up but I am so glad dad convinced me to. The view at the top was worth the hard climb, made harder by the fact that I'm getting over a nasty cold I picked up on the plane. The whole day I was mouth breathing. Ugg.

Climbing the trail to the top was actually fun. Most of it was marked with rock piles or trail markers since most of the surfaces you were climbing up were quite smooth. In some places little footholds had been cut out. At one point the path followed a groove in the rock so in order to climb you had to wedge a foot in, one over the other.

At the top we rested for a little before taking photos and such. The trail ended here at a cliff but there were lots of little side paths people had make going to each side and into the rocks. Below  is where we were at in reference to Cathedral Rock from afar.

And some photos with a spectacular view. First my dad out on the rocks.

My turn.

And the cactuses look like they are about to bloom.

I must say climbing back down was not as difficult. The steep parts were quite easy in the opposite direction. The rock surface, if you have sure footing, is excellent for wedging feet there or simply relaying on a good pair of shoes to grip the surface.

Tangent. As a kid growing up in Indonesia we would climb to a waterfall behind our school, up in the mountain. On our way back down we would usually follow the water back, climbing over big rocks or around them, usually barefoot. We would get quite good, planting both hands to each side and swinging our feet out and down to the next spot like little monkeys on all fours. Good memories... And back to our story today...

On the way down I took a bit of a detour. We had seen them walking in across the creek, this area filled with stacked stones. Some sort of "vortex" area, nothing I'm interested in, but the spot looked cool so I took off my boots and waded across to the other side while dad went on the way we had come and to the car. The water was cold but really refreshing, so clear it was tempting to drink. But my toes quickly got numb in crossing which made the last part a bit of a stumble to get to dry, warm land.  I have soft American feet now. American because I associate it with shoes, not necessarily softness.

My favorite photo spot was just after the stacked rock area. Some great water reflections of the rocks here.

Just behind this spot (above) I captured these gorgeously lit trees. An infrared photo (IR).

And the last one that was worth getting my pants wet, soaked up past the knee. It still needs some tweaking with the trees but I had to share. Another IR image.

If you are interested in hiking this location, the place we parked at is called Red Rock Crossing, though there is also a second, I think free lot, at the base on the back side of the rock as well.