The boys are home for a few days before school starts, so guess where Bryon put them to work?
The Yarnell Hill Fire burned throughout the week, and flags remained at half-staff throughout Arizona. As we hiked through Lockett Meadow, it was not hard to think about the sense of loss that will remain after the press attention subsides.The Schultz Fire, Arizona’s largest wildfire in 2010, burned over 15,000 acres. The eastern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff still show fire damage.Sunset Crater is in the distance. Monsoon clouds overhead, but not enough rain here.The trees are still fragile. The aspen grove of the Inner Basin had been spared because the firefighters worked so hard to save it.
We didn’t need to stay up for the local network news to hear about the forecast of Santa Ana winds: people had been complaining about sinusitis and migraines for days. Even so, the garden needed to be prepared for planting.
Today while most of America prepares for a national ritual of great importance Bryon and I ventured out to the garden for the first time since we came home from vacation. The orders from the seed catalogs had arrived, and it was time to make a tentative start to getting ready for spring.
“It’s a good day for a hike.” Bryon got behind the wheel and we headed toward Sedona. Since we had to be back in town for business later in the day, it had to be nearby and/or quick. The West Fork Trail was perfect!
Sedona is known for its cluster of vortexes (vortices?), or sites of energy concentration. Those who come to Boynton Canyon may seek the Kachina Woman or the spires. Bryon and I were not so ambitious: we pointed to the red rocks in the distance and decided, “Let’s go that way.”
Even the ranger admitted that the name of the trail is somewhat of a misnomer: “They call it the Island Trail, but it’s shaped like a peninsula.”
It is possible to visit all of the pueblos in a day, but we made two trips so we didn’t feel rushed. This is an even better idea if you want to visit in the summer and have the time. Bryon suggests that, because the days are longer, visit some of them in the morning, spend lunch in Flagstaff, and come back in the afternoon when it’s a little cooler. (Keep in mind that the Visitors’ Center closes at 5:30 p.m.–at least during the winter–so plan accordingly.)
Armed with a national parks pass, we set off to see how far we could go. Arizonans looking for winter sport amusements were heading for Snowbowl or Wing Mountain. Bryon and I wanted only a break from the excitement of getting our older son moved into a larger apartment so his younger brother could join him and start college. After a few days of wrangling with the registrar’s office and the apartment manager, why not blow off some steam at the nearest volcano?
As we predicted, we had the place (almost) to ourselves, encountering two families with children and a Forest Service ranger making her rounds.
“Hey, let’s go to that town where that guy from that band who started a winery …”
If that doesn’t ring a bell with you either, don’t worry: we had to consult the Font of Knowledge (i.e. Google) for something more specific. All we had to do was program the Garmin, and we were ready to go.
We left most of the snow behind in Flagstaff and decided to recharge before hiking around the town.
The Flatiron Cafe had opened that day under new management. Thanks to Jen and Amy, we enjoyed two lovely cups of cappuccino and some fresh carrot and ginger soup.
Happily resuscitated, we headed back out to explore.
We found Nelly Bly, a shop that sells kaleidoscopes and art. Just think–over a hundred years ago, kaleidoscopes were considered cutting-edge home media.