Rock hopping, Red mud, and Relaxation

Back from Sedona. It went by so fast. The plan was to leave early Sunday morning (about 6 or 7 am) for Sedona, leaving the evening open, or maybe hiking or biking if we got there early enough. Monday, we were going to hike early in the day, have lunch, then head out for a long ride. Today, we were planning on a ride and then heading out.

Here’s how it actually went down:

Sunday- got a call at 7am from Nick, who woke up late- seems that staying up late the night before drinking wine and eating cheese with Elly on top of having to set the clock ahead one hour messed me up as well. We didn’t leave until about 9:30. Things were going well until we hit Gallup, along with the snow. I think we hit one wreck outside Gallup, one inside, and another on the far side of town, which had us at a standstill for a long time. Talk about frustrating! Once we got past Gallup and that third wreck, we were fine. We found our way to the Hilton, where we promptly plopped ourselves on the beds for some R&R before cleaning up and heading to dinner.

Our view from the patio at the Hilton

Nick was so awesome! He had looked ahead and found places that offered vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free menu items. It was a fabulous dinner, then off to bed early.

Monday, we got a bit later start than expected, and I was “off” because I didn’t get my usual hot cereal and coffee. Finding breakfast when you don’t eat eggs, meat, or gluten is nearly impossible. We headed out for Secret Canyon. The ride was smooth until we reached the start of the dirt road to all the trailheads, and then it got rough. I understand now why jeeps are so popular in Sedona! The drive to the trailhead was pretty long and slow going, but made all that much more fun by the fact that Nick’s shocks were shot. We were like 3 bobble-heads, with Keely giggling and squealing the whole way.

Looking for the Secret Canyon trailhead

Still looking...


We found the trailhead and started off, not quite sure which way to go, as the seemingly obvious direction required an immediate crossing of a creek about 20-30 feet wide. We decided to work our way up the creek, doing an insane amount of rock hopping.

Keely demonstrating her rock hopping skills

 It was getting to be a bit much for me when we realized we were right near the road, which didn’t seem right obviously. How secret can a canyon be if the trail is visible from the road? So after a while, we hopped up onto the road and headed back to start over. We immediately saw the trail the second time around. This was certainly easier, but we did find that our practice in rock-hopping helped out. The colors were so vivid in places, from a glowing bright green moss, to a stucko red mud, all filled in with glistening rocks of sandstone.  The views were spectacular, and I didn’t get nearly enough photos, as we were really trying to truck right along. I did find an amazing little  cave that looked like a miniature replica of a canyon of cave dwellings. It was at the base of a perfect bouldering spot, if it weren’t for the fact that it was made of sandstone. Nick tried a bit of bouldering, but the stone broke away within the 3rd reach. Keely looked like a giant in the cave (or so I thought). We never made it to the canyon. I waited too long to eat and didn’t trust my legs anymore on the rocks crossing the creeks, which were now deeper and moving quicker than prior creeks. I do believe we made it a good way though, and it was a great experience. We got back too late to ride, or so we thought. I think, due to the time change, we had an hour more than we thought, but it’s always nice to sit and relax after all of that excitement. We did get to take the lumpy,  bumpy ride back to the main road after all.

We were absolutely filthy upon returning! We cleaned up and headout out for sushi, which was super yummy. I think we hit the hay pretty early last night too. Unfortunately, I kept waking up all night. I couldn’t swallow, and it would freak me out, so I would grab for water to allow me to swallow. I must have been so dehydrated that I wasn’t making enough saliva to swallow. It freaked me out, to say the least. Plus, my stomach was all jacked up. I was a mess last night! I finally got some sleep, and when we awoke, Nick went and got coffee for us both…..REAL coffee!!! That is  a great way to start the day. We batted around a ride, but with checkout being so early, we would have been rushing, since Keely was still in the room. We decided to let it go, have a nice leisurely brunch, then head on back to Albuquerque. We ate at the Heartline Cafe, a nice little Ma & Pa type place with super healthy from-scratch food. We took the scenic route out of town and through the mountains to get back to the highway. Twas a nice time away, despite all the bickering with Keely and the physical upset I had yesterday and last night. Nick’s a real trooper, putting up with Keely and myself the whole time!


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