After a comfortable cat-nap nite in the hammock, it was time to have a cup of coffee, pack up camp and head for Flagstaff to get some breakfast. On the drive down the hill, there were some foxes off to the side of the road. Wendy pulled over and I struggled to get my camera out which was difficult to do because of my injury but luckily I finally sprung it free to get a couple pics of the little fox http://hikearizona.com/dex2/igallery/image_page.php?id=4543
who somehow got left behind.
Over breakfast we debated what to do this day before heading back to the HOT country. We thot to do West Fork but were worried about the crowds. We decided to go for it anyway and hope for the best. So after filling the tanks, we headed down a couple thousand feet to get the last 2 parking spots. It was gonna be a hot day but less so than down in the Valley. So off we went, Gary too, to see what the West Fork looked like in early summer. Wendy & Gary took a side venture up to the old pool; I didn't even know it was there, before we finally came upon the first bit of shade.
There were quite a few folks out both on the trail and in the creek. But as we got deeper into our route, the people became fewer
. I have to say, this place surely doesn't have the allure that it does in the Fall. It's nice, but nothing like in the Fall when the colors overwhelm you. I had to fight bad light ALL day on this hike so both the videos and the photos are just not that good. And of course, the heat didn't help. Along the way we did run into a couple of folks I know from arizonahikers.com so that was fun. We also passed by a large group of butterflies
and a small bird singing a big song while trying to decide what to do aboout a wasp that was flying around him (see video Part 1 for both events).
We crossed over what I call the Photographer's Roost and continued on for another 1/2 mile or so where we encountered a hill to climb up or water to swim. We decided to have lunch here and turn back. I was suprised to see some rather large small-fish swimming around the water while we were eating. On the way back we ran into a couple blackberry bushes as well as a large heron down a way from where we were crossing a creek. I did get some pictures of it.
at how many people were still coming on the trail this hot day. When you came out to the open on the sandy trail, the heat
seemed to surround you with great force so it's nice that you can duck in and out of the shade. We stopped about 1/2 way in a creek bed to chill for a moment and us girls dunked our hats into the water to provide some temporary cooling. We made it back in pretty good time (1 hr 40 including our 10 minute stop).
Now the drive to Sedona was pretty incredible as there were cars in many places along the road. I presume most of these folks were frolicking in the creek. I just couldn't believe how many cars there were on so much of the route into Sedona. And of course, it took me awhile to get thru Sedona due to all the traffic. However, that drive from the State Park area into Sedona is so beautiful . I have never seen the back side of the Schnebly Hill area so that was fun and of course, I smiled as I drove by Grasshopper Point. I will definitely have to make a point of getting out this way when it's not a car and people zoo.
I finally got to the Circle K at Vlg of Oak Creek and I was so thirsty but also hungry. I didn't want to eat chips or a meal or anything so walked out with a neopolitan ice cream sandwich that I ate in the parking lot along with a diet coke/coke and a Coke One just in case I couldn't get enough carbonated liquid to quench my thirst. Once on the freeway that was also crowded, I made pretty good time as I took Tonto out of overdrive and let him power up those hills passing by all those other cars without any problem.
Video 1: hike up West Fork - http://youtu.be/KYmgDs8hJdg
Video 2: finish the hike to our turn around point and back. Well I tried 6 or 7 times to load it up but no go. Since the quality of the video due to lighting issues is not that great, it will just have to stay in my files.