Sedona Weekends

When I started thinking about this post my intent was to write about how this weekend in Sedona ended my year-long school-induced travel hiatus.  But then I stopped and took a mental travel inventory.  It would seem that in the last year, while working full-time and going to school full-time, I managed to spend three weekends in Sedona, backpack the Grand Canyon again (post), and make an unplanned trip back to Detroit for a funeral.  So it was really a hiatus from traveling anywhere new I guess.  Perhaps it was the lack of day trips or the cancellation of our long summer trip that had me feeling as though I’d not travelled at all this year.  In any case, I’m done with school and ready to get moving again.

Our recent trips to Sedona are not my first experience with the city, that occurred when the kid and I moved to Phoenix the first time, back in 2000.  My first experience in Sedona was not a good one, which is probably why it took me 14 years to return.  We arrived in Sedona at the end of July after having just spent a couple of days camping at the Grand Canyon.  The particular campground we stayed in at the Canyon had pay showers, $0.75 for 7 minutes.  Not a lot of money, but we didn’t have a lot of money, and I am notorious for taking long showers, even when in a hurry.  So we decided to skip showers at the Canyon assuming the campground in Sedona would be a better option.  Did you know there is no running water in National Forest campgrounds?  Neither did I.  We were told, however, that we were more than welcome to clean up in the creek that ran along side the campground.  The creek water even in July was frigid and so not on option for us.  The night before we arrived in Sedona they experienced a freak tornado and the weather was still very unpredictable.  As an inexperienced camper, in a forest, this was not what I wanted to hear.  Regardless, we settled in, spent the day being tourists, albeit dirty tourists, and then headed back to the campsite.  After the sun went down I decided it was finally time to brave the outhouse and get ready for bed.  As soon as I stood up from the picnic table and turned around I fell over a large two-foot high rock that in the light would have been quite obvious but in the dark was completely inconspicuous.  I shredded the shin on my right leg bad enough that I still have scars today and thought briefly that I had broken my nose, I didn’t, it just hurt like hell.  Though I had paid for two nights of camping I’d had enough, the next morning we packed up and headed on to Phoenix.

After that experience I was in no real hurry to experience Sedona again.  In the six years I’ve lived in Phoenix I’ve travelled to all the cities surrounding Sedona but stayed away until last October and probably would have stayed away longer had it not been for the husband.

Last year for our anniversary, the husband who plans almost none of our travel, surprised me with a weekend getaway, to Sedona.  I am the planner and the organizer in our relationship, sometimes planning events a year ahead of time.  However, school had consumed me and I had no plans for our anniversary which is why the husband stepped in.  But, as is the norm for him it was last-minute planning.  As he tells the story, he called around to tons of resorts and they were all either booked or did not allow dogs, unless we are getting on a plane the dog comes with us.  He finally got lucky when one resort had a last-minute cancellation.

The Forest Houses Resort books a year in advance and is almost always at capacity.  As soon as we pulled into the driveway we understood why.  The resort is not a typical resort, it is 16 individual houses on 20 acres of wooded property on Oak Creek.  There is no restaurant, gift shop, or maid service.  There is also no tv’s or radio’s, and cell service is sketchy at best, the office does however provide a limited selection of books, games, and puzzles.  Each house has a fireplace with free firewood provided, is fully furnished, and has a fully stocked kitchen, all you need to bring is food.

During our first two visits to the resort we stayed in the Tree House.  The Tree House is a studio house on stilts that sits just away from Oak Creek, but the creek can be seen and heard from the patio.

The Tree House
The Tree House

October in Sedona

Our anniversary weekend was a combination of relaxation and exploration.  Our first night at the resort after settling in we had dinner, took the dog for a walk on the trail leading away from the resort and spent the evening relaxing by the fire.

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We spent the next morning exploring the beauty of Sedona in Red Rock State Park.

Red Rock State Park

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Once the heat of the day was upon us we found the water trails.

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This is what Lily thinks of the water
This is what Lily thinks of the water
Trail to Buddha Beach
Trail to Buddha Beach
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As a hiker I have such an appreciation for the cairns

We spent the evening much like the one before, with two small exceptions…

…we spent more time exploring the trail at the resort

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Remnants of the Slide Fire that destroyed over 20,000 acres earlier in the year, just a 3 minute walk from the Tree House
Remnants of the Slide Fire that destroyed over 20,000 acres earlier in the year, just a 3 minute walk from the Tree House

…and in addition to relaxing by the fire, we also roasted marshmallows.

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December in Sedona

Feeling lucky having gotten our October reservation, the husband hoping for snow asked about any openings in December.  He got the reservation, but did not get the snow!  I hate snow, I hate cold but I agreed to the December trip on the basis that I would not have to leave the house or the fire.

With the exception of one or two dog walks, I did manage to not leave the house the entire weekend.

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We snuggled by the fire.

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We roasted marshmallows.

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I drank hot cocoa.

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It was a weekend of complete relaxation.

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September in Sedona

We thought ahead for this most recent trip and actually booked our house in December. The booking for this trip put us in the Bridge House.  The Bridge House is a one bedroom house that sits directly on Oak Creek.

The Bridge House
The Bridge House
View from the porch
View from the porch

We booked this weekend to coincide with my finishing school, which it did.  But it also ended up being a retreat from the ongoing process of renovating our new house.  We had no steadfast plans for this particular trip and at one point weren’t real sure if the husband was going to make the trip at all.  The week before this trip, due to poor health, the mother-in-law moved in with us and we weren’t sure how we were going to work the trip around that.  We brought her with us!

The basic parts of our weekend remained the same.  The first night we made dinner, took the dog for a walk, and sat by the fire.

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The second day however, is where the change occurred.  Due to the mother-in-law’s health the husband wanted to stick close to the resort.  This in turn resulted in a well needed weekend of nothingness for him.

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It also provided me with the opportunity to go into town and explore (shop) without the husband or the dog.  I don’t really care for shopping and I knew downtown Sedona was a mecca for tourists but I had never been and I wanted the experience.  From here on out I’ll stick with the nature aspect of Sedona, it suits me better.

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View from downtown Sedona
View from downtown Sedona

View from downtown Sedona

After everyone napped, it was business as usual, dinner, a fire, and marshmallow roasting.

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Neither of us remember doing so, but apparently when we made the September reservation we also made another December reservation, for the Bridge House again.  Neither of us are disappointed.  The husband is once again hoping for snow.  I’m just happy to know another trip is around the corner.

 

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