First, a reminder that this is Memorial Day weekend, when we commemorate all those who have given their lives in the service of our great nation. It is particularly poignant to us because of our daughter Susan, a sergeant in the Marine Corps, who was struck and killed by lightning in 2006; she was six months pregnant. We would like to acknowledge all service members who have died on active duty and the sacrifices they and their families have made.
Gosh, the past month has flown by! My last post had us in Prescott, Arizona, and we have just arrived in Provo, Utah. That's about 850 road miles, what with detours to Sedona, Flagstaff, Las Vegas and Zion National Park. So let's get caught up on some of our travels... and some travails.
Just before departing Prescott, MLB decided we should go on a bike ride. I wanted to find a nice flat paved trail where I could cruise along sedately and stop periodically for a refreshing glass of Sangria, but, "No, Ty... there are some moderately challenging mountain bike trails over at Emory-Riddle Air University, where we saw the rattlesnakes last year. Even you can do those... Mount up!" Sigh...
Our first hike took us on the airport loop trail with pretty decent views... I thought this cute hiker was as scenic as the red rock views.
But our week in Sedona wasn't all hiking. We got together twice with Lisa and Rick Wilcoxson for dinner at our two favorite Sedona restaurants, Mariposa and Dahl &DiLuca. Owner and Chef Lisa Dahl (center) graciously met us at both, and needless to say the food and company were 5 star! (If you're ever in Sedona, you MUST have dinner at one of Lisa's exceptional award-winning restaurants...)
While on a solo hike in Sedona, I came upon a group of volunteer search and rescue (SAR) guys on a training hike. For some reason, the attention of these guys was riveted upon a young blonde in short shorts taking a photo... "Dudes, wake up!!!"
The view from Brin's Mesa (via the Soldier's Pass trail) is terrific - Sedona lies about 5 miles in the distance, and the red rock vistas are stunning in every direction.
Of course, the reason we had come to Sedona was not for hiking - Suzanne was presenting her Serving Spirit Level 2 class in mediumship at the Sedona Creative Life Center, a beautiful campus on the north side of Sedona. There were many happy attendees in this class!
While walking around our campground, we came across the first non-canine/-feline pet on a leash that we had ever met - a Juliana pig. Rudy seemed to think he was just another dog, albeit somewhat odd-looking. Seriously, a pig... his owner said that the breed is very friendly, so much so that they want to sit in your lap all the time. The pig also sleeps with him... I have to admit, I'm not sure I'd want to tell my friends that "I sleep with a pig..."
Our next stop was Flagstaff, where we spent a lot of time with Janean Quigley, a Shining Light Mom whom we had met at the Helping Parents Heal Conference in Scottsdale in April. Janean was our tour director and hiking/mountain biking guide/companion in Flagstaff... here we are on the Kachina Trail, a delightful seven mile trek between 8,800 and 9,500 ft through aspen groves and Ponderosa pine forests on the south slopes of the San Francisco Peaks in Coconino National Forest. The cute dog is Luna, Janean's inexhaustible Labradoodle.
The Kachina Trail's scenery was spectacular. We love aspens, and those here in "Flag" made our day. Those above 9,000 feet were still leafless, but those at 8,800 feet were just showing their new Spring leaves.
We also did some serious (for us) mountain biking with Janean and Laurie, another Shining Light mom. Laurie is as hard-core a mountain biker as I have met, and she would have ridden us into the ground if I hadn't whimpered... so much for my macho pride!