Please forgive what is essentially a self-indulgent travelogue. Because, really, who likes looking at other people’s vacation photos? Fortunately I was able to shadow Sgt. Rock as he embarked on a solo reconnaissance mission to Arizona’s "Red Rock" country: Sedona and its environs. Here follows a photographic recap of a week scouting in one of the Earth’s most beautiful locations. Our little East Company canvassed primarily a 12 mile stretch of scenic terrain in Oak Creek Canyon.
MISSION: A.B. Young Trail | 34.9714, -111.7521 | 2.3 miles one way
NOTES: Long, hot, and steep switchback climb to canyon rim. Little to no shade.
MISSION: North Wilson Mountain Trail | 34.9232, -111.7394 | 2.2 miles one way
NOTES: Steep climb through lush canyon to flat prairie bench east of Wilson Mountain.
MISSION: West Fork Trail | 34.9898, -111.75 | 3.3 miles one way
NOTES: Trail follows tributary of Oak Creek through towering canyon walls. Easy hike – good for old farts.
MISSION: Cookstove Trail | 35.0145, -111.7322 | 0.6 miles one way
NOTES: Short, very steep trail in pine forest on east face of Oak Creek Canyon. Inspired to practice Yoga at peak.
MISSION: Huckaby Trail | 34.8827, -111.7358 | 3.0 miles one way
NOTES: Rolling trail perched above Oak Creek on west flank of Mitten Ridge. Good location for a skinny dip.
MISSION: Determine if this is, in fact, the Land that Time Forgot.
NOTES: Saw with my own eyes the elusive Geckosaurus Rex, Teragrasshopper, and Ankylobeetle.
MISSION: Branch out and reconnoiter city to north of Oak Creek.
NOTES: Rendezvoused with secret agent at Beaver Creek Brewery. Sampled offerings for field data.
Correspondent’s note: I hope to find some solace in knowing I’m not the only one who feels the need to bring toys when he travels. I have clear recollections of the toys I had with me on childhood vacations: M.A.S.K. Piranha on a road trip to Florida; Deep Six and his Sharc down at the Jersey Shore.
The night before our trip up to Sedona I feverishly rummaged through containers of miscellaneous figures looking for the right candidate to accompany us on our trip. I settled on my old Remco Sgt. Rock figure. I like this guy even though I can’t get over his ridiculously short arms. That line would have been so much cooler but for that glaring flaw.
Sgt. Rock was a good companion for our trip to Arizona’s high country and my wife was very patient with all the mini photo shoots.