The end of June arrived quickly and Carolyn’s last of her time off is ending so we decide to head on over to Sedona for a last hurrah. Not only that, my hiking days are numbered for awhile as well due to a scheduled back procedure in July with a long rest period of no bouncing around allowed.
Our first stop from Payson to Sedona is a dud. We wanted to hike a short trail V Bar V Heritage Site Trail that has petroglyphs. We arrive only to find out the access is only open on weekends. So back in the car and over to Sedona we go. Today’s hike starts at the Long Canyon Trailhead. This is a beautiful area that is located close to the Enchantment Resort and the Seven Canyons golf course area. We have hiked in this area multiple times in the past but we never made it to the Birthing Cave. The hike is about a mile each direction with a climb into a cave like area that has the sandstone overhanging. The view is spectacular and since it is a Tuesday, not many people out and about during the heat of the day. To get the best photos, you would need a wide-angled lens and of course I’m still stuck with an older iPhone.
The Birthing Cave has some interesting history. You can read about it on this person’s blog: Hormones Matter. What I do know is that the birthing cave is magical and has a sensual feel to it in a very tranquil setting. It is worth the time to stop and relax in the moment. It captures the Sedona Experience.
On our way back to our hotel we stop at Oak Creek Brewing Company for a couple crafts on the patio with some of their fresh peanuts in the shell. Great spot for relaxing. From there we travel to Oak Creek Village and a stop at PJ’s Village Pub for some quick bites of food. We were able to sit on the front patio where we enjoyed talking with other guests. Very friendly and another fun place to relax. Both places seemed to have some COVID restrictions in place. Little did we know that PJ’s would close down overnight to comply with the new orders in place from the Governor’s office.
Our two day stay at Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock is a good one. The pool is open and we had decided to just hang out and enjoy some of the amenities by lounging around. Their COVID-19 responses included times where they close the pool to disinfect tables, chairs, and gather up all towels. We were ok with the inconvenience and ate lunch at the outdoor grill using my food discount to eat some Ahi tuna and quinoa. The staff is very friendly and accommodating and added to our enjoyment. It was also nice to do nothing but read and relax for a day in a beautiful setting.
After breakfast on Thursday morning, we head back to the Long Canyon Trailhead for another new to us hike that would be longer and a loop trail: Mescal Mountain: Long Canyon, Deadman’s Pass, Mescal Loop. Once again, we encountered very few out on the trail. The area looks to have many mountain bikers but today we only encountered a handful. Once again a nice, quiet, and fully exposed trail that was very warm. We ended up hiking around 4.5 miles with elevation gains of 400 feet. No shots of Mescal for me.
Today’s after hike experiences would take us to one of our favorite small breweries, Sedona Beer Company. Located off of Jordan Road, the brewery seems to do quite well with good food and many different taps. Kali is always quick to welcome us back. We sit out on the patio contemplating what is next since Carolyn has to head back to work and I’m still on furlough with no end in sight.
We head back to Payson, thankful for the moments we had in the great outdoors being socially distanced from others and having another wonderful time in the Sedona area. Great road trip with some different hikes, craft beers, good conversations, rest and relaxation, and staying healthy.
Next stop in this adventure? Who knows what tomorrow might bring.