We left Phoenix early on Saturday morning, hoping that all the weekenders had already left the city. It was our first long trip in the bus, the longest before this being an hour. We made it out of valley and arrived in Cottonwood 2 hours later. We pulled into our site, then went to go meet our Uncle and Aunt for lunch. We wandered around Sedona, looking in shops and being tourists, as we don’t normally.
On Sunday we went to hike West Fork of Oak Creek. This hike had been recommend to us by fellow volunteers at Usery. The state park was super-duper busy. We expected it to be busy, but not ten-car-line-to-get-a-parking-spot busy. We saw people walking down the road and asked them if there was another parking lot. No, there wasn’t, but we could park along the road and walk back. We pulled out of line and parked up the road half a mile. We walked back down and paid our entrance fee.
The path started as a side walk, then turned into a dirt path. We first walked through an apple orchard, then along Oak Creek, as the name of the hike suggests. We crossed the creek 13 times on the way there. The state park very much reminded me of Zion and Yellowstone. The hike was around 8 miles, including the walk to the car. We then made our way out of the park. After a 3 mile line out, we made it into Sedona, then drove the hour back to Cotttonwood.
Monday we spent with our Aunt and Uncle. We cooked out and hung out. Isn’t that what most people do on Memorial Day?
Tuesday we visited Montazuma’s Well. Montazuma’s Well is a large limestone sinkhole filled with carbon dioxide rich water. Scientists aren’t sure how deep it is, as no one can swim down to the bottom. The deepest a diver has swam is 55 feet. From then down they can’t go any deeper because of springs that push up clouds of sand. They assume the Well to be 120 feet, but aren’t sure. The only living creatures that inhabit the Well are leaches, because of the large amount of carbon dioxide. Along the rim the Southern Sinagua people built pueblos. It was the perfect location, so near to water. The only down side was that the water has a large content of arsenic, but of course the Natives didn’t know that. The Sinagua lived in the area from 1125-1400. At one time, around 125 people inhabited the pueblos. The Sinagua also created canals to water their crops. The walk was around 3/4 of a mile. Also in the area is Montezuma’s Castle and Tuzigoot, but we saw both on a visit a couple years ago.
Wednesday was spent on school work, then a drive to go to Slide Rock. The threat of impending rain detoured us from doing slide rock, but it was a pretty 2 and a half hour drive. Thursday we were able to do Slide Rock, along with hiking Doe Mountain. Our Aunt and Uncle had done the hike the previous day, and posted pictures on Instagram. Mom thought it looked like a nice and easy hike so we did it. Round trip it was 2 miles and had some amazing views from the top. While we were sweaty and hot we moved on to Slide Rock. The water is melted snow, so it was literally ice cold. Refreshing after our quick hike. As we normally do, we followed the “Ladies first” rule (also know as the “Bravest First”) . I slid down. It was a shock because it was so chilly, but I went down and had fun. Marc was waiting for a report, so I told him how great it was and then went again. Marc and Dad followed shortly. The end tally was:
That’s right, Mom didn’t go down. She has no idea what she was missing. I do not think she fancied getting bounced around by rocks in ice cold water. Oh, well.
Our two main goals to going to Cottonwood were to see Uncle Bill and Aunt Krysta, and to visit Slide Rock. When we had competed both, it was time to go. This morning, Friday, we took off. Currently it is 4:30. We left at 8:45 this morning. Originally the trip was supposed to take two days. It is 99 degrees inside right now, as we can’t turn on the air conditioning. One more thing Dad needs to fix. We are nearly to our stop outside of San Diego.