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“Brrr…” Hiking and Reading; Oak Creek; Dragging Anchor? A Useful Plant; Romeo and Juliet

We woke up this morning to an unusual winter wonderland here in Sedona. It was 18F… to those who don’t recall their temperature scale, that’s 14 degrees below freezing. As in, “very cold”. My Lovely Bride used the Siri voice command function on her phone to ask, “What’s the weather in Sedona?” Siri responded,  “Brrrr, it’s 18 degrees in Sedona.”  See, even computers can have a sense of humor.

While Suzanne gave a reading to a local  lady who had been on her list for a long time, I went hiking on the Soldier Pass Trail just south of town. At 0900, it was still frosty, about 29F, and I dressed in double layers, tops and bottoms, and marched off smartly to hike and to photograph the snowy towers and mesas. Since we had only been here in warmer weather prior to this trip, it was a treat to see snow on the trees and splashed across Sedona’s famous red rocks. 

I knew that it would get up to 55 or so later in the day, and that the snow would soon be melting, but for now, the globs of white on all the trees were magical. There were almost no other people out on the trail, and it felt like the trees and cacti had been decorated just for me… 

This agave plant (Agave Americana) is not a cactus; it is a succulent, and often called a century plant or an American aloe, although it is not closely related to the aloe. A piece of botanical trivia: the tall stalks of some agave plants can be dried and made into didgeridoos, for those who are so musically inclined. But you should be careful in handling the agave, because the juice from many species can cause acute contact dermatitis, producing reddening and blistering that can last two weeks. On the positive side, several agaves have edible parts, and one can also collect agave sap to distill into tequila… 

When I got back to our hotel room, I tossed my backpack on the bed, and a few minutes later, my backpack started beeping… “What the heck?” I pulled out my portable GPS (which had not been used since we cruised the coast of Maine aboard our sailboat Liberty) and looked at the display… it read, “Dragging Anchor”. Aboard a sailboat, that means that your anchor is not holding the boat to the bottom, and you’re moving unexpectedly, called “N.G.” in the Navy, for “Not Good”. Fortunately, a quick button press and the alarm ceased, “No harm, no foul”, but it was a fun reminder of our days sailing. 

After lunch, we went out together for another hike, this one on the Baldwin Trail near Bell Rock. The weather started off rather chilly, but that didn’t dampen Suzanne’s “enSuzyasm”… 

After an hour or so, it got much warmer on the south-facing slopes, where all the snow had melted, but it was still delightful. Here is My Lovely Bride pointing at Buddha Beach across oak Creek, where locals build little buddhas made of river stones, which get washed away with every heavy rainfall and then rebuilt within days. 

After our hike and a quick weight workout in the hotel gym, we suited up for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, Dahl and DiLuca. My Lovely Bride looked beautiful, and I was very happy to have her on my arm. Our meal was exceptional – Suzanne had veal Piccata and I had a veal, spinach, eggplant, and cheese dish called “Romeo and Juliet” – don’t you think that’s a great name for a gourmet  dish at a romantic Italian restaurant? It was a delicious end to a great day in Sedona. 

1 Comment

  • Jennifer
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Lovely photos..Sedona is a beautiful place to visit…

    I grew up with two Dachsunds named Romeo and Juliet. Romeo was our first….


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