The music festival was great fun, but enough of that jazz. It's time to go hiking. (Enough of that jazz - sometimes I really crack myself up.) We got up very early again - Sandy was still on Eastern time not Pacific. Since the weather forecast was for thunderstorms in the afternoon again an early start was good. Our hike today was up to Brins Mesa. It starts from a trailhead only about two miles from downtown Sedona. Almost all the tourists are wedded to their cars though and the trail wasn't very crowded. Kind of sad really but good for us while we are hiking.
We were at the trailhead and started hiking by quarter to nine. Another advantage of an early start was that it was still reasonably cool. The hike started with level trail through the valley. But after about a mile it started serious climbing. It was quite steep - the slickrock resembled a stairway. The hiking guide referred to this section of the trail as "The Stairmaster". But after about half a mile we topped out onto Brins Mesa. Here we got a bit confused. The guidebook recommended that we turn sharply right and hike along the edge of the mesa on a sketchy trail for another half mile, climbing to a viewpoint. Unfortunately the guidebook was in the car and we hadn't read the description that closely. We had read the overview, the hike sounded cool, and we were off. So since we were doing the Brins Mesa trail, we followed the sign for the Brins Mesa trail. And of course it took off across the mesa.
It wasn't really a problem. The views were spectacular. There was a good trail that was easy to follow. It descended gradually towards a valley on the other side. On both sides there were impressive rock cliffs as well as in the distance ahead of us. We continued along for almost an hour but by then it was clear that we really weren't going anywhere special. So at about the two hour point from the trailhead we headed back. We weren't the only ones who were wondering where the trail went. About half an hour after we turned around we met another couple coming down the trail who asked us how far it was to the end. We didn't know. But it was a pleasant hike with nice views so it was all good. On the way back the light was better for pictures and I took plenty of them. I am still learning how to use our new DSLR camera. The sun had moved into a good position and the redrock cliffs all around were really beautiful. An excellent hike.
We both like hiking in Sedona a lot. On our last trip we had done excellent hikes through Boynton Canyon and up Bear Mountain.
After our hike we had a good lunch at Red Planet Diner. We were hungry and food always tastes better after a hike. Plus you don't have to worry about guilt feelings after a hard workout. Then it was back to the hotel for cleanup before heading into town. Sandy had done really well to get some nice jewelry in a very short trip into town before the BSU game yesterday. Today we took our time though and covered about three fourths of the shops in uptown Sedona. We specialized. Sandy covered the jewelry stores and I hit all of the tshirt shops. We made some good purchases before having dinner at the Cowboy Club, the oldest restaurant/pub in Sonoma.
Tomorrow is our last day in Sedona. The plan is to do a hike in the morning before taking off for Phoenix. We will stay at a hotel near the Phoenix airport so Sandy can catch an early flight the next day. Then I drive to California for a wargame convention next week.