More hiking in Sedona! There were many trails, and although they were well-marked there were still a few ambiguous forks. It is not uncommon for people to get lost and go missing. While we were there, a Toronto doctor made headlines after setting out for what she thought would be a short hike and getting stranded without food, water or her cellphone for more than 30 hours.
Nights 9, 10 and 11 on our trip we stayed at the Penrose Inn and had a great view of the Red Rocks. One night we watched Thelma and Louise on DVD just so we could pinpoint the scenery of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.
Our hosts warned us about scorpions getting into the room so we were on constant look out, especially at night. I was happy not to cross paths with one of those creepy crawlers.
We also took a few day trips. Jerome was an abandoned mining town that is being rejuvenated with tourism. Restaurants, galleries and curio shops now line its streets.
Montezuma's Well and Castle have native ruins built into cliffs. This was prime real estate 1,000 years ago because it was waterfront. The cliffs offered sheltered warmth in winter and natural air conditioning in summer. I looked at the birds and wondered whether they were old souls come to visit. When we got to the Well, there was a telescope trained on the cliffs. It turned out to be the nest of a Great Horned Owl and two owlets. Camouflaged nicely in the cliffs, the birds blended almost invisibly into the blue-grey rock. The photo on the left isn't mine, but the owlets looked just like this one.
We went out one night with astronomers, star gazing. It was very cold at night, and even dressed in warm coats we were happy there were extra blankets on hand. We got a great view of Jupiter and its moons; Saturn and its rings; several constellations; galaxies; and nebula. Where we see one star with our naked eye, there are sometimes 300,000 points of light. It reminded me of standing next to the rim of the Grand Canyon, and feeling so insignificant there. Here was a vista that would make the Grand Canyon itself disappear, in a universe with infinite points of light.