All photographs©2022—Michelle Wilkinson/MichelleWilkinsonPhotography/published by April,12,2022.  All rights reserved! 

Story by Gypsy Quill©2022—Gypsy Quill. All rights reserved!



Coming back south toward Flagstaff On 89 A, got a couple pictures of THE SAN FRANCISCO PEAKS from their back side. But you could not see them except for the crown of the peaks and they are so much more beautiful looking at their front side. So we were coming from the opposite direction and were unable to get a good shot.

Flagstaff is a hopping town of about 200,000 but has all the trimmings of a major city, including its own symphony orchestra!! It's a great summer retreat due to the breezy cool air and yet sunny pretty blue skies, it is much cooler and practical to visit in the summer than Phoenix with it's extreme heat wave in the desert. But in the winter, much like New York city, it is plagued with blizzards, which is why I call it blizzardville. Sometimes they last into June. Phoenix temps are opposite of flagstaff. The temperatures of Phoenix from late fall to April, are much of the same as Flagstaff's summers.

We only did a quick stop at a walmart in Flagstaff due to the element of time we had to get to Sedona. We did some quick shopping, but other than that we only rode through the city and mainly on route 66 until we got back on 89A to continue our journey. 


Arriving in SEDONA
It was a bit warmer but still breezy, in fact, by the end of the day it became extremely windy. It was as if the wind followed us down from Glen Canyon... We had our heart set on building a campfire that night, but it was too ferocious and impractical, much less, dangerous for a potential fire hazzard. The climate in Arizona is very dry. Fires start and spread quite easily!

The town was jammed pack with tourists and I never saw so many round abouts in my life. We were on N State Route 89A going south, but we had to use a round about to get on West Arizona 89A to go to Cornville. It is not actually a town but an area and there's a free camp ground about 4 miles outside Sedona, which is managed by the state, that is convenient to get to and well worth your time to find it. It is where we pitched tents for a base camp. We planned it to go from there to all the trail hiking around the Sedona area. Sedona is a beautiful town and the area around it is too! All tourist that come to Arizona should see it!

Utilizing a round about in Sedona we got on 89A West to head to our campsite first where we would go ahead and set up camp and then go to Sliding Rock, a sliding watercourse that leads to a natural pool created by the water flow in a creek. And it is very popular this time of year.  Lots of tourists were there to have a fun time for Spring break. 

So we first set up camp in Cornville. We knew we were staying in the Sedona area for days. The road into the campground is very destructive on low to the ground sitting cars. So unless you have a bus, jeep, RV or truck, or some other vehicle that sets up higher off the ground level, you must be extremely patient and careful pulling into this camp site. But it's only 4 miles outside of Sedona and free! Very secluded and you can have camp fires. It can save quite a bit of money for tourists passing through. It allows tents or RVs and any vehicles. Another option, is you can rent jeeps and dune buggys in Sedona. So, even flying into the Sky Harbor International airport in Phoenix, you could rent a car to drive up to Sedona(approximately 106 miles) from The Valley of the Sun, and turn it in while in Sedona and rent a jeep for out back self-driving tours all around the area. Then rent a car again when you are done in Sedona and drive on from there.

Leaving-Sliding Rock.

After our first sleep over at the camp the next morning's first stop was CATHEDRAL ROCK

We did a lot of hiking on many trails. It is our passion. And the art of photography was complimented by the great artist eye of photography by Michelle Wilkinson. Another objective is we all wanted to lose some weight. I admit I had gained some pandemic-isolation-pounds and winter pounds due to the "Stay-Home" syndrome! Arizona trails are a great way to have fun at losing weight!! We did that. By the end of the trip I lost 7 pounds, looked and felt a lot better.

As we were approaching the top of the trail to CATHEDRAL ROCK, we came across a family who warned us of rattle snakes at the top. So, we didn't go all the way up. They won't bother you if you leave them alone though. But when there are several it increases the chance of being bitten due to camouflage. When they are crawling they can't bite you. They must coil up like a spring to strike at you. So if they are crawling you just need to leave them alone and they will go on! They are not... aggressive snakes like a water moccocin, or others. But coming out of hybernation like any other snake they will strike at anything because their vision is not 100% yet and they are ornery during that phase. Many people have been bitten in Phoenix on nature trails. I wear steel-toe-boots and wear pants and long sleeve shirts when I hike. 



This is SINKHOLE from a different angle.

This is SEVEN SACRED POOLS. The water is usually clean and blue. 4 of them(the bigger ones) dried up.

Next stop was DEVIL'S BRIDGE

A passionate tourist--spreading love! Someone arranged this at the begnning of the trail to Seven Sacred Pools. It wasn't there when we arrived. I think it was someone who was waiting for a park and ride shuttle bus. they have them in Sedona. You can park and catch the t to many destinations free!

Devil's Bridge was a very long and exhausting trail... and it was easy at first but soon turned into a real hard trail as the terrain slowly but surely became treacherous and more treacherous as we went.




I was hiking to DEVIL'S BRIDGE. Spring break brought on a lot of hikers. This trail was easy at first but became treacherous. It became a straight up incline.

This is DEVIL'S BRIDGE, in the foreground.