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Paria River Valley, Utah

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sedona Part 3

November 25

Early morning Friday was quite a bit warmer than the day before. Maybe we will see some balloons today. The town of Sedona is quite busy with it being Thanksgiving so I do not know what our plans will be today as we are trying to avoid the crowds.

We finally decided to take a drive up Highway 89 to Slide Rock State Park and then carried on to the view point in Oak Creek Canyon. Ray, myself and Freya were off like a herd of turtles by 8:30 am to beat the crowds.

A much better picture of Sphynx Rock
 Further down the highway I stopped and Ray took a better picture of Steamboat Rock, as well.


Soon we were at Slide Rock State Park. We paid our $10 and parked the car. A short trail leads you past the old Pendley Homestead and apple orchard.

The old Homestead

Fruit Packing Barn with restored tractors.
A 1946 restored McCormick Deering


Apple Orchard, old machinery and the original waterwheel.

The view from the farm with the orchard at the base of the mountains.
Next we put Freya back in the car as she was not allowed to go down to the swimming area. Being only 60 F. with the windows down and the wind a bit nippy, we did not worry about her for an hour. Down the stairs we went. It is simply gorgeous. I can see why this area is so busy in the summer. Some of the pools are very deep ... I even saw 2 large catfish swim by while waiting for Ray to get all of his pictures. The water of Oak Creek is crystal clear here. There were not too many people in his way but when we got back to the parking lot there were tons more people starting out on their walk. Glad we came early.





Back in the car it was off to the view point. The road winds up the mountain with many switchbacks from 4000 feet to the top at 6450 feet in only about 5 miles. We could not take any pictures of Oak Creek Canyon though as the sun was right in our eyes. Being Friday after Thanksgiving there were many vendors at the view point selling their wares.  All very good quality too. I was very tempted but living in a small space, what was I going to do with any of it!  Friends of ours Malc and Kathy inadvertently came down this highway from Flagstaff towing their big fifth wheel instead of going down I-17 and then cutting over to Cottonwood a couple of years ago, I think. Cudoos to you Malc, I sure you probably almost pooped your pants! A very narrow windy bit of road. You had to really pay attention in the car as people coming towards me were often drifting over in the wrong lane around corners.


Heading back to Sedona we opted to take Highway 179 through Oak Creek Village. We thought about turning around and heading back to Sedona but the traffic was horrendous. With all of their turn-a-bouts slowing traffic down it looked like rush hour traffic in Vancouver. We decided to carry on and then take the I-17 down to Cornville, cut back over to SR89 via Page Springs and then back to camp. A much wiser idea and beautiful new views.

Our afternoon was spent sitting in the sun in shorts with temps about 69 F.

Saturday morning we woke up to clouds. We did see 4 balloons though. After checking the temps for the next week which had been downgraded from low 60's to the low 50's with mid 20's overnight and 2 days of rain again and possible snow ... we packed up and decided to head towards Phoenix which is 10 degrees warmer. By 11:30 we were all set up at Lake Pleasant in one of their dry-camping areas with a spectacular view of the lake. After a quick bite to eat it was nice to partake in their hot tub and have a shower, a bonus for staying here. We will hunker down here for a few days and then make some decisions as where to next. The Phoenix area is very limited for free dry-camping areas.

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