Difficult or Extreme?

“That was the thing about the world:
It wasn’t that things were harder
Than you thought they
Were going to be,
It was that they were hard
In ways that you didn’t expect.”
Lev Grossman, The Magician King

The weather could not be more perfect in the Verde Valley, so we are out the door this weekend to explore one of the many ‘new to us’ trails in the Sedona area. While we were living somewhere else, mountain biking got really popular in Sedona, as well as an increase in  people hiking at all levels of ability.

We were surprised to share Mescal Trail  with lots of fellow hikers and bikers, many of which are in the midst of their metaphysical  Red Rock Sedona Weekend Transformational  Experience, and want/need  to chat about it. This hike really does have some spectacular views and vistas and catching a dose of Red Rock Fever while out and about on Mescal  is understandable. I envision USFS ‘Social Engagement in Progress’ signage soon.It was fun for awhile  to pause and chat, and oh the young people  mountain biking are just delightful, full of vitality, good manners,  and optimism.What could be better for mountain bikers than the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival,  currently in full swing!

All the pauses for conversation left us not covering the distance we desired, we hadn’t brought provisions for the party, and  concerned for how many folks are hiking without water, barefoot, or watching their phone screens and not their next step.

The high desert world can be a harsh and unforgiving environment, while simultaneously providing you an afternoon of gorgeousness and delight. Turned ankles, cactus spines, and  Dehydration surprise,  disrupt,  and can certainly make a Holiday or Saturday Afternoon difficult in unexpected ways, deadly at the extreme.  The Red Rocks can be tricksters, and as the above quote so clearly says:  ‘ hard in ways that you did not expect.’ .., though I would never be able to convince the two barefoot men grinning ear to ear and having ‘The best day of our lives!’

Some of my favorite photos  of the days outing:

Todays Music: Carlos Santana – Smooth

Peace and Blessings To You This Day.

37 thoughts on “Difficult or Extreme?

  1. Awe-inspiring photos and I can well understand that you have to take care and realise there are hardships in ways you didn’t expect – much as life really! I love the picnic photo at the end, what a stunning location and well worth the hike. Hopefully I will experience this for real one day. Many thanks for sharing, a real joy.

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    1. Oh, I am so glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, climbing about on the red rocks is a real metaphor for much of our lives, no matter where we live them. Often the most innocent of mis-steps can result in quite a fall.

      Annika, I hope you one day visit too! A heartfelt excellent day to you, and thank you for your loyal support and kind words.

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  2. Beautiful photos. I don’t know about your area… but our desert down here in the Valley is covered in a blanket of grass. It’s a sight to see!
    Hope you are well! I am hoping to blog a bit more. However, I have been kidnapped by Instagram.
    Things are well in my neck of the woods(desert!) Hugs to you!

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    1. The flowering cherries are busting out in bloom here, trees just greening, and down deep in the broom grass there is green.
      This year I am determined to capture with the camera the saguaro blooms down your way.
      Spring in the desert is just marvelous.
      So good to hear from you.
      Happy Women’s Day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy Women’s Day to you as well. So glad to see you are well and all is good.

        The Saguaros start to bloom way after the other cacti bloom. Our around here are mid April to the end of April.
        Enjoy your day!

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  3. Gorgeous pictures of the red rocks and trails around Sedona. I’ve seen them from afar on my two trips to Sedona but the only trail I could take would have been “for the gently aging.” Your day sounded wonderful and lively.

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    1. Hello Carl, good to hear from you.

      Now about that gold: There is a man with a well used utility truck, who sets up tables, displayed gear, and a large banner that reads ” Gold Mining Lessons.” in the area. There is always one or more cars pulled off and people gathered under the banner. I have not stopped myself, nor have I seen anyone panning for gold on my wanderings. BUT….there is Nancy who is south as the crow flies from here and has knowledge, experience and shares it in just such an interesting read. Here’s a link:
      https://twotrailsoneroad.com/category/arizona/prospecting/

      All my best and thank you for stopping by.

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        1. Oh Carl, the geology of this area fires up and sustains the FIG ( Fossil Imagination Gene ) and once it is activated you will be late for dinner many a day. My best to you.

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            1. Oh I do let me know how you make out with the rock and gem club.
              Since you are in Greensboro NC, then you must absolutely take a road trip to Aurora NC. This is a small village with a claim to fame of a first rate Fossil Museum open year round, an annual Fossil Celebration where folks come from very far and near to show off their fossils and gems, the fried fish sandwiches are excellent, and a large phosphate mining company which unearths a huge amount of fossils and has tours.
              The area is full of fossils, and in the village square there is a big sandbox to sift through for treasure that will inspire you and may lead to mild to extreme obsession with ancient shark vertebra and teeth.
              An excellent week to you, Carl.

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  4. Oh, your Sedona photos make me want to hop on a plane and get back there for some hiking. And don’t you just love being around those young people, not yet contaminated with adult cynicism. They are delightfully contagious.

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    1. Yes! People were out to play, and kindness prevailed. Gotta love the effect those Red Rocks, Sunshine, and Cobalt Blue Skies have on people.

      Jim, hiking is always excellent here, but before the intense heat of summer is optimum. Wildflower season is coming up and with this past wet winter the flowers should be spectacular.

      Thanks for stopping by. All my best to you.

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    1. So happy you enjoyed those Red Rocks. After many years since my first sight of them, they still tempt me out to explore, even the few who I consider familiars.

      Thank you for stopping by. Please know, your kind words and support of my posts are appreciated.

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    1. There were several times that particular signage appeared, and a choice of Difficult or Extreme had to be made. Each time we would laugh, as the sign could be so used as a metaphor for events and challenges all of us meet throughout our lives. We concluded that since ‘difficult’ or ‘extreme’ were the only two choices, both would get us to where we wanted to get to, and since neither looked easy, we’d alternate, taking the difficult one time, the extreme another. Saw no measurable difference in difficulty, BUT if it began to rain on this trail, I would quickly bail the hike as there would be large areas of tilting slick red rock to fall down and slide on, and edges to fall off of.

      Thanks for the visit!

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliment on the photos. Oh I love some of the original high jinks sounding names of the places in this area. Some of my favorites are ‘Devils Bridge’, Horse-Thief and Lake, ‘Big Bug Creek.’ All my best to you.

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    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely compliment, and for visiting my website.

      Bucket Lists fascinate me. Have not made one yet, but I do find myself in the frame of mind/heart of thinking in terms of what I genuinely must do, learn, read, or go see SOONER rather than later. So perhaps I am teasing round the edge of a Bucket List.

      My best to you.

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