What Remains?

After you have exhausted what there is
In business, politics, conviviality, and so on
Have found that none of these finally satisfy,
Or permanently wear
What remains? Nature remains.
Walt Whitman- Song of Myself

Deadman’s Pass in Boynton Canyon,  Sedona Arizona is quiet in the morning. A walk-a-bout more than a hike, a connecting path between Boynton Canyon and  Long Canyon.  Good to be out in the clean clear air while frost is on the thick stands of manzanita and the deer and birds show themselves.

Hot Loop Trail, located off Jacks Canyon Road in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona Arizona is a favorite.  Sharing A Hike On  Hot Loop While Old  provides an appreciation, such gratitude  on still having the strength, agility, and wits about me to make the thousand foot climb upward to views that are stand up straight shoulder squaring.   No other hikers but us the entire trek, which is excellent, considering the heavy density of use on so many of Sedona’s trails. The peace, quiet, and bird song, as well as that physical workout deeply energize. An ace choice of hiking trails for the New Year of 2019.

Carroll Canyon, Old Post, and the Ridge Trails are very much ‘in town’,  neighborhood trails. Quick access to outdoors whether on a lunch break from employment at a close by coffee shop, a break for a take away slice or tamale picnic in a day of errands, or out for establishing that exercise every morning routine.  There is activity here. Noise from the sky from the tourist helicopter tours taking off and landing from nearby Sedona Airport,  mountain bike enthusiasts enjoy these trails for their proximity to bike rentals, but then there will be a stretch of quiet time, red rock beauties, solitude, and flowers blooming in winter, or  a red tailed hawk swooping deep through Carroll Canyon to surprise and delight and elude the camera lens.

 The holidays over, the family and friends returned home or traveled on, decorations packed away and fond memories held onto. To Mescal Trail one of the most beautiful areas in Sedona, and one we enjoy in the winter. There was an observation made over the holidays that my website often made it seem as though we were the only ones out hiking in Sedona and that their recent traffic jammed up tight experiences between the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona said otherwise. It was an accurate observation.

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The slideshow above is a  sample of what ‘peopling’ a Sedona Arizona photo essay looks look like. A visual ‘loved to death’ scenario unfolding all around Mescal Trail and much of the area this week as thousands of tourists finish off 2018 in Sedona Arizona.  Clearly we are not the only ones who have chosen to welcome the New Year with being out in nature.

My  personal New Years Resolution is to spend as many days as possible outside in nature.  These three beautiful hiking trails and a walk about recently have reinforced to me that I have made a most excellent choice, a totally enjoyable commitment for 2019.

Thank you for visiting. All my best to each and every one of you for this New Year of 2019.

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To Let Things Feel Normal

“Everyone must resist the urge to let things feel normal, and stand up for individuals, minorities, organizations, and causes that will be under threat during the Trump Administration.’  “John Oliver

Oh the pressure is on:  to shop the holidays to financial ruin;  loudly gnash teeth over USA’s  recent joint political/ governing/ and citizen election debacle;  fret the unsettled global times, engage in a family holiday melodrama, or think too much about how Georgia is both powerful and thriving due to American preference for the lies and misinformation of fake news. And how about that Global Warming!

Excellent reasons and season to choose to continue the binge hiking during  this period before the Winter Solstice.   To spend some time to figure out how best to navigate safely,  with purpose, faith, peace, and good humor  in this world determined to go Tilt Ta Whorl .

Out the door and down the road to visit with an old friend, Hot Loop 94.

The Hot Loop can be a trickster. Important to keep track of  time when together, and keep a visual siting on a few formations and location in relation to them.  A compass essential.  The light leaves early from low between formations,  and cinder-cones. Late Fall through Spring is  the best time of the year to visit.  There are stretches of exposed basalt that heat up, and while it feels great on a winters day to walk your bare skin in the sun, it’s extremely hot in the summer months.  It’s quiet time with the Hot Loop. Saw only one lone cowboy all the day long. Surrounded  with cinder cones, red rock formations, deep washes, Jack’s Canyon, and the top ridge line of the Colorado Plateau above to Horse Mesa.  The narrow trail changes up from stretches of loose black basalt pebbles, thousands of small distractions,  aiming to send hikers sprawling if not mindful of every step. Then rusty red boot sucking  mud in deep forest shadows. An opportunity to hike with entire chapters of  Sedona’s 340 million years of geology.

The surrounding area tempts hikers to leave the trail.  Whether it is the colorful geology laid before the eyes, the sight of a high up there cavern, a first rate Sedona metaphysical vision, the sound of scrub jays,  cattle, or an angle for a photo providing a sweeping panorama for a perfect holiday greeting card….mindful to  remember it’s a clever seduction to stray from the trail being played upon hikers, the trail always the truest,  faithful companion.

 

This time of the year, Just before the Yule. Just before the light returns, and Santa Claus arrives…. is the perfect time to walk the earth, get clear on what and who is important and what my role is and will be going forward. My decades indicate that  both the perception, term, and the reality of this thing we call   ‘normal’ wears a thousand different disguises;  fluid, varied and changing.

May each and everyone enjoy safe, joyous, and peace-filled holidays. I’ll be visiting around with you to catch up over the holidays and return to posting with the New Year.  Peace and Blessings.

Today’s Music: Marvin Gaye : What’s Going On

Interesting Read:  Climate Change Tipping Points Are Not Just Symbolic featured in the Guardian .

Spot on Watch: The Lead: Jake Tapper

Local  AZ organizations doing good environmental work:

Keep Sedona Beautiful

Friends of the Verde River Greenway

Sedona Recycles