Mud on the Broken Arrow

I was pretty impressed this morning when I finally got a chance to look around and see where it was I'd driven to late the previous night, in total darkness.  My hotel is perched atop a mesa that it shares with the Sedona airport and has a sweeping view of the city below with a backdrop of gorgeous multi-colored rock formations looming in every distance.  Even more fortuitously, my comfortable and cozy room sits less than 1000 feet from one of Sedona's famous magnetic vortexes (a masculine one, for those of you who are keeping track).  I keep eyeing my bracelets, waiting for some stirrings, but nothing yet.  I plan to go check it out tomorrow and report back.

I spent a good hour driving around town, orienting myself and locating a few places I'd like to see.  I stopped for some coffee and got a piece of beautiful homemade cherry pie with a delicious crumb topping.  I myself always consider a day that starts with pie for breakfast is a mighty good one.  After stopping to get a park pass and some advice on hikes I might take, I headed off to a trail called Broken Arrow, just a bit south of town.

When I pulled into the trail head parking area, I had to navigate between puddles and mud bogs to park.  The recent snows had begun to melt turning everything alive with water.  As far as I can tell, the decaying rocks produce a silty sand that coagulates into a thick orange soupy mud when wet.   As I prepared to hit the trail, I was grateful I'd brought my walking poles - they'd make a big difference.

I was alone when I set off down the trail and went a good long time before running across any other hikers.  The path was beautiful, weaving in and out of madrone and juniper trees, past giant red boulders and across tiny streams.  There were two or three times the trail dissolved onto big slick rock areas which helped me work on my trail following skills.  Several times I foundered, losing the trail, but each time I found my way again by observing and thinking things through.  Everybody else has probably had these skills since they were a boy scout in the 8th grade, but I'm just now learning them!  It's all a revelation to me.

One thing I enjoyed observing were the details that indicated a fire must have consumed the area many years ago.   Many of the madrones had charred limbs and cones but most were healthy and thriving with new growth.

I reached the point where I needed to turn around and retrace my path so I could make it back into town for my 3:00 massage.  Yeah, I know, I sure am roughing it, aren't I?  I found a lovely outcropping of rock which looked over a stream bed and began combing the area for interesting rocks I could use in a stack.  I found a big Andy-Goldsworthy-style piece of sandstone that had a clean cleft, and then managed to find a nice piece of curved limestone that fit right in the crevice to support the next layer. It was a lot of fun finding just the right rocks and I used a black scorched madrone leaf as an ornamental topper.  I made sure my stack was all settled in and had a nice view before I left.

All that delightful piddling around and I was running a little behind schedule so I put some muscle into my return hike so I wouldn't be late.  I was tremendously pleased with my knees - they held up perfectly on the two hour hike and I didn't experience a bit of pain.  How fabulous.  I'm so happy to be hiking again!

I made it back to town in plenty of time for a really excellent 1.5 hour massage.    What a luxury to have someone rub your sore muscles for a long time.  I'm so glad to live in a time and place where that's possible.

After a bit of pricey Korean food for dinner and a short jaunt to Walgreens,  I was ready to go back to my room and do some writing.  Just one more way I'm finding to thoroughly enjoy myself on this adventure.  I sure am going to sleep well tonight!

No comments: