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From Sedona to Grand Canyon

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From very pretty red rocks to the biggest ever hole in the ground: Sedona to Grand Canyon

Sedona

A fellow camper and avid hiker we met recently told us he doesn't usually bother with Sedona. Too many rich homes and too many rules about hiking and parking. We think differently. The rich property owners pay taxes but we can visit and take advantage of the wonders of Sedona virtually for free.

While it's still true that there's never enough parking available, a Red Rock Pass (parking fee) is no longer required at many of the trailheads. This has changed since our last visit. Imagine - places where there used to be a fee to hike, and now there isn't! This is not the first time we've encountered this situation on this trip. Has anyone else noticed similar situations on public lands in the USA? You may not be aware that we have the efforts of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition to thank for this. Thank you!!! But I digress.....

As we have done on previous visits, we spent 4 days in Sedona. We hiked amazing trails through red-rocks splendor.

Doe Trail, Sedona

Doe Trail - a great hike offering 360-degree views.

Doe Trail, Sedona

Doe Trail, Sedona

It was a fairly easy hike.

Cathedral Rock, Sedona

The next one we chose was a lot more technical.

Cathedral Trail, Sedona

But the reward, was worth every step.

We wandered through art galleries and unique shops (not entirely without spending money - I treated myself to new earrings). Sedona's galleries are always a great place to catch famous guest artists at work. In fact, we were told that this nation-wide trend apparently started here in one of Sedona's oldest galleries. An artist's wife ran the gallery while he worked in his studio. One day, she had urgent business to attend to and asked him to mind the store. He protested, "But I have a piece I must finish." The wife's answer: "Well, you'll have to bring it to the gallery and finish it here." The rest, as they say, is history.

We watched several artists at work. Kraig Varner was working on this amazing piece at Mountain Trails Gallery and very kind to allow our interruptions both for questions and a photo.

Kraig Varner, Sedona

Kraig Varner, amazingly talented figurative sculptor, has a studio and home in Alpine, Utah.

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona

We hung out at Slide Rock State Park.

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona

The water was still a bit too cold for us but not for this guy.

Once again, we happily camped for free just outside town. Here are some shots of our campsites.

Sedona boondocking site

Sedona boondocking site

At this site we have our own mini Slide Rock Park.

Sedona boondocking site

Sedona boondocking site

Last weekend we went dancing.....and now for this week's Saturday night entertainment....

The Grand Canyon

Time to move it up to that big hole in the ground. Although we've visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon four times over the 13 years we've been traveling, we never seem able to resist the urge to go back.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

As usual, we hiked part of the Rim Trail and rode the shuttle to the rest of the overlooks.

Grand Canyon

Nine years ago we hiked to the bottom on this trail.

Grand Canyon

It doesn't matter that we already have a hundred pictures of the G.C. Each visit we try for our "best ever" low-sun photo.

Grand Canyon

And best "sitting on the edge of the world" shot

Of course, free camping just outside the park boundary, can't hurt. Isn't it amazing that this exists and few people seem to use it? We were the only camper in this location one night. The next night, we had one neighbor.

Grand Canyon

Our free forest campsite

And finally - the first time we've seen THIS on our travels:

lama rides

At a trailhead outside Sedona, we saw an outfitter using lamas as sherpas.

That was our week: from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. What's next? We're saying goodbye to Arizona and heading to our favorite state: Utah!

Days on the road on this trip: 97

Total camping costs to date: $123.00

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