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Sedona Thunder Mountain

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      Thunder Mountain

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thunder Mountain On our only full day in Sedona, we decided to take a "moderate" hike. We spent many, many minutes perusing the lobby’s hiking book for the perfect hike. The book divided hikes into easy, moderate and difficult. It’s amazing how three people who have been hiking together for two weeks could have such different definitions of "moderate." Elaine and I were pretty closely matched. We looked for hikes in the moderate section between 4 and 6 miles. Robyne began looking in the same section for 8+ mile hikes, but after reading a few hike descriptions, quickly moved to the "difficult" hikes of the same length.

We decided on an 8-mile "difficult" loop that didn’t sound too "difficult." The book said the trailhead could be reached by car... The book lied. Luckily, the beginning of the impassible road had a parking area and, according to the map, we could walk a mile down the road to reach a short 1.8 mile hike called Devil’s Bridge. However, before we even left the parking lot, Elaine spied a trail and said, "I wonder where that goes." Being in the lead, I immediately veered for the trail and said, "Let’s see."

Thunder Mountain

View from the rock pillar So began a four hour hike, from 10 am to 2 pm, in hottest part of the day, the part of the day during which tourist are warned not to hike in the desert. We followed the trail, periodically guessing where the trail might lead. It appeared to be looping around Thunder mountain. We got a little excited. Perhaps the trail would meet up with the road and we could circle back to our car. A quarter of the way around, we climbed a side trail that led us to a nice shady rest spot beneath a rock pillar (yes, we climb to the top of the pillar after a small break).

View from the rock pillar

View Elaine and Robyne View
The views were stunning Elaine sitting on a rock cairn

Sitting on the rock When we were "half" way around Thunder Mountain, we met hikers with a map. We may have been on the other side of Thunder Mountain, but we were far from halfway around. And once we reached the road, there would still be a 4.5 mile hike back to the car. Without too much dissension from Robyne, we decided to turn around. We stopped at the same shady spot on the way back. Our legs were a more tired, so we relied on butt friction to keep us from slipping down the rock.

Friction kept us on the rock

On our way back to the hotel, we decided to swing by Safeway for a snack. In order not to ruin our dinner, we decided to only get a fruit cup... and a sandwich... and cheese and crackers... and watermelon... and fruit juice. Back at the hotel, we ate, showered and relaxed, then grouped together again to watch the Presidential debate... and snack on cookies.

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