Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 71
After MountainMan and Ace made it to Sedona yesterday evening, we made it back to the trailhead just as it was getting dark. We walked in about a quarter mile on the trail and then headed off the trail a few hundred feet in order to find some tolerable tenting and hanging spots. We were a bit spread out, but not too far. We had all had a long day and were ready for bed.
This morning we decided to get an early start. We had seen the forecast for today which showed possible rain, most likely in the evening. So, we figured it would be best to try and get our miles in before it started to rain.
The day actually started with clear skies and the temperature was pretty warm. We continued to enjoy the smooth trails of Sedona as we worked our way towards Oak Creek. Not only was this our last potential water for about 18 miles, it was also going to be a ford. There were plenty of rocks sticking above the surface of the creek, but there wasn’t a well-spaced string of rocks to walk on, so we were forced to just walk through the creek. Having wet shoes is never much fun, but we figured our shoes would dry soon enough with the warmer air.
From the creek, we started a steady climb up to the top of the rim. The trail was steep in places and rather rocky, but the views of the red rock area around Sedona was stunning.
Eventually we made it up to the top and then had some relatively flat walking for awhile. As the day progressed, a chilly wind started to pick up and the dark clouds started to gather. We spent a lot of the day walking in our wind shirts for some extra warmth.
We tried to continue making steady progress in order to camp before the rain started. A lot of the afternoon was spent descending most of the way back down to a similar elevation to where we had started the day. The descent started on trail that was quite rough, but it got better as we got further down. We were all pretty tired as we finally came to some water on the trail and started looking for a place to camp.
Just as we were scouting for campsites, we could start to feel the first raindrops. The hanging options were pretty meager, but we all managed to squeak out a spot and Mace was able to find a reasonable tent spot. We are all quite spread out tonight…we probably could hear each other if we really yelled, but otherwise it feels like we are out here alone.
The rain has started in earnest and we are happy to be warmly tucked in our sleeping bags under our tarps as we listen to the raindrops.
It was a great day on the trail, as we enjoyed the addition of MountainMan and Ace. Chatting and laughing with them helped to distract our minds from the discomfort of the super rocky trail on our feet.