We have woken up and showered. Currently having breakfast while watching "How It's Made" (air filters, billard cues, ice sculptures, and suits) While showering, the wedding band--which I briefly took off--was calling to me, "Don't forget me." Talk about one ring to bind us.
We're about to get ready for Red Rock. Still trying to figure out where to go later on after the hikes. It's between biplane tours, jeep tours, train tours, helicopter tours, and hot air balloon tours. Jerome might be the key place since there is a restaurant nearby that used to be an insane asylum.
We're near Red Rock State Park next to a ranch pueblo. It's so red and green and peaceful. Next chance we get, we're getting sunglasses. Just thanked hammercock for the lip balm ;)
We are in the Red Rock State Park sitting in a Wildlife Viewing Bench with no large wildlife nearby. We're being ambitious and taking a hike 1.9 miles in length which is nothing. (We went to 5-mile hikes near Yellowstone.) Just saw a yellow butterfly. Wildlife obtained. Onward.
For the record, it's very sunny (81 degrees). I'm glad we bought hats from the Visitor Center. Still no sunglasses. Wearing my scarf for my neck. We are at a cliff overlooking the entire park and much of Sedona. We are seeing the Red Rocks in all of their glory. Hammercock is snapping pictures like crazy. You can't describe this. You have to see it for yourself. It's called the Coyote Ridge Overlook.
There is life in the desert. The air is dusty, but it's clean, red dust. The change in elevation hasn't affected my breathing. There is at least a mile left in the hike. I see a small airplane up ahead. It feels like a small group of travelers will be welcomed to Fantasy Island--which is not far from true.
We are 4,102 ft up overlooking House of Apache Fire, Napoleon's Tomb, House Mountain, and Three Sisters.
We finished our hike. For fun, we took another trail. It was only another 0.5 miles. Hammercock got me a star wolf keychain. Now, I have more keychains than keys. We're taking the more scenic route on Red Rock Loop Road. People live here! Unbelievable. The houses just blend. Then again, there are trailer parks near Red Rock Crossing.
Calling for reservations on the Red Rock Loop Road--difficult
Writing a journal on the Red Rock Loop Road--equally difficult
The last train left 30 minutes ago for the railroad tours. Suck. We'll try again for Saturday. Looks like it's a helicopter ride.
Aerial tours book up pretty quickly. We were lucky to get a last minute slot for a bird's eye sneak preview of our Grand Canyon trip tomorrow. It's good to splurge once in a while on something like this. Currently waiting in the Sedona Airport Restaurant which is next to the runway. It feels like an episode of "Wings" only outdoors. Very quiet, even with the biplanes taking off. Here we are: at the height of habitable Sedona surrounded by Red Rock formations about to go another plane. This place just wants to be beautiful. Despite the development of more houses and resorts, the people also want to make this beautiful.
This will be the smallest plane I have ever flown in. Ten seats if you include the pilot seat. Twin engines. Propellers on the front. We just witnessed a plane with propellers on the rear as well as a biplane to our left. Hammercock has her dramamine.
This is as close to really flying as I will ever get. Front row seats the San Fransisco peaks.
Forget Hawaii. I'm seeing desert wolcanoes with miles upon miles of lava flow near the Painted Desert. locutus would be pleased A few minutes from the Grand Canyon.
Here it is. It's all true, even the Colorado Canyon. Too bad air space is restricted, otherwise we would fly throughout the entire canyon. I have every faith in hammercock's photography skills. Thank goodness for dramamine and Tic Tacs. She's a trooper.
We did it. Great flight. Now it's on the road to Jerome for a 6pm reservation at the Asylum.
In a small, hilly town of Jerome, there is a place at the end of an unpaved, red and dusty road. It probably seems appropriate that it used to be a madhouse. Above my wife's head is a photograph of two doctors. It is hung in a column which also contains a small cabinet filled with local elixirs. McCoy was right about 20th century medicine in "Star Trek IV". Nonetheless, I will have my own elixir dubbed "The Elixir". Absolut Peach, OJ, pineapple juice and grenadine. Shaken, not stirred in a frosty pint glass. Hammercock will have a 4-wine assortment which will include a 2004 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz. Yes, I do order the fluffy drinks for they are tasty. Besides, we're scheduled to go to a wine tasting in three hours. BTW, appropriately, they give us crayons to scribble on which paper covering a lush tablecloth.
It's 6:40pm. It took us 30 minutes to get from our room in Sedona to the Asylum. We just ordered. In the event that we say "Screw It" to the wine tasting. I decided to have our own wine tasting. Current list:
Hammercock: Bitch Barossa Grenach 2005 (red)
E&M Berger Gruner Veltliner 2005 (white)
Chateau Graville Lacoste 2005 (white)
Paringa Sparkling Shiraz
Me: Jaume Cristalino Brut Cava NV
Mark West Pinot Noir 2003
Alma Rosa Chardonnay 2004
Paringa Sparkling Shiraz 2004
Did I mention that the pepper grinder in motorized?
Hammercock is a little tipsy. A wine tasting sampler was enough for her. I had a beef medallion on some spinach linguini stroganoff style. Hammercock had just the spinach pasta. Both came with spicy butternut squash soup. It was all yummy. We purchased their souvenir wine glasses. Leaving the Asylum, the sun setted. In the evening, as we walked down the dirt road, it briefly felt like Europe, perhaps Spain, southern France, or northern Italy. Very quiet, very rustic, with only a few lights for the stone buildings. Further down towards "downtown" Jerome, we are reminded that we're in Arizona with the saloons, Southwest art shops, and former brothels turned historic landmarks. Currently killing time in the car with the radio on full blast until we sober up. The problem is that Highway 89A towards Jerome is very hilly and twisted.