Kentucky: Quilting to Bourbon

Paducah, Kentucky is home to the National Quilt Museum. We’ve been trying to get there for awhile. This trip we made it happen.

Fern Lake Campground

We arrived during Quilt Week, a massive gathering of quilters and vendors of all things quilting. Our focus was on the museum and their current exhibitions. We were not disappointed. To call what these quilters do quilts fails to convey the level of artistry involved in producing this work.

Summer Fun, 2022 by Marina Landi and Fabia Diniz

Yes! That was done with dyed fabric and thread.

Black Star Family, First Class Tickets to Liberia, 2018 by Bisa Butler

One of the major shows at the museum was called “Showstopper “ highlighting the work of Marilyn Badger, a competitive quilter. And showstoppers they were.

Exuberance, 2014
Midnight in Morocco, 2020
Filigree, 2009

The other major museum show was “Larger Then Life” by Velda Newman. She dyes all of her fabrics and hand quilts everything.

“Zinnia” took two years to complete and is 17 1/2 feet long and over 7 feet tall

There are more mind blowing “Quilts” than would be practical to include here. If you enjoy this kind of textile art you owe yourself a visit to Paducah or at least a visit to the museum’s website:

After spending a day looking at quilts and rubbing shoulders with the hordes we drove to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area for some bike riding.

On the Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail

We left Paducah and continued our journey north for a stop along the bourbon trail in Bardstown, Kentucky.

White Acres Campground

Bardstown refers to itself as “the bourbon capital of the world “. This is no idle boast given the number of distilleries in the area. In fact, as you wander the town you can smell corn mash being fermented.

Bardstown Visitor Center
One of the lovely federalist style brick homes found in Bardstown
We enjoyed wandering the “historic “ downtown

We weren’t there to wander Main Street but visit distilleries. We had one tour booked but decided to do some visits without tours.

One of the numerous rickhouses ( where the barrels of bourbon are aged) found on the grounds of Bardstown Bourbon Company

The Bardstown Bourbon Company is a new distillery in the area. They’ve been around less than seven years and have an outstanding bar in their new modern facility.

We also stopped by the Heaven Hill Distillery. The original distillery burned down in 1996 but they bought a facility in Louisville to continue to make whiskey. In 2022 they rebuilt their rickhouses on the sight of their original distillery.

We did book a tour and tasting at Willet, a smaller, family owned and operated distillery. The family were pig farmers until the abolition of prohibition in 1933 when they decided to ride the whiskey wave sweeping the country. The grounds are beautiful and they have great food @ the bar.

Fermentation Tanks
Copper Pot Still
Willet’s original rickhouse

We made time to spend an afternoon at the 600 acre Bernhiem Arboretum. While wandering about we ran into few amenable trolls.

Little Nis
Little Elina
Mama Loumari

Thomas Dambo one of the many artists in residence that work with the arboretum created the troll series.

Oxygen by Akunzo
Sounds of the Whippoorwill by Justin Roberts

It’s been a great trip and after stopping at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio for our annual repair and maintenance date, we head back to Buffalo. We plan on being back on the road in September.


We left the New Orleans area and turned the Tincan north to Oxford, Mississippi. Oxford has an interesting history. It’s home to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where in 1962 James Meredith integrated the university. Oxford was also the home of the author William Faulkner.

Site 19

We camped about 30 minutes south of town in an Army Corp of Engineers campground called Persimmon Hill on Enid Lake. This was a great stop, the Army Corp campgrounds are very spacious and often have sewer hookups. This one had hiking, biking and fishing.

We drove into town and were taken aback by the traffic and people wandering around. The Ole Miss baseball team is the defending US Collegiate Champions and they were playing their rivals LSU over the weekend. In addition, Morgan Wallen (we had to ask who he was) was playing two large stadium shows as well. He’s a country artist which explained all the cowboy boots and hats. In spite of the crowds we were able to do most of what we had planned other than wander the University campus.

Courthouse Square
Hashing it out with Faulkner
Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak

Faulkner never taught at Ole Miss and only attended for three semesters before quitting. However, the University maintains the house and does tours.

The study where Faulkner wrote

We realized we were only an hour away from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. We’ve wanted to visit for awhile so we took advantage of our proximity to make it happen.

The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968. The museum opened in 1991 and has exhibits that trace the US civil rights movement from the 17th century to the present. The museum is very well done and worth checking out.

Rosa Parks
The balcony outside Room 306
On the balcony looking towards the rooming house where the fatal shot originated

While we ended our stay in Mississippi on a somber note we enjoyed our visit and are sure to return. But it’s time to pack up and head to Kentucky.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

When visiting New Orleans we always camp at Bayou Segnette SP on the west bank of the Mississippi River. A twenty minute drive gets us to Algiers Point and a short ferry trip across the Mississippi to the French Quarter.

Site 98
Festival Bound

This was our second visit to the French Quarter Festival. The festival runs for four days and is free. Stages are set up throughout the Quarter and features a variety of local and regional talent. Good food and friendly people make for a fun time.

The Abita Stage, always well attended
The Panorama Jazz Band
The Kings of Brass

In addition to the formal stages there are plenty of street performers to entertain you as you wander the streets.

This group of high school musicians got together to busk @ the festival

Wandering New Orleans is always a treat with lots of interesting architecture.

Whenever we visit New Orleans we make a point to visit the 1,300 acre City Park. The park is about 50% larger than Central Park in NYC and is home to the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), a sculpture garden, a botanical garden and lots of open space.

One of Nick Cave’s Sound Suits at NOMA
Part of the sculpture garden
The Magnolia Trees were blossoming
The park has our favorite coffee and beignet stop

New Orleans has lots of interesting neighborhoods to explore, the Bywater, Marigny, Treme, Irish Channel and the Garden District to name a few. With limited time we decided to wander the Garden District.

Lafayette Cemetery founded in 1833

You never know what you’ll see as you wander NOLA.

Sunset on the Mississippi River

After the festival we moved our base of operations to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Fairview River SP.

Site 29

To get to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain you have to travel the 24 mile causeway from New Orleans.

It’s a big lake

Situated along the north shore of the lake are a number of small towns that we wanted to check out. Abita Springs, home to Abita brewing was one of them.

Pat’s winning shuffle board form
A hoarder’s delight

Connecting many of the north shore towns is the 31 mile Tammany Trace asphalt bike path. We road a section in Covington and Mandeville.

Along the Trace in Mandeville

We’ve reached the point in our trip where it’s time to start heading north. The trip home won’t be rushed, we still have some new locales to explore.

Savannah, Again

Some of the finest state campgrounds we’ve found are located in Georgia. However, Skidaway Island State Park is our favorite. It’s a beautiful spot located in a live oak hammock and surrounded by tidal salt marshes.

Site 6

Part of the park’s appeal is its proximity to downtown Savannah. We were here last October but didn’t spend much time in the city. The park’s natural beauty kept us close to home.

Ornate Box Turtle as seen while biking
Salt Marsh

We love biking and hiking the park trails and just relaxing around camp. That’s basically what we did during our last visit. This time we timed our stop to coincide with the Savannah Music Festival. The plan is to spend more time in the city attending concerts.

The Metal Building at the Trustees Garden

The festival venues are spread around the city. This year saw the addition of two new performance spaces, The Trustees Garden (a large outdoor space) and The Metal building. Our first show happened here.

Christian Sands High Wire Trio

The festival does not focus on one style of music, it’s motto is “A world of music. One city.” We took the opportunity to enjoy some bands from Africa.

Natu Camara from Guinea
Soba Jobarteh from Gambia

James Edward Oglethorpe established the city of Savannah in 1733. Oglethorpe planned the city around a series of squares with streets laid out in a grid. Each square had a small community of colonists living around it. Originally six squares were set up and grew to twenty four squares. Today, Savannah includes twenty two of those original squares.

Oglethorpe statue in Chippewa Square
Wright Square
German Memorial Fountain in Orleans Square
Columbia Square

Savannah is a beautiful city that’s a joy to wander around in.

The Gingerbread House on Bull Street

Savannah is a port city that was vital in supplying Confederate troops during the Civil War. When General Sherman rolled through Georgia he left a path of destruction. However, when he got to Savannah he spared the city. Sparing the city allowed the Union army to use the port to supply its troops and deprive the Confederates of supplies.

Evening on the Savannah River

We’ve been lucky to have been able to visit Savannah on numerous occasions. While we enjoy revisiting favorite places we are always looking to find new spots. This trip we decided to checkout Savannah’s famous Bonaventure Cemetery where some of Savannah’s early residents are buried.

Bonaventure’s Jewish Gate

Oglethorpe’s original charter forbade slavery and guaranteed religious freedom in the colony. As a result many Jews elected to join the colony resulting in a Jewish section in the cemetery.

The cemetery’s Holocaust Memorial

There’s also plenty of southern Gothic beauty to be found in the cemetery.

In between our explorations we are still attending music festival performances.

Eighty eight year old Houston Person bringing it
Charles McPherson Quintet featuring Sean Jones
Terence Blanchard with the E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet

One of the perks of camping in a Georgia State Park is free admission to any other state park. We decided to travel south to Fort McAllistar for a hike on the Redbird Trail.

A lot of American History has occurred in and around Savannah. From colonial times, Revolutionary War, Civil War and the Civil Rights era history happened here.

This is the Owens-Thomas house designed by William Jay and built between 1816 and 1819. General Lafayette stayed here a as a guest of the city in 1825 and addressed the residents of Savannah from the south balcony.
The south balcony

Savannah is also home to a number of Art Galleries. Two of our favorites are the Jepson Center of the Arts and the SCAD Museum of Art.

The atrium at the Jepson

The Savannah College of Art and Design has a large presence in Savannah. They have been active in preserving historic architecture throughout the city. The SCAD museum is housed in a former train station which makes for an interesting exhibition space.

Patrick Dougherty’s “Making the Birds Proud”, 2021
Chase Hall’s “Thelonius“, 2018-2019

Savannah is a uniquely beautiful city and that alone is a reason for a visit. As avid music lovers, having a great music festival was added incentive to stop by for a visit. When we realized one of our favorite piano jazz trios was part of the festival we booked our trip and bought concert tickets.

Kenny Barron
Dave Holland
Johnathan Blake

We’ve had a a wonderful stay in Savannah but it’s time to start heading west to New Orleans.

Delayed Departure

Some medical issues pushed back our southbound departure by an unexpected two months. As a result we got to experience Buffalo’s Christmas Blizzard. Very memorable. When we finally did set out, it was to the beat of Canned Heat’s “On The Road Again”. We headed south to central Florida to be reunited with the Tincan. It was waiting patiently for us at Pat’s brother and sister-in-law’s house. After some family time we drove north to Crooked River SP in St. Mary’s, Georgia.

Site 9

Our site was surrounded by Long Leaf Pines and gave us a view of St. Mary’s River (THE CROOKED RIVER).

Those Long Leaf Pines produce large pine cones

The campground is just down the road from the King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base. Based on the traffic in and out of the base it must be a major employer in this largely rural part of Georgia.

The USS George Bancroft partially buried near the main gate of the base

The park offers a number of hiking/biking trails through the palmetto and pine forest as well as along the River.

There’s no telling who you’ll run into on the trail.

Gopher tortoise

The ruins of a Tabby Sugar Works from 1825 lies just down the road from the campground. It was part of the New Canaan sugarcane plantation.

Tabby is a type of concrete made from burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and other broken oyster shells. This technique is thought to have originated in Africa.


Part of the appeal of Crooked River SP is its proximity to the Georgia sea islands: Cumberland Island, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. A ferry ride is required to visit Cumberland Island but St. Simons and Jekyll Island are within an hour’s drive.

The Dungeness Ruins on Cumberland Island

We took our bikes on the ferry to explore Cumberland Island National Seashore. The island is undeveloped and about 17 miles long. With limited time, we didn’t want to miss the last ferry back to St. Mary’s so we concentrated on the southern end of the island.

We rode about 4 miles north down a sand road to checkout the underutilized Little Greyfield Beach

In the 1880’s Thomas Carnegie, (Andrew’s brother) bought up much of the island and built Dungeness Mansion. He died before it was completed but his wife Lucy and their nine children lived there until 1925. The deserted mansion burnt down in 1959. The island became a National Seashore in 1972.

Wild horses can be seen throughout the island

We made our way to Sea Camp Beach to check out this popular destination. The park service constructed a boardwalk over the dunes for easier access to the beach.

It sure is fun riding on the beach

Colonial era Fort Frederica is located on St. Simons Island about 50 minutes from our campground. James Edward Oglethorpe established this fort and colony as a way to challenge the Spanish in Florida. The grounds of this National Monument are lovely to wander.

The remains of the tabby powder magazine is all that’s left of the fort that guarded the twisty river approach to the town.

Just over the Georgia border in Florida is Amelia Island, again about 50 minutes from the campground. We ventured down to the island to explore the Eagan Creek Greenway.

We experienced some rainy weather so decided to leave camp and check out Brunswick, Georgia. The town boasts a brewery (Silver Bluff Brewing) and a rum distillery across the street. The brewery was crowded with St. Patrick’s Day celebrants so we opted for the distillery. Richland Rum proved to be a good choice.

We did a tasting and dove in.

In 1733 James Edward Oglethorpe established an English Colony on Jekyll Island. He named the island after his financial backer Sir Joseph Jekyll. The island now boasts 23 miles of biking trails, including 10 miles of beach riding.

In 1886, the island was purchased by the Jekyll Island Club. By the turn of the century they built a vacation resort patronized by some of America’s wealthiest families.

The original Club House

In 1947, the island was sold to the state of Georgia for use as a public park. National Landmark status was awarded to the island’s historic district.

The interactive Mosaic museum does a good job of presenting the history of the island

While the history of the island is interesting, the main draw for us are the beaches and bike trails.

Driftwood Beach
Horton Pond
Great Dunes Beach

We have visited Georgia several times in our travels but never had the opportunity to visit the “ Golden Isles”. We are certainly glad we made the effort this trip. But we are not leaving Georgia yet- next up is the beautiful city of Savannah- just two hours up the coast.

South Bound

Fellow travelers have been telling us about Greenville, SC for a number of years. They heaped praise on it’s walkable downtown park with a waterfall. SO…based on that we decided to include it on our trip south.We found a state park nearby and made our way to Greenville.

Paris Mountain SP site 26

The Reedy River runs through the center of Greenville. The river was the site of grist and cotton mills. While creating wealth and employment it also created pollution. After some forward thinking civic leaders pushed for cleaning up the river, Falls Park was created.

The curved pedestrian bridge over the river is a highlight.

The architecture of Greenville is an interesting mix of old and new.

As an added bonus you can find “Shoeless “ Joe Jackson’s last home. The house is now a museum and library open to the public. Sadly it was closed during our visit.

As you wander downtown you encounter lots of public art.

Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower

While the city is fun to wander through, we enjoyed spending some time hiking the trails around Paris Mountain.

Lake Placid

The park was created in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and contains one of the last CCC amphitheaters. This was the site of church services and Strom Thurmon political rallies in the 1940’s.

CCC amphitheater

There was more to explore around Greenville and Paris Mountain. A return trip is in order but for now it’s time to move on to one of our favorite southern cities, Savannah.

Skidaway Island SP site 50

Part of the appeal of Savannah is that we stay at Skidaway Island State Park. The park is located twenty minutes from downtown and has a number of hiking and biking trails through the Georgia low county.

Due to it’s remoteness, Skidaway Island was the preferred location for moonshiner’s in the early 20th century. The number of stills peaked during prohibition.

Note the axe marks on the barrels, the result of a police raid
Beautiful tidal marshes surround the island
Dusk in the low country

While we didn’t spend much time in the city we sure enjoyed our time here in the low country. It was time to pack up and head to Florida for some family visits.

Site 43

We set up camp at Gamble Rogers State Park. The park is located on the Atlantic Coast near Flagler Beach. We’ve stayed here before because of its proximity to assorted family members and it’s easy beach access. However, beach access was unavailable due to the last hurricane that blew through the area.

Shelly’s sister lives nearby and can still access her neighborhood beach.

Pat and Andrea

We are always amazed by how underutilized the section of beach is.

Pat, Andrea and Jeff

We worked in a trip down to New Smyrna Beach to visit with some of our Nieces and Nephews.

Nancy Beth and Pat

After our brief visits along the Atlantic coast of Florida we moved inland to visit with Pat’s siblings Carolyn and Mike. Mike was kind enough to allow us to park the Tincan in his yard until we return in January. No need to winterize.

Tincantravels will resume after our return to Florida in the new year

Of Parks and Monuments

We left Kanab, Utah and made our way north to Torrey, Utah to visit Capital Reef National Park. The park’s defining geological characteristic is a wrinkle in the Earth’s crust known as the Waterpocket Fold.

We set up camp on a sunny ridge overlooking a valley
That evening the temperature dropped, the wind howled and snow arrived

Capital Reef features some short hikes and an 8 mile scenic drive that seemed like a nice option on a cold and windy day.

A view from the Goosenecks Overlook
One of the Fremont River’s Gooseneck’s
A view from Panorama Point

The scenic drive let’s visitors easily access many of the parks natural wonders.

The paved scenic drive ends with a dirt road that takes you back into Capital Gorge.

From 600 to 1300 C. E., indigenous people of the Fremont culture occupied Capitol Reef. Evidence of their presence can be seen in the petroglyphs they left behind.

The next day the temperatures rose a bit and the wind calmed so we headed out for to hike the Cohab Canyon Trail.

A steep climb is rewarded with some great views

The trail winds along the top of a mesa to a view of the valley below.

The valley view

We continued north to Vernal Utah which is a few miles from the entrance of Dinosaur National Monument. This park has been on our to do list for the past three years and we were finally able to work it into a trip.

The park includes one of the richest dinosaur fossil records on Earth. The Quarry Visitors Center is built around a wall of exposed dinosaur fossils.

In addition to fossils, the monument also offers some great hiking. We chose the three mile Sound of Silence trail. As advertised this trail offers one of the quietest hikes in the monument.

The hike begins following a sandy wash
The trail snakes through the colorful Chinle Formation
Eventually the trail leads you to the top of a mesa
You have great views of Split Mountain from the top

Dry Creek Canyon is located near Vernal and is home to the McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs. The trail stretches for about 3/4 of a mile along the cliffs above the ranch.

On a cold windy day we drove up to the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area to checkout the views. We weren’t disappointed.

That’s the Green River
The river is popular with rafters

From Vernal we headed East into Colorado and Grand Junction, home to the Colorado National Monument. The monument features the 23 mile Rim Rock Drive that takes you to the top of the Colorado Plateau for stunning views of canyons and rock formations.

Artist Point
Mummy Rock
Independence Monument
Balanced Rock

It’s been a great trip but it’s time to head East and home. Of course we’ll stop in Chicago for a visit with the grandkids before we end our travels. Thanks to those of you who’ve been following along and made the occasional comment (we enjoy hearing from you). This is our last post until we head out on the highway in the fall.

A Week in Kanab, Utah

We avidly read campground reviews and are always looking for new places to stay. Just as Covid struck we started hearing about a new park in Utah. We put it on the list for our next trip out west. Dark Sky RV is a relatively new park. It is a real gem and we would highly recommend it.

The park is just three miles outside of Kanab and close to the Grand Staircase-Escalate National Monument. After a long day of driving we picked a nearby hike to check out the Toadstool formations in the Monument.

The 1.6 mile round trip hike starts in a dry wash
The Toadstools greet you at the end of the hike

A short distance on the other side of town are some man made sand caves. The sand was being mined for glass production but have been abandoned for some time.

To access the caves you must first climb up to a sandstone ledge
On the inside looking out
A close up
Some of the graffiti that can be found in the caves

Besides hiking, the Monument offers a number of scenic drives. We chose the Paria Town Site Road.

The road offers expansive views of the Paria Box
Find Shelly
The road ends at the Paria River

The Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument has a number of unique geological features. They are often in remote and difficult to reach areas of the Monument. We hired a guide for the day to take us back along deep sandy roads to visit “The White Pocket “ formation. We spent over 3 hours exploring this 1 square mile area.

Approaching “The White Pocket “
The black stones are Moqui Marbles (sandstone coated by a layer of iron oxide)

Our guide Mike from Dreamland Safaris did a great job explaining the geology and history of the indigenous people in the area. We visited the remains of an ancient Pueblo and an unusual panel of petroglyphs.

Pottery shards and napped stone littered the site

We also had time to visit the Maze Petroglyphs and it’s unusual two headed snake attempting to enter a maze.

We remember Bryce as a beautiful canyon all dressed up in shades of cream, orange and accessorized with deep green pines. Our location in Kanab put us in position for a day trip to hike one of the jaw dropping trails.

We chose to hike part of the “Fairy Land” trail to the “Tower Bridge” rock formation. This trail is less populated then many of the other trails.

A Bristlecone Pine along the trail
The Chinese Wall
It’s a 1.7 mile hike down to the Tower Bridge formation

The road to Bryce Canyon takes you by the Forest Service park Red Canyon. We’ve passed it a few times but have never stopped. That changed this trip. A short hike got us to “Salt and Pepper “, two of the park’s hoodoos.

Our day at Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon necessitated a day of rest before heading out to hike the southwest’s longest and deepest slot canyon, Buckskin Gulch. We approached it by way of Wire Pass another slot canyon.

A walk down a sandy wash takes you to the entrance of Wire Pass
The way into Buckskin Gulch
Water in the canyon required careful navigation

After another day in the beauty that is Southern Utah we headed back to Dark Sky RV.

A Week Among the Rocks

We left Red Rock country and headed south and west to the central highlands of Arizona. We settled in at a private RV park, Point of Rocks RV, nestled in the granite Dells of Prescott AZ.

Site 63

We arrived to overcast skies, some intermittent rain and colder temperatures. Watson Lake was a short hike from camp and we wasted little time before going exploring, the weather be damned.

The lake was created in 1916 when Granite Creek was dammed as part a Chino Valley irrigation project.

Scrambling among the granite boulders surrounding the lake offers endless possibilities for exploration.

The Dells owe their distinctive look to long term weathering of natural cracks in the granite. These granite boulders are estimated to be 1.4 billion years old.

Nearby is the Pea Vine/Iron Lion trail. This 11 mile trail system runs along the bed of the former Santa Fe & Prescott RR.

The Iron Lion Trail emerges from the granite boulders into an expansive view of the Prescott Valley.

The Pea Vine Trail also has great views along the shore of Watson Lake.

Also close to camp is the Constellation Trail system that meanders through the granite Dells. The trails are owned and maintained by the City of Prescott.

White dots mark the trail

We spent a wonderful morning wandering through these magnificent granite boulders.

Thumb Butte is a distinctive feature in the Prescott National Forest on the westside of Prescott.

The steep two mile loop trail takes you to the “Thumb”. Whenever we’ve hiked the trail the final ascent to the top of the Butte has been closed because of Peregrine falcon nesting season. Regardless, the views are great.

That’s the Chino Valley in the distance

It’s been a fun week but time to move on.

Back in Red Rock Country

The allure of Sedona and its stunning scenery continues to draw us to this part of Arizona. We are not the only people who are drawn here. As a result Sedona can become a continuous traffic jam. It’s spring break for many which just adds to the traffic. We like to set up camp out of the fray. Our choice this spring is a private RV park in Page Springs, AZ., just off 89A.

Site 4 at Lo Lo Mai Springs RV
Oak Creek runs through the park

The campground is located in Oak Creek canyon which makes it difficult to watch the sun set. After we set up we drove toward Cottonwood in search of a sunset viewpoint. We headed to the Cliff Rose trails with high hopes.

The Cliff Rose trails are also used by mountain bikers. After hiking part of the trails we decided to give it a go on our bikes.

Everything was going great until we hit the backside of the outer loop. The cliff in Cliff Rose should have been the tip off.

A rocky trail runs next to the cliff drop off
We had a couple of close calls but we survived

We met fellow Airstreamers Noelle and Andy at Usery Mountain Park and realized we’d be in the Cottonwood area at the same time. We decided to meet up for a bike ride along Sycamore Canyon Rd..

We rode out toward the Sycamore Canyon trailhead until it was time for lunch. Using a rutted and cobbled Forest Service rode we headed for a lunch spot overlooking the Verde River. Shoutout to Noelle and Andy for braving this rutted road on their hybrid bikes.

Verde River Canyon

For an extra treat, as we ate the excursion train from Clarkdale went by on the opposite side of the canyon. This is the same train we rode during our visit in the Fall.

The next day we drove to the end of Sycamore Canyon Road(11 miles) where the trail through Sycamore Canyon begins. The trail had been closed when we last visited. The closure was due to fires and flash flooding during the previous year.

Sycamore Canyon
After a steep descent the trail begins
Debris littered the canyon

The fire and flooding necessitated the rerouting of much of the trail making it difficult to follow at times. We hiked in about one mile and then decided to head back.

Watercress thrived along this section of the creek

The crowd visiting Sedona necessitates planning when going on a hike. The trailhead parking lots fill up quickly. You have to arrive early (7:30-8:00am) or mid afternoon after the early birds are leaving. We opted to arrive in the afternoon to hike a section of the Hiline Trail and watch the sun set from Yavapai Vista.

The trail is open to mountain bikes
The trail
We chose to hike

The trail offers iconic views of Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Rock and Bell Rock.

Cathedral Rock
Courthouse and Bell Rock
Waiting for the sun to set

Bubbling Springs Preserve is located a mile down the road from our camp. The Preserve is a popular spot for bird watching and dog walking.

Blackhawk Trail

Along with wonderful scenery, Sedona also boasts a world class restaurant scene. If you want to eat at one of the more popular spots planning ahead is essential. Pat started looking for reservations a month before we arrived in town. She was able to find a coveted table on the patio of Mariposa.

Waiting to be seated

As we dined clouds and rain rolled in. The patio is covered, screened and heated so we ate in comfort.

Our table view

By the end of dinner the rain stopped and the clouds lifted.

During our Fall visit to the area we realized that we had not explored the West Sedona trails. We settled on the Thunder Mountain loop with a detour up to Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock
Chimney Rock after the climb
The view

The Thunder Mountain Loop Trail is located near the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park and is always worth a visit.

The Stupa

We decided to visit the Mogollon Rim which cuts through northern Arizona. These mountains can reach as high as 8000 feet and form the southern rim of the Colorado Plateau.

We hiked the Pine Loop in Pine Arizona
Ponderosa Pine Pat
Arizona isn’t just desert

On our last day in Sedona we decided to continue our exploration of the West Sedona trails. We chose the Pyramid Mountain Loop. It was a good choice.

The trail offers great views of Cathedral Rock along the trail.

Saying goodbye to Sedona for now