Thursday, October 14, 2010

FALL BREAK trip to Sedona, Arizona - DAY THREE

Mark has gotten really into biking this year.  He was really excited about the oppotunity this trip would give him to ride some amazingly beautiful trails in Sedona.  I drove our van while he drove the truck to Sedona so we could pile all of our bikes in the bed of the truck.  Having the truck also proved useful in getting to some of the trailheads we wanted to hike over the next few days.

This was the view from the bridge across the street from our hotel...

On this day Mark wanted our family to all ride bikes on this trail that was considered "an easy ride" in his trail book.
Mark started out at the front of the pack with Bryan and Colton.  I ended up trying to cajole Kyle and Morgan forward.  All three of us ended up walking our bikes up the hills.  These were not paved trails.  Much of it was very uneven and rocky.  I think Mark thought I was hanging back because of Morgan and Colton, but I wasn't ready to go any faster than the pace they were setting.  It was tough!  At one point Kyle sat down crying in the middle of the trail and said, "I'm done.  I'm not going any further!".  Mark took over for me at that point and I got to move up with Colton and Bryan.

When we finally reached the half-way point there were more downhill runs and it became a lot more fun.  The three of us got ahead of the back three by aways because we were going down hills at full speed.  We stopped to wait for them to catch up.  Once again Kyle was crying and frustrated.  When I asked him what was wrong he said (while crying big crocodile tears), "I want to go down the hills fast but dad won't let me.  He just says, 'Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah'!"  Mark and I burst out laughing, which was probably the worst thing we could have done because it only made Kyle cry harder.  Mark was trying to make sure Kyle didn't lose control of his bike by going to fast down a hill that had a drop-off on the other side.

The whole ride lasted around 2 1/2 hours.  It was beautiful, but all of us (except Mark) were done with biking after that.

The resort we stayed at was a lot of fun.  There were two swimming pools and a jacuzzi, basketball courts, tennis courts, mini-golf, bocce ball, horseshoes, life-size chess, and the river ran right through the resort.  It was beautiful!

Kyle and Bryan playing cards together on our patio...

Morgan and Colton exploring near our room...

In the afternoon (following some relaxation time to recover from our morning ride) we took the truck to be able to reach the trailhead for The Cowpies Trail.  It was an absolutely beautiful drive!

Since we were only going about 5 miles an hour on a rocky dirt road with no traffic to speak of, we let the kids ride in the bed of the truck.  They thought that was so fun!
You can see why these are called "The Cow Pies" when you see them from far off.  In this picture they are in just left of center towards the bottom of the picture.
 It was only about a 20 minute hike from the trailhead to the Cow Pies - pretty easy, but the views from there were magnificent!

 Morgan asked for a digital camera for her birthday in September.  Since then, whenever I get my camera out, hers comes out also.  Here she is trying to capture the beauty around her.
 The Cow Pies formation is actually quite expansive.  We all had fun going from pie to pie, exploring to our hearts content.  Here's Bryan with Mark coming up behind him.


 There were lots of these little sandy areas where water would collect after a storm.  When we were there most of them were dry.  As the sun was almost set we found one that still had some mud in it.  It had lots of fresh deer and cougar tracks in it.  After seeing that we started to get nervous because we didn't want to be walking back through the woods, in the dark, with cougars around.  That's when we decided it was time to a hurry.

 I've said it before, but I'll say it again - we have been amazed at the beauty of the sunsets here in Arizona.  Every night brings out this vibrant color that just takes your breath away.

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