Monday – for Monday, we had a full day private Sedona excursion with Mike Krajnak of Southwest Outside Adventures. I had a couple conversations with Mike about what we enjoyed doing as a family and what we doing on our other days in Sedona and asked him to come up with something, and man did he ever deliver. This was a great day from start to finish. He picked us up at the resort at 8Am and we headed straight to a health food store in town to buy sandwiches – can’t remember the name of the store, but it was right on 89A near Safeway, and the sandwiches were excellent. We then drove down 89A, pulled off onto a dirt road, and headed into Loy Canyon. Mike took us on a hike along the outskirts of the Hancock Ranch, then up into Loy Canyon and eventually to some Indian ruins high up the Cliffside. It was a great hike – a lot of climbing, some chutes, and Mike was very informative about everything we wanted to know – plants, animal life, geology, history, the Indian culture. After eating our sandwiches up there, we hiked down and then headed back through town, stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream, then continued up route 89 to a picnic area north of the state park where we had a swimming hole area completely to ourselves. Felt like I was about a million miles away from the dry sandy hike of that morning, but it was just as beautiful. Just a great day all around, I cannot say enough good things about Southwest Outside Adventures – a well planned day and he was very informative and got along great with all of us, including my kids. I strongly endorse using them if you have the money to spare – it’s not cheap because all of his trips are private and customized, but well worth it in my opinion.
For dinner, we went to Dahl and Deluca – our favorite meal in Sedona, everything was excellent.
Tuesday – finally headed over to route 179, although first we stopped for breakfast to go from Sedona Sweet Arts, which was fantastic. Then headed to cathedral Rock and hiked the Cathedral Rock Trail – again, a decent amount of scrambling and climbing, so we really enjoyed it. Headed over to see the chapel, which was a fantastic site, and did some souvenir shopping in the gift shop there. Then we headed back to Enchantment, lounged around the pool for awhile, played some tennis, and got some rest before heading to Jerome for the evening.
I would have to say that Jerome was a disappointment. The ride there was interesting, especially the climbing roads just as we got to the town. The Haunted Hamburger was OK at best, and then I had signed us up for a Haunted Tour which ran from 7:30 to 9:30 that evening. The Haunted Tour was laughably bad, avoid at all costs in my opinion. The guy who ran the tour was a decent enough storyteller, but the tour amounted to his guy (Reckless Rick) telling stories for 2-1/2 hours (yeah, he ran over by 30 minutes) – and you’re standing or walking for virtually the entire time. Not much humor or much about the stories that was especially engaging. By 8PM I was dying for it to be over, as were all of my kids – my wife has slightly more patience but even she eventually had to acknowledge that it was pretty boring. Couldn’t believe when he asked us if it was Ok if he ran a half hour over, but the rest of the group on the tour said it was fine, so I was stuck there. But this was the only hiccup in our four day stay in Sedona, and it happened the one time we left Sedona, so all in all not too bad. But still, avoid at all costs – can’t believe the favorable reviews this excursion got on Trip Advisor, because it was brutal.
Next day, we got up early and headed to the Grand Canyon, after another stop for breakfast from Sedona Sweet Art. What a great town Sedona is, and what a great resort Enchantment is as well, I could easily have spent my entire eight day vacation there.