4 wheelin' on Soldier's Pass

Amanda at the top of Schnebly Hill Road

We began our day with breakfast at the Coffeepot Restaurant (excellent food), then drove up the canyon to show Amanda where we worked, and from there, to Schnebly and the cow pies. A little shopping in uptown Sedona, then on to the jeep trail, Soldier's Pass. Amanda helped her dad with spotting, while I got out and snapped some photos. After Devil's kitchen and Seven sacred pools, it was time for dinner, so we stopped at Picazzo's for pizza.
When we got home, Amanda took the wheel and had her first lesson driving a stick shift. She did REALLY good for her first round!
It's so good to have her here!

Amanda in Arizona!

Doin' a little 4 wheelin'
Amanda's first day in Arizona...she is so her father's daughter.


You can leave your comments on the Blog now, without registering first, so please feel free. We look forward to your comments.




Chicken Point
click to enlarge photo

Today, we hiked Little Horse Trail which took us here, to Chicken Point. A nice 3 mile hike which ended, as all the trails do, with a great view.
After hiking, we.....oops, forgot. Before hiking, we located two geocaches. Very easy finds, both of them....so, we got our exercise with the hike, then on to bigger and rougher things...4 wheelin'!
The jeep trail was not too bad, until the 'ledge'. Eeek!
We stopped, got out, and walked down the 'ledge' to determine just how difficult it would be, going down and more importanly, coming back up...Henry decided without a second 4x4 along, we better not attempt it. (thank goodness...he's not a fool). So, we turned around, and headed out a different route than the way we came in, and you know, it was 3 miles of somewhat rough, yet interesting road.
Another Sunny day in Sedona!

"The Road Less Traveled"

Robert Frost had it right....what might you miss if you don't take the road less traveled?
4 wheelin' in our Jeep yesterday took us on quite the thrilling ride! Lucky for me, Henry is an excellent driver. (I would have been out of that vehicle if anyone else had been driving.) Careful placement of tires, good articulation and no problem! I admit I was hanging on pretty tight in a couple spots, but it was exciting.

After dinner, we went for a walk on 'the road less traveled', and about 1/4 mile into our walk, we spotted them. Three deer. A buck, a doe, and a fawn. We immediately stopped and remained completely silent. They in turn did the same. They just stood, looking intently at us, and 'listening.' After a bit, they must have decided we were of no threat, and they turned and slowly walked away, but not without an occasional stop and glance back at us...dad taking the lead, then mom, and of course the fawn right behind. What a special treat!


Chicken Taco Soup

Excellent recipe from our good friend, Diana..I've made it twice now, and we love it!

1 lb. skinless chicken breast
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 envelope Taco seasoning mix
2 cups chicken broth
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 8 oz. jar med. chunky salsa
1 can pinto beans & juice
1 can Northern or Navy Beans & juice
1 can Black beans
1 can Garbanzo beans & juice
(Use any beans you have)
1 chopped onion or 4 Tablespoons minced onion
1 or 2 cans stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic

Cover chicken with water and cook until tender.
Cool and shred.
In large pan, combine chicken, olive oil, taco mix, broth, onion and garlic. cook until onions are clear.
Combine rest of ingredients.
Cook until heated through.
Top each bowl of soup with fritos & cheese.
Tomato Juice can be added for more broth.


Montezuma's Well & figured out the timer on camera

Here we are...in the same picture...finally

An old Sinagua Indian cliff dwelling

Montezuma's Well

I was fascinated by this place! Amazing how over 1 million gallons of water come into this well (from beneath), every day! There were old indian dwelling ruins built all around the well, as they used the water for their crops, etc. The Sinaguas built an irrigation ditch where the water ran into a canal. The water is still running today. The Forest Service did an excellent job of having plaques positioned at different types of trees and bushes. The Sinaguas used every part of every bush or tree for every need; whether medicinal, for preparing meals or for cleaning. The mystery of why they abandoned the area leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Disease? But, wouldn't there be skeletal remains?
The rest of our day was spent locating 3 additional caches, not a whole lot of hiking today. But always a fun time! Henry was carving away at his walking stick, and was asked by a passerby what he was doing. After answering, the guy says "must be nice to have time to do that."
We just looked at each other and said, "Yes, it is!"

2 days off!!! Yea!

Our last cache of the day..heading home

To enlarge any photo....click on it

Our trailer, down below, off in the distance

We always welcome our days off, and have gotten really spoiled, because we're like a couple kids, and play all day, both days. Lots of fun! Yesterday, we located 5 caches, from Cathedral Rock to the Airport, to the 'pyramid'.
Today, I think we may check out Montezuma's Castle and Well. Montezuma's Well is an area once inhabited by Sinagua Indians around 900 a.d., The 'well' fills with water, approx. 1.8 million gallons per DAY, the source in which the water comes from, has the brightest scientists worldwide baffled, confused and with no answers. It is another mystery, that I know, only God knows the answer to.
So, we're going to go check it out!


Forest Service Road...jeep

6300' up..roads below
The "virtual cache"
Henry on the 'outer edge'
First stop today, unknown to me, was the outdoor store. Henry told me I was buying hiking boots. Yay!! After slipping and tripping yesterday, I really needed some good boots with traction and support. And what a difference! Love my hiking boots!(I got me some cool (they breathe) socks, too)
Today, we started with locating a quick cache, then on to hike cow pie trail, (seen in the picture above with Henry, down below) and found our 2nd cache of the day. The cow pies are enormous rock formations in the shape of a 'natural' cow pie. We thought the view from there was fantastic...then we hit Schnebly Road!
Schnebly is open all the way to the interstate now, all 12 miles of it. And, we were in the Jeep today, so of course, Hot Loop trail aka forest road 153A, was too much to resist for Henry. Whew! What a ride! Huge, okay, VERY large rocks, were the road. But, no problem for Henry or the jeep. I was a bit nervous, but it was completely worth all the careful maneuvering around several high clearance rocks. The pictures of Henry and I above were taken at the highest point, an incredible view we would have missed had we not taken the FR road.
Oh, then we continued on to find our 3rd cache, which was pretty cool, because it contained a travel bug. A gumby travel bug! Which means I need to move him along to another cache.
We promised ourselves that we would get out and do things on our days off, and so far, we're doing it and having a blast!


West Fork, Schuerman, AND found 3 caches!

It's a duck!
looking up from Oak Creek
(click to enlarge on all photos)
We started out the door this morning at 10:00 a.m. with backpacks, lunches, plenty of water and our GPS units. We headed up the canyon 11 miles to West Fork, the most popular and scenic hike in the area. There were 2 caches we were searching for on this 3 mile trail.
As we got close to the first one, we decided the huge red rock in the middle of the creek would be a great place to eat our lunch, and take a nap (of course, we didn't). Turned out, the cache we were looking for was right at the spot we chose to eat our lunch. Behind the "Christmas tree", there it was, a Christmas cookie tin buried under the rocks, full of small items from other geocachers.
From there, we continued on to finish out the trail, another 2 miles through the canyon. On the return, we began our search for the 2nd cache. The GPS was directing us to an area that looked untraveled and was straight up. Henry followed the GPS up the side of the rocks, and I elected to stay put and watch. He was right! It was there. So, Henry enjoyed the views, found the cache, and logged his find. (I should have made the climb, darn it). We hiked our way out of the canyon and back to the car, now 4 hours later. On our way home, we decide it's the perfect time of day to do Schuerman trail, find the cache, and watch the sun set. Short 1/2 mile hike in, easy find on the cache, incredible 360 degree views, and back down the mountain to home! I'm bushed, and ready for dinner! (I think Henry is bushed, too).


A beautiful piece written by Chase, Amanda's friend

"No, not hills at all, these are mountains, twenty miles by snow machine, surrounded by home, not my home, not home to any man or men, but the house of God, the hills have eyes and how can we deny what we see? I look into the sun-capped mountains and rolling plains, there is no place I have been, no wonder of the world I have seen, or no miracle I have witnessed greater than this place around me.
How can you or me or anyone deny God? How can we even imagine that this was an accident? Perhaps the works by Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Michaelangelo were all accidents...but this is a masterpiece beyond those of the masters, Shakespeare never pieced a phrase worthy to describe the beauty in this land we live in, mountains and plains, rivers, the sun by day and a myriad of stars by night, we live, we breathe, we see how the fingers of God ran lightly down the mountains, we see how with a pinch of his thumb and index finger the peaks were formed.
And is this not his smile that caps the peaks? Fish swim up river and toss, breaking the surface tension and soaring through the air.
What then is the blush on the mountains at sundown? Is it not the love of God reminding us? With this beauty he reminds us of something more, not just hills formed by tectonic plates, or ocean waves formed by wind and gravity . This is the breath of God.
It is in these hills - these mountains, - that I find peace with He that created them and I.
The biggest miracle of all is of course this one-He created me. He created the mountains and ocean and stars and galaxies-and He created me.


What our daughter is learning in college....?

Post-It Note-ing the car (that's a lot of post its)

AJ - Cruisin'

The girls were up till 3 a.m. covering this guy's car in post it notes, only to have campus security remove all of them before the guy could see it....personally, I think it looks pretty cool!


We love it that you all are looking at our blog! This is such an awesome way for us to share with our family and friends what we've been doing and where we've been going. We are having the time of our lives, and are so thankful that we are able to live our dream.

Oh, remember you can 'click' on any of the photos for a larger image, and please feel free to post comments.
Until next time,
Henry & Cindy

Chimney Rock...the hike...the find

Chimney Rock from the trailhead, (oh boy)

making our way & have found the first of 4 caches

getting closer and climbing higher

Made it to the top & we found all 4 caches!!

The cache was titled "The ballad of Tangled Ted"....and was well thought out, well hid, and very exciting to search for. Upon finding the final cache, we 'took something' and 'left something' as instructed, signed the log book (which dated back to 2003), and started our descent, before the sun went down. Can't wait to search for another cache. (Bell Rock is my next choice....but will see what Henry thinks).


The cliff where we had lunch
Devil's KitchenSoldier's Pass Trail
click all to enlarge
I have found a new passion! Geocaching! Henry's been geocaching off and on for about 3 years in Alaska, and I never was too interested. Probably because of cold and snow, but now we are in a warmer climate, and what fun searching for caches based on Lat and Long coordinates! You can hike and search at the same time! I bought my own GPS unit and got my own backpack, loaded with all my own goodies. I have found 2 caches right here in the park we live in, and the photos above are part of our search for a 'virtual' cache. It was quite the view! We had our lunch on the edge of a cliff (literally).
The next post will be of Chimney Rock, our 2 mile hike UP, and the discovery of a multi-cache totalling 4. For the curious minded, like myself, searching and finding what someone else has hidden is pretty exhilirating!