There are things we must understand about ourselves, and one that I have come to learn is that I believe I can do just about anything. This is actually a good thing – by and by I will try anything once. I have always been up for an adventure and I generally trust my gut when I find myself in a situation.
One weekend we decided to head up around Sedona to take the trail then hike up to Devil’s Bridge. Sedona is some pretty landscape and there are hikers that walk the road in. Honestly from the road to the trailhead didn’t look too interesting and the wind was blowing a bit so all in all I was glad we were in the Jeep. So, driving to the trailhead is still how I would do this one. We came prepared with water and poop bags and even had our hiking sticks. So, we left all those things in the Jeep and head out for the trail, because I am brilliant. We head up the trail and the red rock and the green of the Coconino Forest never disappoints. There are steps, big wide ones leading up and up winding your way to a set of more narrow and steeper steps. We pause here, snap a few pictures and contemplate the steeper set of stairs.
Our 15 year old Suki has a bit of hearing loss, her eyes are going, and she has had surgery on one hip and we just aren’t sure she has the capabilities to do these steps safely. Add to that the corgi part of her is the short legs (and the somewhat klutzy nature on occasion) so we decide to pick her up and climb winding up to the next steep climb. Here we pause to let folks come down the steps and they are thoughtful enough to let us know it is a bit slippery. Me, I am taking note of the climb down, which is not done like steps but actually lowering yourself and dropping to the next step. We pick up the Suki and climb. Hoodlum, the 7 year old heeler, is a pretty great dog when it comes to things like this. He is leashed for this adventure so whoever he is attached to is at risk of going up and down as quickly as he can manage. Saying wait, hold up and such does the trick and he will pause and wait for you to catch up, reminding you that you are old and likely should be doing much more time on the stair stepper at the gym. Anyway we make it up and there is a good sized ledge overlooking everything you just climbed. It is pretty, really really pretty. There are lots of people and lots of dogs (some leashed some not). I am thinking this doesn’t quite look like the picture, then we see them. Steeper smaller stairs leading up to the actual magnificent bridge which stands above all and you can walk out and be in the middle of everything and nothing at the same time. This is where I tell you of our resolve that we had come this far there is no way we are turning back now! (Some pictures of Sedona, then back to the words below.)
So we take a look at those steps and I tell Jeff he and Hoodlum can continue the climb to see the sight we came to see. Looking at those steps, heeding the warning of slick and steeper, I know that neither of us should do this while carrying Suki. Maybe if we had a baby pack and she could ride on our backs but for me all I am thinking is if I slip holding her I could hurt her. So we enjoyed the view and vowed to conquer this one another day when we leave Suki at home. I imagine the view to be quite remarkable and truly do want to go back to this one. The rock can be a little slick, though I didn’t fall until we were going down, at the large not steep steps so go figure. We head back to the Jeep, mind you not feeling defeated at all. If nothing else we saw something we had not seen before and all the people were pretty nice.
From there we continued on the trail, which was pretty easy to follow as the tour Jeeps go out this way. We paused to look at a creek and heard the squeals from the folks in the Jeep tour as they were rounding up heading to Van Deren cabin. This is a slight detour and if you are already out that far why not right? Again the red rocks of Sedona and forest are always a pretty sight and the trail was pretty easy. There is something kind of magical about old buildings and this one was built in the 1890’s. We were lucky enough to get to hear the history of the cabin from the tour guide and even got a picture with him. For folks that need/ want a guided tour, try A Day in the West, Sedona’s oldest family run tour company they seem like fun and the group we saw was having a good time. The cabin itself is owned by the Forest Service but it backs up to private land. Looking at the cabin and then at what the cabin backs up to is quite something. The old and the modern worlds meet.
I am looking forward to doing this one again and making it to the top of that bridge.