brins mesa

Happy Hiking: Seven Sacred Pools

A very popular hiking destination in Sedona is called the Seven Sacred Pools.  It is located in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness and may be reached by the Soldier Pass Trailhead or Jordan/Cibola Pass/Brins Mesa Trailhead.

Getting to Seven Sacred Pools

It is very hard to find parking at the Soldier Pass location, thus I started my hike at the Jordan/Cibola Pass/ Brins Mesa Trailhead.

This is a fee area ($5 daily, $15 weekly), and the machine takes credit cards if you do not have a National Parks Pass.  Do not park on the side of the dirt road, or you will be ticketed! I heard you can pay a local to shuttle you to the trailhead, but I didn’t try this.  I just got up early.

indian ruins at montezuma well

Montezuma Well National Monument

I found a hike on AllTrails to Montezuma Well.  It was just a short 0.7 mile loop with an offshoot.  Since the forecast called for rain, I thought it would be a nice outing for Annie and me to stretch our legs before the approaching bad weather. 

With the paved trails and information boards, I felt like Montezuma Well was more like a preserved monument than a hike.  The well is a National Monument that is operated by the National Parks Service, and it is free to visit.


Happy Hiking: Bell Trail

As a I mentioned in my previous post, I arrived in the Sedona area Sunday afternoon in hopes of finding some nice, dispersed camping after the weekenders left.  Surprisingly, tons of spots were taken and as a resulted I squeezed into the only option left on Forest Road 689 and shared it with a large 5th wheel.  Little did I know, I selected a campsite just minutes from Bell Trail, one of the hikes I saved on the AllTrails app.

petrified forest national park

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park is located on I-40 about halfway between Albuquerque and Sedona, though a little closer to Sedona.  It is a good stop for breaking up the monotonous drive through miles of barren landscape and sometimes strong winds.  I had to drive my top heavy VANgo below the 75mph speed limit to keep from getting blown sideways.

Ten years ago, the Petrified Forest National Park was one of the last places I visited before ending my year long road trip in VANilla.  Now it is one of my firsts! In my previous visit, I wandered around the area called Crystal Forest in the southern section where I entered the park.  Thereafter, I made several stops at overlooks like most visitors were doing today.


State Sign Challenge: New Mexico

Ten years ago, on my first road trip across the USA (map), I wanted to snap a photo of each state sign.  The first few times, I did so as I zoomed across the state line.  Naturally, the photo was little to be desired.  By the fourth state that I visited, I forgot to capture an image, and soon became less enamored with the idea.

Now, on my second road trip, I’ve decided to give it another go.  Only this time, I’m making it more fun by dressing myself and Annie in costume.  I hope that my fellow readers will play along and submit their photos of signs for me to feature.

That said, please do not stop on a busy highway and endanger yourself.  Find a quieter road or in some cases visitor centers that also have the state sign.

VANgo in Arizona

VANLife: Camper Conversion Weeks 10-11

Well, better late than never!  I’m finally getting around to writing about the final two weeks of VANgo’s conversion the pickup day.  Wanderful Wheels delivered right on time!

Week 10

In Week 10 Wanderful Wheels installed the lights and the outlets throughout the van.  In the galley, the added the closet, and the safe cabinet.  Finally, in the garage they installed the on demand hot water heater and the battery.  Additionally, the pullout trays for the garage are ready to be installed as well as butcher block shelves in the corner over the bed.

the platte river

The Platte River Trail: Grant Frontier to River Point

Today I took another walk on the Platte River Trail.  I’ve been slowly working my way south a few miles at a time.  I started where I left off last time at Grant-Frontier Park, although I parked on the other side of the river.

From the parking area, I followed the trail south.  Along the last segment, I enjoyed the parks so much that I was hoping for more of the same.  This section, however, did not feature any parks on my 4.5 out and back walk.