Sedona seduced us. We rode only from Cornville to Sedona (at first), just 14 miles. A cyclist named Brian rode alongside me for one of the miles. He and his wife had vacationed in the area for years and finally decided to move here. Sedona, Jerome, Prescott, Cottonwood — all have an allure. Susie and I decided to be car tourists in Sedona and catch the best sites recommended by Sandra, my sister-in-law, who loves the area. One was the mesa by the airport that had a stunning view to the west.
Sandra suggested another nice side trip – the Red Rock Loop Road – for a great view of Cathedral Rocks.
Sandra said we could turn off the loop road onto Red Rock Crossing and find a day use area along Oak Creek with a view of Cathedral Rocks.
Susie and I were oohing and ahhing as we casually explored the loop road when Sandra said, “Dad is on the other side of the creek waiting for you to say hi. He’s the guy with the small white dog.” Huh? I was about to meet her dad???? I didn’t know he was waiting for me! Within 10 minutes of Susie dropping me off there, indeed, I found him.The creek was a bit too deep and its bottom too slippery for me to cross so we had a conversation across the creek. I asked how long he had been there. He held up both empty wrists. He said he didn’t know because he hasn’t worn a watch since he retired. Wise indeed.
With our Sedona tourist duties thoroughly met, including a delicious lunch at Pisa Lisa, I continued the ride to Flagstaff, knowing that I was going against the advice of some, but not all, the local cyclists, to avoid cycling in Sedona and certainly not to ride up Oak Creek Canyon. Like the crossing of Mingus Mountain yesterday, the pull of seeing Oak Creek Canyon was just too strong. This was so in spite of the promised narrow windy steep switchbacks I was told I’d have to do to exit the canyon.
Start location: Cornville AZ
End location: Flagstaff AZ
Distance: 50.8 miles
Cumulative distance: 548.8 miles
Elevation gain: 4,672 ft
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/700942989