TURNING 70 IN MAGNIFICENT CANYONS OF ARIZONA, UTAH – A JUNE 2-5 TRAVELOGUE
SEDONA: KYANITE NECKLESS, YAVAPAI POINT VISTA, HILINE TRAIL HIKE, THREE GIFTS & MORE
Sedona was our first stop on this 4-day birthday adventure. We got there in late morning, and spent some time looking at the souvenir shops. It was a delight to be able to do it in the off season for Arizona. No hordes of tourists. Easy to find parking. Leisurely stroll along Sedona’s picturesque streets.
We actually had no intention to buy anything. But I ended up giving myself a birthday anyway. It was a piece of Kyanite which we made into a neckless with the help of a crystal shop clerk.
Besides its wonderful healing properties (see the photo), Kyanite was the principal mineral that helped me open up my “eagle vision” during my two-month 2013 Desert Quest.
We had some laughs, too. Such as with this sarcastic “Homeland Security” T-shirt message: “Fighting Terrorism since 1492.” 🙂 Elizabeth’s feet protruding under the shirt provided an unintended chuckle or two. 🙂
We also stopped by Starbucks, where the above two shots were taken. I thought I’d cash in on my birthday drink I got from Starbucks via email. Alas, this store was a franchise. So they did not want to honor the company rewards!?
The closest “full” Starbucks was in Flagstaff, we learned. And we sure weren’t going to drop everything and drive that far for a free drink. In fact, I still have the unclaimed reward. We have not used another Starbucks on the entire trip.
YAVAPAI POINT VISTA, HILINE TRAIL HIKE
The highlight of our day in Sedona was the afternoon hike we had planned with our good friend Karen, an experienced trail guide, especially in the Red Rock country. We all met at the Yavapai Point and proceeded from there up the mountain.
Amid much chit-chat as always, I kept stopping to take occasional photos. The scenery was breathtaking. You can judge for yourself. Here are some views from Yavapai Vista…
This is also where I also shot a short video which offers a 360-degree view from the Yavapai Vista:
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As we continued farther up the mountain on Hiline Trail, we kept coming across the magnificent blooms of the Blue Agave cacti, also known as the Century Plant.
Although it is called the Century Plant, this cactus typically lives “only” 10 to 30 years. It has a spread of about 6–10 ft (1.8–3.0 m) with gray-bluish green leaves 3–5 ft (0.9–1.5 m) long, each with a prickly edges and a heavy spike at the tip that can pierce to the bone.
Believe me, I know that from personal experience. 🙂 “To the bone” is right. We have three big Blue Agave on our property in Scottsdale. And they are about three times the size of these we were seeing in Sedona. I (trans)planted two of them in 2006 (see above).
Near the end of its life, the Century Plant shoots up a tall, branched stalk, laden with yellow blossoms that may reach a total height up to 25–30 ft (8–9 m) in height. Like these we saw on the Hiline Trail.
The plant dies after flowering, but produces suckers or adventitious shoots from the base, which continue its growth. So when you see these magnificent flowers, know that that’s the Century Plant’s last hurrah.
The Hiline Trail is not too arduous, especially if you spend the hike in animated conversations, as the three of us were doing. Overall, it takes about two hours round trip. But the trail is very rewarding in terms of beautiful scenery and panoramic views.
END OF THE TRAIL
The trail comes to an abrupt stop at the end. There is a clearing that offers again 360-degree views with sharp, nearly vertical drops in the north and west directions. This is where all these pictures were taken.
Elizabeth said when seeing this black-and-white photo, “it looks like I am standing next to the Lone Ranger.” 😀 And I replied, “this is us in the 1930s.” 🙂
PIZZA DINNER AT TLAQUEPAQUE SQUARE
As we usually do after a Sedona hike, we went to dinner at Oak Creek Brewery in Tlaquepaque Square. That’s about the only time these days that we can afford to eat pizza. Too many glutens and all that. But we sure did enjoy this one… 🙂
After dinner, we went for a short walk, ostensibly to help the pizza get digested better. 🙂
THREE BIRTHDAY GIFTS
Remember what I said in the Intro to this trip – that I had received birthday gifts from both the spirit and the earthly realms, three of which were delivered during this trip in Sedona?
Well, you saw one already – my Kyanite neckless. The second came from Elizabeth after our hike. The third arrived in late evening as we were trying to watch a movie in our hotel room. That gift was from the spirit realm. It arrived in two parts. And it has a very substantial monetary value.
But because its full value will be only realized over the next 60 days or so, I don’t want to jinx it by revealing what it was now. All I can say for now is that the time the gift arrived was also very auspicious, especially for someone for whom the Masters #11 has been a shining guide all his life.
What time was that?
11:11 PM (or 8:11 AM June 3 in Europe where I was actually born).
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For more on this trip, click on…