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April 16, 2012 / mrchickaloonbaer

Red Rock Wilderness

Snow In Long Canyon

April 15, Saturday

The storm has ceased – hallelujah!  We headed out early, destination somewhere in the red rocks.  Grayish-white clouds hung over the Mogollon Rim, white snow accentuated the red rock formations.  We chose to drive further up Dry Creek Road to Long Canyon Trailhead leading into a wilderness area, one of the trails in the area that didn’t require a parking pass – us cheap Alaskans – and it wasn’t listed as a favorite hike which equated into less people.  The trail’s elevation gain was gradual, over sandy, red dirt, sometimes through an inch of snow, incredible red rock formations on both sides of the canyon ranging from red to light gray sandstone, sounds of melting snow dripping from the alligator juniper, sycamores and ponderosa pine, sometimes large globs of snow dropping with a thud to the ground, both of us hoping none would land on us. 

Snow In The Woods

Bird song rang through the trees, nuthatches, chickadees, buzzing of hummingbirds, Mexican jays, a hawk calling out, perched on a dead snag.  We went off trail, climbing up through the rocks, finding a notch we could crawl into to look out at breath taking views, then up higher to a perch, where we sat listening to the sounds, soaking up the sunshine as the clouds broke into patches of blue. 

Small tube shaped cacti had red blooms covered with a snow blanket, I snapped over 140 photos for the day and the best part was we only met 3 hikers.  The only downside were the helicopter tours, which came through the canyon on the hour, we thought an abomination in the wilderness. 


Driving back to Jerome, we took a gravel forest service road following along the red rock formations, then across rolling, sparsely vegetated hills to the main highway, into old town Cottonwood to locate chocolate malts, which we found at a onetime gas station converted into a soda fountain, decorated in 1950s flavor complete with the music of the era, walls covered in license plates and real old time malts that we could eat outside in upper 60s sunshine.  Next door was a two acre antique store, which we perused tons of old time neat stuff and a heck of a lot of junk, all way beyond bargain prices.  On back to the Blue Moon for long, hot showers, a nap, then up to “Quinces” for a Mexican dinner, and it was hot!  Two large glasses of water, a margarita and my mouth was still on fire.  Stars shone in the first truly clear night of our first 5 days.  Getting the hang of it in Northern Arizona.


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  1. Eowyn Ivey / Apr 16 2012 3:17 PM

    So you missed Alaska so much, you had to have a snowstorm, eh? Looks like beautiful country, and I’m glad the snowstorm didn’t last long. Everything is melting here, but not fast enough of course. Had Adrian, Jen and the Braendels over on Saturday for sourdough pancakes, mimosas, sausage and bacon, and all had a wonderful time. Adrian only stole one bottle of champagne from your cellar — he actually purchased two himself. Have fun, soak up lots of sun and bring it home for us 🙂

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