October 27, 2009

West Fork Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona

We've moved our operations to Sedona, AZ. We came down to warm up and to see the fall colors of the famous West Fork Oak Creek Canyon. We apparently came at the nick of time, as a storm is rolling in expected to bring snow to Flagstaff.

One thing I do not like is that they charge $8 for parking YET would not take our National Interagency Pass. This upset me because I was under the impression that the Interagency Pass would cover all entrance fees to all federal sites. I suspected this had to do with making sure the private concessionaire would make a profit. After some research online, I found this was indeed the case. Apparently, the Interagency Pass does work on all federal lands, unless the government decides to give a private company a license to run a site so they can make a profit. I think this deserves a letter to the DOI to protest. It is not about $8, but rather the principal of being told our pass works everywhere, unless a private person wants to make a profit.

As for the fall colors, we came about a week late, so many of the colors had faded and many of the leaves had fallen. But, it was still nice enough, and the reds and yellows of the canyon maples, Arizona walnuts, ash, and sycamores, as well as, the large Douglas firs, white firs, and ponderosa pines against the backdrop of spectacular red and white walls of the canyon was beautiful.

We finally got a full family shot, as a photographer with her equipment set up offered to take our photo.

Hilina set a record, walking at least 2 miles. She was having so much fun climbing up the rocks and over the roots and playing in the creek. She was just really enjoying herself and just kept walking. She would have kept going too... Eventually, when she got tired, we put her in the pack for the walk back and she took a nap. Here you can see how dirty she got from the dusty trail, especially crawling over the rocks and roots.

The weather was cool, offering a real fall feel to the canyon. But, we could warm up in the sun.

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