A Comfortable Hike Through Verdant Green Forests
April 14, 2017
By Celeste Rubanick
The first of two water crossings. Dry feet all around
On March 16, the Amblers took on the 4.5 mile Chuck Wagon/Gunslinger Trail off Long Canyon Road. Twenty-three hikers were broken into groups of 12 and 11, with Linda Schermer leading the first 12 and Marj Haas heading up the remaining 11 hikers. We had two Tail “Gators” this week… both from the University of Florida: Hassan Hosseini, and me, Celeste Rubanick.
The higher than usual winter rainfall amounts had resulted in faster running water, but the first Dry Creek crossing (usually completely dry) presented no problems to either group. We headed off on the trails marveling at all the greenery on the sunny 65 degree morning.
It being spring break, we had to move aside for bikers and other hikers many times, but this was no hardship on such a pleasant trail. Some of us were lucky enough to see a large crested lizard preening on a rock until the extra attention drove him into the shadows. The temperature climbed along with the route, but everyone appreciated the magnificent views of Cockscomb, Doe and Bear Mountains.
There are several trails in this area, and we spent some time helping confused tourists. Chuck Wagon allows access to the Devil’s Bridge trail for those avoiding FR 152, and the signs, though excellent, have to be carefully read and followed. Stopping for water breaks and identifying the spectacular views for our new hikers made the winding trail with many twists and turns even more enjoyable.
We enjoyed lunch in a shady area and continued our hike. The sounds of the creek and the exquisite shades of green in the area add to our delight of the scenery and blooming plants and trees along the trail. It was quite warm at this point so we took another break before we crossed the creek on our return to the parking area.
No one chose to enjoy the creek barefooted, and this creek crossing, like the first, was successfully navigated by all. I did not really intend to cool off my booted right foot by steeping into the water, but it happened and felt really good! I’ll bring hiking sandals on my next trip.
The two groups reunited in the parking area, exchanged trip observations, and headed back to the parking lot at Posse Grounds.
If you are interested in joining the club, visit the Sedona Westerners at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership. Our monthly meetings will resume in September 2017. Sedona Westerners, written this week by Celeste Rubanick, appears every Friday in the Sedona Red Rock news.