Sedona Rustlers Take On Slim Shady
October 08, 2021
By Dick Williams
The Rustlers take a break at a beautiful vantage point. This interesting aspect of Cathedral Rock shows just one of the many profiles she shows visitors to the area.
On September 9th, the Sedona Westerner Rustlers spent a beautiful almost-fall morning on the trails. Although the hike was titled Slim Shady, the adventure took us on pieces of Slim Shady and an even longer stretch of Templeton. The out and back route started at the Yavapai Vista Trailhead with the furthest outbound point near the Cathedral Rock Trailhead.
We assembled in the parking lot for sign-in, introductions, and a review of the hiking rules and our current COVID-19 protocols. Patti Pierce, the Rustler’s Hike Boss and leader for the day, was excited to share the route with us. She was expertly assisted by Robin Low, and the tailgaters for the day were Margaret Nelson and Art Hicks.
Our introductions for the day showed a great mix of established Westerners, new faces, and short-timers. We had two new couples out for their first time, one from New Jersey and one from Atlanta, and a visitor from Houston. Although she only planned to stay here 30 days, she felt that joining the Westerners was a great investment and gave her access to many trails and introductions that would not have been possible otherwise in her short time here.
So off we went up the hill from the parking area, quickly making a right turn on Slim Shady towards Templeton. The air was still a little cool, and the sun was beginning to illuminate all the rocks around us. About 10 minutes into the trip we stopped at our first vantage point, and had an expansive view that included Bell, Courthouse, Rabbit Ears, Chicken Point, the Chapel, Airport Mesa, Cathedral, and Seven Warriors. There was also considerable discussion about the “Mermaid” formation, and whether or not she really was laying on her right shoulder. What a way to start the morning!
Upon reaching Templeton we made a left and took it all the way to the Cathedral Point Trailhead. Along the way we took a few breaks to admire the scenery, collectively remark at how green things were, and just enjoy the fresh air. Once again, the Ocotillos amazed us as we rounded the formations on the eastern base of Cathedral Rock.
Closer to Cathedral several things happened. First, the sun came higher in the sky, and with it the temperature. Secondly, we saw many more trail users. There was a plethora of mountain bikers, hikers, and visitors this day. Many of the hikers had dogs, on leashes, that were more than happy to stop and get a scratch on the chin or pat on the head. From their wagging tails you could tell they were having a great time also.
As we neared the turn-around point it was also break time, so we stopped to have a snack and watch some folks practicing their Salsa dancing routines on the slickrock. We had all seen yoga in the outdoors before, but never a dance lesson. It was yet another example of the diversity of things you can do in this wonderful area that is our playground.
After the break we retraced our steps towards Yavapai Vista. The sun was even higher now, and the temperature was up, so the occasional shade and light breeze was appreciated when it appeared.
Upon our return, everyone thanked the leaders and remarked that the tailgaters had, once again, done a great job making sure nobody got left behind.
All in all, we spent under 4 hours on the trail and did just over 4 miles with about 450 feet of elevation gain. It was indeed a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning with fabulous surroundings and great people.
If you are interested in joining the Sedona Westerners club, please visit the website at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership. It only takes about 5 minutes to sign up, and there are weekly hikes suitable for all abilities. Monthly meetings are still held via Zoom at present until the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted.