Sedona Westerners in the Red Rock News

December 4, 2009

One Word to Describe Sedona


by Gary Bohn

It was another perfect day in Sedona as the Dogies embarked on an ambitious hike. A smiling group of hikers piled into cars and SUV’s for the drive out to the Bear Mountain trailhead. Since these anxious folks would venture into the wilderness area, hike leader Mike Ward had us split up into two groups. This allows for smaller group sizes in keeping with the wilderness ethic and allows us to get to know our hiking partners better.

The November 10th hike would take us up to the second bench on Bear Mountain and then on to the Fay Canyon overlook for a total of about six miles. As the hikers arrived at the second bench many of them took advantage of what is fondly referred to as a clothing adjustment break - the unlayering process as the temperature was going to approach 80 degrees. Of course the fact that we climbed pretty much straight up for thirty minutes may have had something to do with the sweat factor.

As you may have guessed there is not actually a bench up there, but we found some nice rocks with a great view on which to sit. After taking a short break we made our way to the high point of the hike. This is where we decided to have lunch. While taking in the spectacular view and eating our lunch, the author took the opportunity to ask some of the hikers two “Questions”. The first question was “How long have you lived here?” And the second one was “What one word describes Sedona to you?” The answers were as follows:

Break Time on Bear Mountain. Photo by Gary Bohn.

Mike 7.5 years "Awesome”
Alan 18 years “Peaceful”
Maureen 6 months “Beautiful”
John 6 months “Healing”
Jetta 2 years “Glorious”
Holger 10 years “Wunderful”
Dianne 3 years “Redtastic”
Janet 2 months “Sanctuary”
Gary 2 months “Majestic”

“Seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day”. Was this song written about Sedona? That’s a question for another day.

Mike Ward kept us well informed on the hike and shared with us many of his Search and Rescue Team stories. The stories were engaging and humbling.

We started down and what a down it was! Straight down a crevasse in the mountain to the Fay Canyon Overlook, truly a stunning sight. Amazingly “Stunning” was not given as an above response.

We started on the last leg of the hike, around a large rock outcrop that did not seem to be able to support a trail, but to our amazement we clung to the side and made it safely through. It seemed that most of the hikers had a great feeling of contentment as they approached the parking lot. Or maybe it was exhaustion. But either way we all were thrilled at what we had just seen and experienced. It seems that after a while we tire of looking at what man has made, but we never seem to tire of God’s creation.

The Westerners always welcome new members! If you are interested in joining the club, log onto our website You may also join by attending the next monthly meeting which will be on Thursday, January 14th, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.