On a typical fall day recently the Mustangs Group of the Sedona Westerners gathered to hike the Parsons Spring Trail. Gini O'Brien and Rolf Reinfried were our leaders and Kwi Johnson and Perlina McCombs as tailgaters.
From the trailhead of Parsons Spring the hike begins with a 200 foot drop in less than the first 0.2 miles to the streambed. There are 6 creek crossings over Sycamore Creek with the last crossing being right at the pool formed by Parsons Spring. The crossings are marked by cairns (a type of trail marker). Over all, the hike is a gentle hike except for the first descent into the canyon.
While rock hopping over the creeks, it is not a bad thing to accidentally step into the creek as it can feel rather good on a warm fall day.
The hikers stopped for an apple break by a beautiful little pond of water where the cottonwood smiled in the water leaving a beautiful reflection and next to it the red rock kissed the pond as well, leaving its reflection. The water was fairly clear so one can see why he / she could go swimming on a hot Arizona day.
Lunch break was along the creek close to where the water came out of the spring. It was refreshing for some to take off their boots and put their feet into the running creek.
As the group wandered back toward the trailhead, there was a glimpse of a river otter in the creek. This surprised virtually all of the hikers as many of them were looking at the water during lunch and nobody saw any fish in the spring / creek and fish are the primary food source for the otters. Unfortunately it did not stay around so all could enjoy watching it play. As everyone got closer to the trailhead and looked back down on the creek, the cottonwood trees with their yellow and orange leaves marked the path down to the creek in the canyon on that warm sunny day.
Parsons Spring hike always brings back memories to the scribe. Not only is Parsons her maiden name but it was 6 years ago that she fell and broke her leg on the trail. This was one of the extremely rare times that an individual was injured on a hike. There are many individuals that came to the damsel in distress including George Witteman, Bob Hudson, Bob Dannert, Al Vander Peut, and Phil Sagnelli to name a few). These gentlemen tried very hard to carry her out to the trailhead and for this she will be eternally grateful. However, she finally had to be airlifted out by helicopter.
Today’s hike definitely had a more favorable outcome and, as usual, all of the hikers experienced a wonderful ending to the hike.
The Westerners always welcome new members! If you are interested in joining the club, log onto our website www.sedonawesterners.org. 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.