Sedona Westerners in the Red Rock News

February 19, 2010

Two Fences plus six other trails


by Greg Frank

In the Sedona Westerners lingo, the February 21 Dawa -Two Fences Hike was a “lollipop”, their description for the general shape of the trail. The seven-mile hike began with the Two Fences Trail, which represented the lollipop’s stick, and then added segments of six other trails, Girdner, Rupp, Cockscomb, Dawa, OK, and Arizona Cypress, that combined to form the yummy part of the lollipop, and in this case, the best part of the hike.

Panorama with Thunder Mountain in background. Photo by Alan Gore.

Even though the hike was relatively mild in difficulty for these Dogies, six crossings of Dry Creek, that is anything but dry due to recent rainfalls, challenged everyone’s agility. On first observation, each hiker seems assured that each crossing has an abundance of rocks, that the rocks are significantly large enough to support the hiker, and that the spacing between rocks is rather minimal. However, after the first step it immediately becomes apparent how illusional those first impressions are. The hiker is now balancing on one foot in the middle of the creek with the realization that there is a woeful shortage of rocks for that much needed second step. In fact, the available rocks aren’t much larger than pebbles, and the distance between them is staggering. However, Westerners plan ahead, they anticipate what might happen. Just in case one of those pebbles peaking out of the creek’s current might move when stepped on or one’s nimbleness isn’t what it used to be, many carried a spare pair of socks in their backpacks. But on this day and on this hike, each and every one of these Dogies maintained the high and dry ground.

The hike leader was Linda Schermer. And if you want to know something about the history behind the names on those trails, Linda is tops. Two Fences is an obvious one, with this segment of the hike located in an approximately fifteen feet wide corridor that is confined on both sides by fences. How about those other names? Girdner Trail is named after Dale Girdner, a 1920’s cattleman who owned 80 acres in the area of the hike with his namesake. The Rupp Trail’s name is in honor of the George Rupp Family, former tree farmers that homesteaded in the area south of Doe Mountain. “Dawa” is a Hopi word meaning “moon.” “OK” refers to a local ranch and brand, while the “Arizona Cypress” name references the tree stands in this impressive forest area.

The highlight of this trek was the scenic location of the lunch break. Westerners skipped from rock to rock in crossing Dry Creek and then settled in along the creek’s eastern bank, where an assortment of red rock boulders and outcroppings assured all of a comfortable seat. Coupled with the view of the flowing stream that included a short stretch of rapids was the soothing sound of the moving water cascading over the river rocks. As mesmerizing and scenic as this lunch venue was, what more could be expected?

How about those ageless Arizona Cypress trees? Shortly following lunch, the trail blazed through an impressive forest, and Linda pointed out a magnificently sized older tree that is near the end of its life. Shortly thereafter, the trail returns to the Girdner and the Two Fences segments, leaving the hikers with the final mile to the trailhead. When completed and as is traditional conduct following all Westerner’s hikes, there is a ceremonious handshaking with the hike’s leader for a job well done and another hike enjoyed by all.

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, March 11th, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.