Sedona Westerners in the Red Rock News

March 19, 2010

Move over cows the Rough Riders are coming


by Perlina McCombs

On February 13, 2010, the Rough Riders met at the Posse Grounds to hike Honanki Overlook. Al Vander Peut and Walter Krywucki led the two groups and Perlina McCombs and George Witteman tailgated. From Posse Grounds to Loy Canyon, it is 14 miles to the trail head. The Westerners are glad that sunny days are back as we did not want to miss this hike due to inclement weather.

This Loy Canyon location for the lunch break shows that even when the Rough Riders can relax they still have too much energy and remain standing. Photo by Gus Rousonelos.

Loy Canyon is cow country and we could see there was good grass to eat. In the summer time the ranchers would take their cows up Secret Canyon to eat and in the winter time they would graze here in Loy Canyon.

From the Honanki Overlook trail head we hiked 1.3 miles before climbing and we passed the Hancock Ranch to the left of the trail. This hike is 6 miles long but 700 feet accumulative change and 1500 feet accumulative elevation gain, which makes it a rather challenging hike with ledges, rock scrambling and chutes to go up and down. Diane Luce and the author agreed that this hike is harder than working out at the gym!

As we started to climb up, we could see were in for a spectacular view of big red rocks, cliffs and ledges. However, if you looked at the view too long and did not pay attention to where your feet were going, the cacti were right there to invade your privacy and they let you know it.

The manzanita trees were outstanding as usual and even were nice to hang on to as we went up the chutes. Yes, we did go up the chutes with the help of our fellow hikers. When you thought one chute was hard to go up there was another one that looked impossible to climb up but with the good help of our male hikers, we all made it.

We stopped at an Indian ruins for an apple break. As we peacefully sat there, Bob Shuman's hat rolled right off the cliff into no mans land. Bob so longed for this very special hiking hat so we gave him our sympathy and one hiker loaned him a baseball cap to cover his no hair head so he would not get sunburned.

We climbed up and around these red rocks to come to even more Indian Ruins. It was mentioned that some of the hikers have never seen more Kodak moments than on this hike; especially from the new hikers. We are always glad when new hikers get excited to see new country. Walter stopped to let us see some fossils in the rock which were very plain to see.

We had lunch on top of a flat rock with a steep overlook and could see the trailhead and the Hancock Ranch. This panoramic view was amazing and the weather was perfect. Some of us just wore T-shirts. We left the lunch spot to go around the big rock where we carefully walked along the ledges. Again, the hikers helped each other to safety. There was water coming down the valleys from all the rain we had earlier.

Our descent necessitated going down the chutes......what comes up must go down. These chutes are long and narrow and so only one person could go down at a time. We got back to the trailhead in good shape and we do appreciate the hike leaders doing a great job.

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, April 8th, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.