Quick Overnight Drive to Sedona, Arizona: Devil’s Bridge Hike
Odometer (Legend Sedan): 149,926
Trip Distance: 250 Miles
See my friend Ira perched there atop this natural sandstone arch? I had sweaty palms when taking this picture of him: Visions of a slab of rock fracturing from the arch and sending him down on a 100-foot drop to the earth below. Kids, don’t try this at home.
Ira paid me a visit from Portland, Oregon this weekend. While the PDX area in which he resides offers virtually any sort of outdoor creation within about an hour radius, what he doesn’t have – and what he came to Arizona to see – was some of the natural beauty of the southwest. We hit the road on Friday afternoon in the ILX and headed out on a 2-hour drive to quaint Sedona, Arizona. It’s home to about 10,000 residents and nestled in a landscape of vivid red rock formations. Sedona is popular destination for people who want to “get away from it all” – the whole vibe is one of relaxation, self-discovery, and detachment from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
By the time we checked into the Sky Ranch Lodge on Airport Road (located at a vantage point high above the town), nighttime had fallen. The keys to suite #280 were “real” keys: heavy, brass-colored, old-school things. I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a hotel or lodge that hadn’t gone the route of the credit card-style swiper. Though the city lights were nice, the real view that we wanted to see would welcome us the following morning. A light cloud cover kept the sun from highlighting the colors of the surrounding mountain range, but it was still a breathtaking sight to behold.
We picked up a few provisions from the local AM/PM – namely, in my case, 2 donuts and some chocolate milk. Ira made the better decision by getting a banana and bottled water. Just a 6 mile drive up Dry Creek Road, we found the turnoff for the hiking trail to Devil’s Bridge. By now it was only about 8:00 in the morning and we were only the second car in the parking lot. The first mile or so of the hike was on a rugged road – passable by most trucks, SUVs, and even a Subaru Outback we witnessed with a daring driver at the wheel.
Then, the trail split and headed east toward the hills. We were in shorts – ill-prepared for the 38-degree start temperature – but quickly forgot about the cold as we got our cardio workout in for the day. In all, our hike would take us up the equivalent of about 40 flights of stairs. The sandstone rocks at times were perfectly placed for hiker access. Along with the higher elevation came more snow and mud – leftovers from last week’s winter storms.
“Where the heck is it?” I caught my breath, and asked Ira as we kept trudging along. Then I glanced to my left. We had already arrived. The ice made for a slippery surface upon which to navigate, so I played it extra cautious while feeling my way out – sometimes crouched down and walking on hands and knees – to the arch itself. I took note of how quiet the surroundings were when we stood completely still. Coupled with the fact that no other hikers were in the immediate area, and that we had absolutely zero cell phone signal, it made for a great feeling of peace and quiet. Soon it was time to make the return trek which went by quickly.
Ira and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Creekside Restaurant along Highway 179 on the way out of town. It was just what the doctor ordered to satisfy those cravings we’d built up from burning a few calories along the trail. Enjoy the rest of the pictures from our quick overnight trip, and for anyone visiting Arizona who wants a great taste of nature without hiking the entire Grand Canyon, I highly recommend hitting up the Sedona area for a trip to Devil’s Bridge. Here are the rest of my photos from the trip!
ILX at the trailhead
My “Look ma, no hands!” pose atop Devil’s Bridge
Ira back in Scottsdale, driving the NSX on Portland Street – fitting because he’s from Portland
Congrats also to my friend Mirel who picked up a(nother) Legend LS coupe 6-speed!
And one last little blurb here: I was on the news on Friday morning with my car! Tomorrow, there’ll be a car show in the evening called “Future Classics.” It’s open to any vehicle from 1970 through 2005 model year. I am entering my 1994 Legend coupe.
A few of us were asked to report to the 3TV Studio on 7th Avenue for a 3-minute intro to the car show on Good Morning Arizona.
Here’s the video. My (quick!) moment in the spotlight comes around 2 minutes in. And watch for my wave at the very end!
Coming up this week: A visit from a special friend, and a trip to the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, where the first 2017 Acura NSX will be auctioned to a lucky new owner this coming Friday night. I have my checkbook ready.
Signing out for now!