Archive for November, 2011

Tempe REI book event post-mortem

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Gave a little talk, sold a couple books, hope somebody learned something, and if not, at least there were pretty pictures.

Thanks to all those who came out.

Most of those fine folks filled out my survey (and one won a free book as a result!). On that survey, a responder can help choose my next hiking book. If you’dlike to play along at home (or wherever you read this blog) head over to the Choose My Next Book page, and enter a comment. OR comment on this post right here – since that link is easier to find.

I have updated the current totals following the Tempe REI event.

There’s no Behind-the-hike this week, but I have a holiday hike recommendation:  Cottonwood Trail #120 up by Roosevelt Lake.This was one of the better hiked from Day and Overnight Hikes – Tonto National Forest.

The Tonto NF has changed their website. Their new link to this trail is here:

Have a great Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: Spammers 100; actual commentors 0 – so I am closing comments

Verde River Greenway

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

This weekend:  There will never be a better time to hike Skunk Tank featured in Day and Overbight Hikes – Tonto National Forest.

Don’t be fooled by my misadventures – it’s actually a cool hike.

On the subject of misadventures that turned into cool hkes, we’ll continue on the behind-the-hike series for 5 Star Trails in Flagstaff and Sedona.

Verde Greenway hikes (both of them)

HIKE DATE: May 11 2010


START TIME: 9:15am

END TIME: 2:15p


OFFICIAL MILES: 3 & 4 miles respectively

After I hiked Lime Kiln Trail [], I camped in Dead Horse Ranch State Park [], and did what would become the two Verde Greenway hikes that next day. (My partner for LKT had driven home after the hike).

I actually did 3 versions of Verde Greenway, the first being inside Dead Horse Ranch. That was a nice little stroll through the giant cottonwoods, but it was less than 3 miles round trip (and I still got lost – so probably shorter than that) and not quite cool enough to stand alone.

With some advice from the DHR gift shop, I stumbled upon the Jail Trail, and that led, literally, to everything that followed.

My observation (from somewhere in the front matter) that the more prominently posted the leash law is the more likely locals are to ignore it came from an incident at this park.

I’d liketo tell you more about the Jail but I am currently 0-6 for being in “downtown” Cottonwood when the visitor center is open. The functional downtown of Cottonwood, so you know, is the intersection of AZ 89A and AZ260. That’s where all the major retail chains are located. The historic downtown, though, makes for much better stroll.

The south and north hikes (I did them in that order) were originally conceived and hiked as a loop. Connecting those loops, though, involved about a hundred feet of possible trespassing, and my publisher is quite scrupulous about those things. So scrupulous, in fact, that I shouldn’t even describe the route in this blog (which is hosted by the publisher).

So it became two separate hikes, which worked out better anyway. The book needed more easy hikes, and the connecting route across DHRSP was not five star.

As far as I know, these trails are undocumented outside of my guidebook. I haven’t done an exhaustive search – there are a LOT of Sedona hike guides out there – but none of the usual suspects covered it.

Once again, camera incompetencies impaired video notes, but a few survive, as the You Tube clip below demonstrates.

You Tube Clip

Parson Springs Trail

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

This weekend: starting to see snow around Flagstaff, and possibly as low as Sedona. A little nippy up there, but perfect hiking weather in the high desert.

Try Ballantine Trail – one of the best hikes from Day and Overnight Hikes: Tonto National Forest.

Now on to our behind-the-hike series on the new book, Five Star Trails in Flagstaff and Sedona

Parson Springs

HIKE DATE 6-13-2010






The second crossing on this hike is a popular local swimming hole.

The hike went smoothly except for the camera. I only have two vid clips because I realized the battery wouldn’t make it. Worse, there was some sort of snot-smear on the lens. I had no chance of seeing that on the LCD screen in broad daylight, so the lesson is clean the lens at the trailhead.

You can see the smear in the You Tube clip below, and even though we tried to finesse it out, you can see it in the book photo as well.

Ben and I actually went a little further up the canyon than the trail, just to check it out. Above the springs, its just a canyon full of rocks.

Link to You Tube video