Here are a few photos of the trip down to Sedona and then I'll give you a full trip report for the run.
View from my driveway in Flag at sunrise (worth taking a picture of...I never get up this early!).
Stormy morning and still snow on the ground from a snow storm weeks ago.
I had to get a quick shot of this scene at Slide Rock State Park as the sun shot through storm clouds.
Another shot at Slide Rock.
View from the Midgely Bridge parking lot where the trail started.
Another view from the Midgely Bridge parking lot.
Midgely Bridge and Red Rock Pass sign (I still never purchase a pass because they can't enforce it down here like they can in other places. Stickin it to the man!).
So here is the story on the run. I started at Midgely Bridge in Oak Creek Canyon at 9 am. I followed the Jim Thompson Trail for 3 miles of nice views and saw a few other trail runners. From the end of the Jim Thompson Trail I ran throught the Brins Mesa parking lot and onto the Brins Mesa Trail. This trail has a nice climb for the first mile onto a big flat mesa with excellent views of the surrounding red rocks and spires and then descends 2 more miles through a really nice red sand and slickrock wash and Alligator Juniper forest. This is some of my favorite landscape in Sedona! I really enjoyed that part of the run because of the silence of being "out there" on the trail. No other people, mountain bikes, jeep tours and helicopters (jeeps and helicopters are very popular with tourists). Speaking of...at the end of the Brins Mesa Trail I met up with Forest Service Road #152 and followed that for many miles of Rental Cars, Jeeps and even got buzzed by a helicopter. Welcome back to the world of machines. Even with the vehicles around, the dirt forest service road was pleasant (I am in Sedona after all). Near the end of the road I ran toward Thunder mountain and was reminded of Susan and I trying to scramble it a couple weeks ago and what a fun adventure that was (we still have to get to the top of that thing). At the end of the dirt forest service road I ran along Dry Creek Road (paved) for a mile or so until I could escape onto trails again. Ahhhh! From here I followed Thunder Mountain Trail and then the Teacup Trail for 3 or so miles with views of Thunder Mountain and Sedona spires to the left and the city of Sedona to the right. At the end of Teacup Trail the run took me past the cool looking sink hole "Devil's Kitchen" (a favorite of the jeep tours, blech!) and Morning Glory Spire. After the Devil's Kitchen I followed the Jordan Trail for about a mile and then finished back on the Jim Thompson Trail for 3 last miles where I gave away my last bites of food to a tired old lady hiking. Nice thing to do but I paid the price not having any energy to cunsume near the end of the run. A great run and I am excited to start linking more long runs down there. We are very fortunate to have so many great trails to run during the winter months!
Looking sharp after the run.