Posted 3/9/22

OUTDOOR Adventures ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////^^^^ Breathtaking It has often been said, “It is not the number of breaths we take but the moments that take our …

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OUTDOOR Adventures



It has often been said, “It is not the number of breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away.” Getting out and enjoying the great outdoors presents more of these type moments than we may realize. To help us realize these moments in our lives, we can consider another often used saying, “you have to stop and smell the roses.” While it was not roses that I was smelling while hiking in the Red Rocks of Sedona, the freshness of the air and the scenery that I was surrounded by most definitely took my breath away. I most definitely knew that I was no longer in Minnesconsin.

The views from Airport Mesa, high above Sedona, Arizona are unlike anything that I had ever seen in my 55-plus years of circling the sun. The day prior, we took a Jeep tour through an area known as Coyote Canyon and I was amazed by the astonishing beauty of the various vegetation and rock formations, washout areas and wildlife, including a momma Mule Deer and her curious fawn. To say the “road” was bumpy would be a serious understatement as I recall thinking, “a jar of cream would certainly turn into butter on this trek.” Despite the minor whiplash, the tour is something that I am glad we did. It was on the drive back that the guide pointed out how to get to Airport Mesa and was quick to add, it is worth the drive. He was right.

The rock path weaves its way through the rugged terrain with Prickly Pear Cactus and other types of native grasses and ground cover. As we ventured up and down the path, we passed a few folks coming back from the direction we were headed. None of them appeared physically drained and were all in good spirits which gave us confidence in moving on. I was amused as we neared a gate which had a sign stating, “Please close gate to keep deer off the runway.” This area is home to an airport, and it makes sense that deer on the runway could be quite dangerous. It also appeared to me that a deer would most likely be able to crawl under the opening between the bottom of the gate and the ground. Maybe Arizona deer are not as agile as ours are up here in Minnesconsin.

As we walked towards a slight opening, my first experience of having my breath literally taken away happened. Even if I were to try to use words to describe what was in front of me, I do not think any possible wordsmithing on my end would do it justice. I literally stopped in my tracks and found myself in a situation that rarely happens to me. I was speechless and so much to the point, my wife turned to me and asked if everything was okay. “It’s better than okay,” I said. “This is incredible. It is completely breathtaking.” As we continued down, and up, and down the path without any cares other than trying not to trip and fall, the moments just continued with unlimited photo ops at hand.

We finally decided it was time to turn and find our way back to the car as we had a couple of hours drive back to Chandler where we were staying with family. The scenery on the drive back was also something that I do not feel that mere words can give justice. If you have never been to this part of our great country, I highly recommend making the trip. A day or two is all one needs in the Sedona area and be prepared to be “small tourist shopped” beyond your wildest imagination. Take Wisconsin Dells and multiply it by 10 but in about the same geographic border. Lots of artsy things and other trinkets which I am happy to report, most of them remained in Sedona, at least on our end. The drive between Phoenix and Sedona provides multiple elevation changes as well as scenic differences. Again, it is well worth the trip.

And just like that, we returned home to snow, freezing rain and a chill in the air that did not exist a few hours before. As I got off the plane, I stopped to smell the flowers, which of course, at the airport off 494, there are no flowers at this time of year. While I had some breathtaking times in Arizona, I realized that I have plenty more of them in front of me here in Minnesconsin. We all do, and it is a good bet they will be outdoors. “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”