4 Amazing Sedona Hikes in Two Days
This is uncommon for us to do, but Larry Preston is not only an excellent writer but an avid hiker as well. Please enjoy this guest blog post of Larry’s, we certainly did!
This was my second trip to Sedona. The first one was over Memorial Day, and it was so crowded that I went home almost as soon as I got there.
This time was different. I brought Pixel the Wonder Cat along, as she rather enjoys riding in the Jeep and sniffing out a new place. I also booked a room at El Portal, and this place is wonderful. I would put it in my list of top hotels ever. And they aren’t even paying me to say that.Was it crowded again? Yes, but not as bad. I also planned it out this time so I could go nowhere that was crowded.
As a first for me, I booked a guided tour for my first hike on Saturday morning. When I saw the option to book with Sedona Philosophy Experience, I assumed it was about experiencing Sedona. Nope. It’s actually a hike with a guide who shares their love of philosophy with you.
What a great surprise that was. Matt Goodwin, my tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable about Sedona, Arizona’s history, and of course, Philosophy. It made for the most interesting hike I may have ever been on.
When I was a kid, I wanted to build a go-kart. I found a man not too far from my house that was willing to help me weld it. Sadly, I cannot recall his name, and I am sure he is long gone. This guy was a welder by day but a philosophy lover at night. So as he was welding, he told me all about Plato, Socrates, Dante, and John Locke.
I studied a bit more of it in college and had read many books on my own. But Matt clearly has dug into it at a whole other level, making for a fascinating 2.5-hour hike and conversation.
The highlight of the hike is the House of Apache Fire, Built by Helen and Jack Frye, who, in the early 1940s, caught sight of the land during a flyover. Jack was the president of TWA Airlines, and Helen was his artist wife. By 1947, construction began for the home on what the Fryes dubbed the Smoke Trail Ranch—some 700 acres of red-rock country land with the creek running through it.
The house is not being used now and is surrounded by a barb-wire fence. That’s sad because you can see it was truly an amazing place with perhaps some of the best views in the world. Certainly in Sedona. This place struck me because it was about the same time (1948) that my grandparents, Herb and Millie Borah, built a gorgeous log cabin on Lake of the Woods in Minnesota. Both places, at the time, were about as remote as one could get, yet both couples preferred to be there and far from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities of the time.
Helen was clearly a larger-than-life character with multiple husbands and homes. She is certainly a Sedona legend.