arizona attractions, holidays, stephen

Destination: Oak Creek Canyon

Yes, we’re still alive after our exciting all-day surprise adventure with the Horkavys on Friday! They pulled into our driveway around 9am and declared the day “Statewide Stephen Day” in honor of Stephen’s upcoming 30th birthday on the 28th. Ryan had picked out a football birthday card for Stephen that plays the NFL theme. Then we were given five riddles to help us guess our travel plans for the day.

Mystery Drive Destination: Slide Rock at Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona

After a two hour drive, we arrived in Sedona. Although we had visited Sedona right after Silas was born, we somehow managed to miss the main drag with all the interesting shops! Oak Creek Canyon was beautiful and surprisingly green. Since Slide Rock is so popular–especially in the summer–the parking lot was full when we got there. So, we drove down the road and found a picnic area. Jen had packed a yummy lunch, which we ate by the creek with a view of some gorgeous mountains.Stephen strapped Silas into his baby carrier for our hike, and declared, “Adventure is out there!”* And an adventure it was. The unmarked trail was so steep and rocky that we had to take it very slowly and help each other down an especially tricky spot. Oak Creek had formed a pretty deep swimming hole where we were, but we wanted to see Slide Rock, so we picked our way along the creek bed. The steep slope was covered in large wobbly boulders that made for unstable footing and slow going. We kept hiking, and hiking, and hiking.Finally, after much balancing, careful stepping, and only one fall, we reached the smooth red rock walls of Oak Creek. It was beautiful! The kids, Jen and I waded in the creek while the guys scouted out an exit strategy for us. The water was ice cold at first, but it was a welcome change since the sunny day was so hot. Silas liked the water, and Elizabeth and Ben loved it.Stephen and Ryan came back, and we hung out in the creek for a bit. What a pretty spot!

We never did make it to Slide Rock but picked our way a little further down the creek and then, with much help from the guys, we climbed straight up the rock cliff to a small parking pull-out alongside the highway. At that point I had Silas strapped to me as Stephen pulled me up the huge boulder. We rested at the pull-out while Ryan retrieved the car. Unexpected adventures make the best memories.

The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing the many colorful shops of Sedona. Gemstone jewelry, petrified wood, dulcimers, picture frames made out of old motherboards and computer keys, and fudge were just a few of the things that caught our interest. I managed to find a case for my dulcimer for just $5!

Stephen chose steak for his birthday dinner entrée, so that took us to Relics, the oldest restaurant in Sedona. This was the first “glass-goblet-and-cloth-napkin restaurant” we’ve visited with Silas, so I found myself shoving Cheerios in his mouth to ward off baby squeals and screams. Bitty Boy actually did pretty well. Stephen topped off his steak dinner with free ice cream and a chocolate lava brownie (which he graciously shared with me because he loves me and knows all too well my obsession with brownies). After the meal, we were given a private tour of the restaurant. The place was beautiful!

Before heading back to Phoenix, we stopped at Coldstone Creamery for ice cream for the rest of the gang. What a great day–what great friends!

*p.s. I’m sure Stephen will be embarrassed once he discovers that I announced to the world that he quoted from the movie Up, but in all honesty, Doug the talking dog is one of Stephen’s favorites. We bought the DVD solely for Silas’s enjoyment though. {{wink}}

 

 

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