As an East Coast girl living in the West I was excited by the prospect of driving a couple hours North to Flagstaff to see the leaves changing colors to be reminded of the Fall season.
It was our perception that after driving approximately two hours we would arrive in a beautiful forest for a one mile hike with our two Siberian huskies who would enjoy the cooler weather while us humans would awe at the golds, reds, oranges and yellows provided by nature once a year.
The reality was, of course, quite different as this was just another misadventure to add to the list.
Driving For Days On End
Certainly an exaggeration but it wasn’t a two hour drive either. We entertained ourselves by guessing songs on the radio when the reception would pick up a radio station, bubble gum blowing contests and pushing the dogs to the back of the car who wanted nothing else but to be centrally located so shifting gears was all-near impossible.
Furthermore we took a detour through Sedona through route 89A where gobs of tourists where piling out of their cars to see the sprinkling of reds and yellows. But I knew better. I knew that where we were going there would be less crowds and more color for us to enjoy.
Reading Is Good
Four hours later we jumped out of the car to Keyhole Sink Road where we would take the Keyhole Sink hike. It was odd that the trailhead said Kaibab National Forest – Oak Hill Snowplay Area, but we stayed true to the plan and proceded to walk 10 minutes until the trail ended. There was a ski slope, two restrooms and a rest area. I was starting to realize that maybe something was not right.
We returned to the car and noticed that across the street there was another sign: Keyhole Sink Trail.
It’s So Green
As we schlepped the dogs down the path to see a basin that attracts wildlife, we became aware of the lack of color variation in the trees around us. What the hell? Was every tree here an evergreen? Where were the reds, the oranges and the golds?
A Pitiful Surprise
We did not know that at the basin there were Indian markings left behind by the Sinagua people. What a surprise! Supposedly they depicted on the basalt cliffs a hunting scene that likely occurred there.
Unfortunately, we were five years too late to see the markings as someone had tagged “ACE” right over the markings. Immediately we were disgusted that someone could come in and ruin the markings for others to enjoy but the further we walked and contemplated we started to philosophize about how one day ACE’s work would be treated in the same way as those markings.
Perhaps philosophizing is what one does in an evergreen forest since there are no radiant colors to distract you.