Friday, August 14, 2020

A Week with Cats

We couldn't pass up the chance to spend another week in Sedona, this time house and catsitting. Although it got into the mid-90s the temperatures were at least 10-15 degrees cooler than Fountain Hills, which is especially nice in the mornings and evenings, where we could actually sit outside comfortably and go for a walk or hike a little later than the 5:30-6:00 that has become the norm for us this summer.

                                                              View out the living room window.

These were our charges, Spyder Girl and Meatloaf, whom we affectionately called Meathead after we got to know him.                                                                            


                                                                          Spyder Girl

They are both very sweet cats but they are indoor/outdoor cats, with Spyder spending much of the day hanging around the yard and neighborhood. She is very good about wanting to come in before dark.

Meatloaf on the other hand spends the heat of the day inside but stays out prowling all night. We were a bit nervous about this as we have never let our cats out unattended, but this is what they are used to so we obliged. Wouldn't you know, he got bit or stung by something one day, which required a vet visit, and then a couple days later he stayed gone for two full days and nights, causing us concern as we did not want something bad to happen on our watch. He finally returned and we imprisoned him in the house our last two days there just to make sure he was home safe when his owner returned. It was an interesting week!

 The swelling made him look like a chipmunk

Besides a few walks around the lovely neighborhood, we also did several hikes. When we were there in May I hiked the Templeton trail but Jim didn't so we went back and did that one again from the other direction, starting at the Little Horse trailhead, taking the Bell Rock Pathway to the HT trail, which intersects the Templeton.

                                                                The HT trail goes under Hwy 179

                                   We saw one biker and only a few other hikers on the Templeton

We had not done the Hangover trail before, known as a double diamond mountain bike trail, but we got a late start so it was pretty warm by the time we got to the Huckaby trailhead off Schnebly Hill Rd. From there it's a 1.7 mile hike on Munds Wagon trail before it intersects the Hangover, so once we actually got to the Hangover we didn't quite make it another mile before we were getting too hot. Still a nice hike but I would like to go back and do the entire 8 mile loop one day, where you get to the challenging parts. 

There is no shortage of beautiful views on any trail in the Sedona area.

    We spotted a few Pink Jeeps on Schnebly Hill Road paralleling the Munds Wagon trail

One day we took a 65 mile drive to Prescott to visit former RVing friends Hans and Lisa, whom you probably remember from Metamorphosis Road. We may do some house/catsitting for them one of these days and they wanted to show us some things around the house and yard. We had a nice masked visit, and I realized that was only the second time we had been in someone else's place since March. What an odd world we're living in.

They recommended the Woodchute trail near Jerome and although we had hiked in that area once when we were in Prescott, it was on a different trail. So on our last day in Sedona, when it was getting into the upper 90s, we drove up to 7,000' Mingus Mtn. It was in the mid 80s by the time we finished but there was a little shade and a nice breeze. Again we wimped out and only made it about 2.5 miles (when it started getting steep!) before turning back, so we didn't get to the best viewpoint, but we had great views most of the way. 

                                                        I have a thing for alligator junipers

                                                                       Road to Jerome

                                                        San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff

      Our only wildlife sighting. He was kind enough to stop long enough for me to get a photo.

So we are back home enduring record-breaking heat, watching as the coronavirus numbers have been going down very gradually over the past month. It would be nice to think there is light at the end of this tunnel, but that is wishful thinking at this point. Between the virus and the insanity in the political world sometimes it all feels like a bad dream. If only it was...