West Fork

I made it into a few more beautiful corners of Arizona this weekend with the alumni club. We went camping near the town of Cottonwood -where the mountains are black and barren, south of Flagstaff far enough for warm temperatures at night. The camping trip is a sort of an initiation/get-to-know-you event for the new members that we do at the beginning of every semester. Yesterday we hiked the West Fork trail between Flagstaff and Sedona, the scenery there was spectacular, I feel pretty small when hiking between 1,000 foot high cliffs…

In Arizona temperature is determined largely by elevation: two weeks ago when I went hiking at 10,000 feet, the leaves were changing and the air was cool. Now there’s snow above 10,000. Friday night in Cottonwood -elevation 3,000- the air was warm and pleasant, even during the night. There weren’t many trees, just mostly cactus everywhere. In the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon at 5,000 feet elevation it was a little cooler but still warm enough to hike without a jacket.