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Good Times with Good Friends

February 4, 2023


Good Times with Good Friends

Good Friends, a bit of Coffee, and Sedona Red Rocks!


It’s Monday, January the 23rd at 5am, and the alarm clock begins to sound. Linda and I roll out of bed and begin the arduous task of getting ourselves ready and our Jeep loaded for our annual trip to our timeshare in Sedona, Arizona. But first, a cup of coffee needs to take place, so the world can slowly start to come into focus; a morning ritual for us and one of the best parts of the day, at least for me. I just picked up some Costa Rica coffee from Peet's at Costco the day before and filled up our airtight container in preparation for the trip, the one packing item I did do early.


As per usual, we waited until the last minute to pack and didn’t even begin until late the previous evening. I’m not sure why we do this to ourselves, but it seems to be par for the course. As we load up the Jeep, the air is electric with anticipation. Sedona is just so beautiful, a piece of paradise that is loaded with things we love to do. Incredible scenery everywhere you look, some of the best hiking in the country, epic mountain biking, and now we have added Jeeping to our repertoire. Add in visits with great friends and this is a week we cherish each year.


I used to dread the drive. It’s 600 miles and an all-day affair. However, nowadays, Linda and I load up my Audible account and immerse ourselves in a good book all the way there and back. It’s truly amazing how quickly it makes time pass by.

Williams, Arizona

My sister Kellie had mentioned that she heard about a great pie shop in Williams, Arizona, and said we should stop along the way and check it out. We typically like to briefly stop in Williams anyway, so we charted a course for Pine Country Restaurant which specializes in Homemade Pies. As we pulled off the I40 in Williams later that day, we were greeted by an absolute winter wonderland. The roads were covered in ice and after we started to briefly slide, a quick shift into 4WD fixed the issue quickly. We made our way to Pine Country, and each grabbed our favorite selection. Mine being Dutch Apple and Linda’s a Lemon Raspberry of some sort. We would have loved to stay and meander around, but the sky was rather ominous and looked like it was going to start snowing hard at any minute, so we decided to hit the road and take our pie to go. The canyon pass on Highway 89A from Flagstaff down to Sedona could close at any time if the snow got too bad and then make our trip longer and certainly more interesting. Best to avoid that problem if possible, so off we went.


We rolled into our timeshare, Arroyo Roble Resort around 5pm Arizona time that day and quickly unloaded and situated ourselves in our home for the next week. This timeshare has been in our family for 20+ years and we seem to fall in love with Sedona a bit more with each passing year. Per our normal custom, we head out the door for a quick dinner at Wildflower Bread Company. I wish they’d open one of these in Fresno! It’s a bit like Panera, only better. After a quick bite, we headed back and dug into our pie from Pine Country. I can personally testify that this is a stop you NEED TO MAKE. The Dutch Apple was arguably the best I’ve ever had.


Chocolate Falls


One of the great things about our visit to Sedona each year is the fact that we have good friends that have moved from Fresno and now live in this vacation paradise year around. We love hanging out with them and do so for most of our trips every year.  Tuesday morning we picked up Simon & Joetta and headed out for a day trip to Arizona Grand Falls which is appropriately nicknamed Chocolate Falls.

The falls are fed by the snowmelt and rain from the White Mountains and flow into the Little Colorado River. The last 10 miles of the journey send you off the highway and onto a dirt road that sits on Navajo land. It was covered in a combination of snow with some big chunky pockets of mud puddles. We had such a great time getting there. The falls were amazing and from what I read, the best time of year is in the spring when snowmelt is at its fullest.  


That night, we had dinner at Simon and Joetta's house and our friends Dave and Laurie also came by.  Joetta made a wonderful homemade lasagna that was incredible. There is just nothing better than reconnecting with great friends, laughing and reminiscing as the evening slips away. 


On Friday, our dear friends, Josh and Shawnda came up from San Tan Valley, which is a suburb of the Phoenix area, and stayed the weekend with us. We sold their house in Fresno in February 2022’ and they moved their family out of California and on to Arizona. It seems like every other listing we have these days are families doing the same thing; but that’s a topic for another blog post to say the least. With all the uncertainty in the real estate market these days, (and the world), Linda and I are getting a lot of questions about if we think the market will crash this year. I recently wrote a BLOG Post on that very subject, at least from what the experts are saying.



Broken Arrow Trail


Josh and Shawnda arrived around 10:30 am and we headed off for a day of off-roading so Josh could break his new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We headed for West Sedona to take the short Jeep trail to the Van Deren Homestead cabin which is off Dry Creek Road. If you’re ever in Sedona, you’ll want to take in the Devil's Bridge hike which is iconic and one of the best in Arizona. It’s off the same trail as the Van Deren Cabin. 

We had an amazing time and when all finished up, still had some daylight so headed over to the famous Broken Arrow Trail which is said to be one of the best off-road trails in Arizona. I would certainly not disagree either! The scenery here is unmatched and it’s an experience that is so full and rich that you will love every minute of it. And, to do this with some of our best friends was a real treat! As the sun was coming down and we finished the trail, we headed over to one of our favorite spots, Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen for a great dinner to close out the day. 


Soldiers Pass Trail


Saturday was much of the same, a day filled with friends and off-roading. However, today, Dave joined us in his Jeep and brought along Simon as a co-pilot. Having an additional Jeep in our convey was cool. We started the day off on the iconic Soldiers Pass trail which is the only trail where you need to purchase a day pass in order to have access to the trail, they only issue 12 per day. If you’re visiting the area, this is also a must-hike trail as it heads up to some fantastic hidden caves that you will love. No pass required for the hike!


After several more trails, we ended the day at Butterfly Burger for dinner, located in the Village of Oak Creek. What an incredible restaurant. Dave recommended the Tater Tots appetizer of all things, and the recommendation was on point. We all had them, and we all couldn’t stop talking about how good they were. 

On Monday 1/30, we packed up the Jeep and headed for home. But before we did, we stopped in at  Coffee Pot Restaurant to have a (really) good breakfast before we officially hit the road. This is another recommendation if you’re in the area. Get there early though as they are super popular and very busy.


Another year gone by and another incredible trip to Sedona, Arizona. Hanging out with some truly great friends, having a bit of coffee (and wine), and some Beautiful Arizona Red Rocks. Now it’s time to plan next year’s adventure and oh yeah, time to get back to work! 


If you are interested in traveling to Sedona one day and need any information or tips, don't hesitate to reach out!


All my best, 


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