Back in 2009 I had made my 3rd excursion to Sedona. If you've never been to this part of the world, you need to add it to your bucket list. On this particular visit me and Cindy wanted to do something a little more strenuous when it came to hiking. We had pretty much covered the easy & moderate hikes around the Red Rocks, but thought we would try making it to the top of Cathedral Rock. We got up early, packed our gear (me with my 10kg of camera stuff), put on our climbing shoes and off we went.
We got to Cathedral Rock, parked the car and started our journey to the Rock. We looked up and we were completely intimidated by the height and angle of the climb. We saw others up ahead of us doing the climb and there were some hikers already on their way down. We figured we would give it a try - you only live once, right? We got a short distance, climbing on our hands and knees; looked at each other and decided this wasn’t for us.
As we walked around the base of the rock, we ran into a gentleman wearing a cowboy hat, boots, carry a walking stick, holstering a gun (we’re in Arizona and you can carry a registered fire arm). With him was a small Australian cattle dog (sometimes referred to as a blue heeler) running circles around him as he walked. He had a traveling companion – a heavy set fellow wearing a baseball hat and supporting a large belly.
As we walked by he asked us if we were climbing to the top today. Sadly we said we weren’t. He asked “Why Not?”
Cindy said that we think we had met our match and said we thought it would be too challenging and out of our expertise. The gentlemen wearing the cowboy hat said “Why don’t you join us? I’ve been up and down this rock more times than I can count”. “I know an easy route to the top”. So off we went to the top of Cathedral Rock.
We did get to the top and no it wasn’t the “easy way up”. There were times I had to have Cindy stand on my shoulders and push her high enough to grab on to ledges. There were other places where we were walking on some pretty precarious rocks. But Cowboy Kenny did get us there.
I got a couple of pictures of him, but he really wasn’t into getting his photograph taken.
We talked a bit when we reached the top and then he disappeared. Seriously, Kenny, the dog and the guy in the baseball cap just vanished. We’ve never seen them again.
…but the view from the top was spectacular.