If you recall, back in June, me and my family headed to Schnebly Hill Road off I-17 just shy of Flagstaff to 4-wheel to the Look Out. Believe it or not, the road was closed due to all the spring rains. Boy, doesn’t that feel like an eternity away! Fingers and paws crossed we get some moisture this week. Everything is so dry.
Anyway, we checked the road conditions this time, and Schnebly Hill Road was open. Up I-17 northbound we went! For those familiar with Schnebly Road, you can access it from Sedona or south of Flagstaff. The Sedona side is rough going…my Dad can attest to that. In fact, he said he would never go that way again. It was too bumpy. Access from I-17 is much easier. At the exit, turn left (last time, we turned right and headed into the forest) and follow the dirt road for 5.3 miles to the overlook.
The road is still bumpy and requires high clearance vehicles, but it isn’t technical. Coming from this direction, you won’t encounter the crowds. From the Sedona side, the Schnebly Hill Road Look Out is extremely popular, especially for Pink Jeep Tours. Why people would want their brains rattled loose is beyond me. I hunker down in my kennel and wait for it to be over. Me and Mom aren’t great fans of 4-wheeling, but sometimes you need to endure the conditions to reach great destinations.
From north Phoenix, allow two hours to the Look Out. The view is totally worth the drive! At that 5.3-mile mark, you will see a large dirt parking lot on your right. From it, you can see Sedona in all its glory. The red rock looked amazing against the brilliant, blue sky. We arrived early and beat the crowds.
We took pictures and thought it might stay quiet, so Dad set up our shade tarp for our picnic. We were mistaken. People weren’t coming to take pictures and moving on; they were coming to party. All of a sudden, the lovely sounds of nature were drowned out by loud, obnoxious music blaring from side-by-sides. People were smoking and drinking with no regard to others around them.
We didn’t even have a chance to eat. We packed everything back up and decided to find another spot. Back on Schnebly Road we went. We were about 10 minutes down the road when Dad realized he had forgotten my tether. Dad uses a strap and carabiner to attach my leash to a tree or big rock so I am free to roam but can’t get loose. My bolting days are over, but this also keeps me close by for safety reasons. Back to the Look Out we went.
We passed several sites where people were camping in the forest. One in particular had quite a large fire going. Dad got my tether, and we drove back past the campsite with the fire, they had departed. Yup, they packed everything up but left their fire burning. WHO does this?? We pulled off quickly, and Mom and Dad got busy trying to contain the fire before it spread.
Using their hands, they dumped sand on it and poured all the water we had on it. They did their best to put most of the fire out. Mom located the Flagstaff Fire Department’s phone number where you can report fires, and Dad gave them the exact coordinates. They greatly appreciated our help and notification. Someone was nearby and would extinguish it completely.
I know I am biased, but my folks are Good Deed Doers! Many others just drove by not getting involved or doing anything. If Dad hadn’t forgotten my tether, you would be reading about a horrible forest fire near Sedona, right off Schnebly Road. We would be losing even more of our trees!
We all agreed that things happen for a reason, and we were meant to see that fire to help. However, this should never have happened! People, if you go out into nature, please be respectful and responsible. For one, they should not have burned a fire so close to trees. Two, you NEVER leave a burning fire unattended…ever. It needs to be stone cold.
Now that we smelled like campfire smoke, we found a quiet pull out with wonderful views of Sedona…and no people! Dad set us up again, and Mom got our picnic out. We ate a yummy lunch, and we all decided to take a nap. Dad and Mom’s chairs recline, and I slept in my house. The temperatures were cool and the sun warm. Just perfect for a snooze. A slight breeze was blowing, and the only sound we heard were the birds chirping and one annoying fly buzzing around. He liked Mom and kept pestering her. Ha!
An occasional vehicle would drive by, but the majority of people came from Sedona and headed back that way, missing us. We enjoyed a peaceful afternoon. I didn’t get to walk, though, as the terrain off Schnebly Road is rocky. My ankle is finally feeling better, and we didn’t want to re-injure it.
Mom got her cell phone out again, and she found a park for us to visit on the way home. I’ll tell you about that next week!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!