Somewhere between my incessant hounding and the arrival of new gear on his door step, Wilderness Dave agreed to meet me for a weekend of gear testing and hiking in Sedona.
I know Dave Creech well. He’s the man behind the outdoor blog, WildernessDave.com, and one of our Sherpas. We’ve long been friends online but had yet to meet in person. So I thought testing some gear and hiking in Sedona would be the perfect reason to meet.
My wife would certainly have been game for another trip south. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas. But adding the two boys into the mix would certainly limit our options and, besides, I had a few cold weather sleeping bags to test.
So I headed south on Friday to set up camp at the Manzanita Campground which sits along Oak Creek in Sedona and Dave planned to join me at “dawn” on Saturday which I was surprised to learn occurs just before 9am in Arizona.
Redeeming himself for the late arrival, Dave revealed plans to hike to 2 of Sedona’s natural arches which sounded like a perfect plan to me.
Vultee Arch, which Dave captured perfectly in a series of photos on his Facebook page, was our primary target and we planned to arrive just before sunset to capture the arch in near perfect light.
We spent the majority of the day in camp discussing gear, the outdoors, the industry, and not surprisingly, food. We hit the trail after lunch, reached Vultee Arch just before sunset, and hiked out in the dark.
The day ended in camp with a meal, more stories, and verbal dry runs on the gear reviews we would later craft.
The following pictures from our day of hiking in Sedona may give you a sense of the majesty that the red rock capital offers, but believe me, it is so much more impressive in person.