I had just finished a long travel week for work between Tucson and Sedona. It is July, and my general rule is no hiking between May- October in Arizona except in Flagstaff and the White Mountains due to the higher incidence of snake encounters.

Rules are meant to be broken however. I need to break in my new hiking boots and get in some more time on the trail before my big solo adventure in August. So I decide to hike a trail that has been looking good to me for quite some time, the Adobe Jack. To help battle the extreme July heat and any run-ins with slithering desert creatures, I rise to be at the trailhead at 5 a.m.

The trailhead parking lot only holds fourteen vehicles, and two spots are already claimed. I check my water levels in my backpack, marvel at the sunrise peeking through the clouds at this early hour, and get my feet moving.

Even at this hour its already ninety degrees, and with monsoonal moisture in the air, humidity is high. I start sweating almost immediately, and the bugs congregate to me like a bee to a beautiful flower in bloom.

The trail does not disappoint, which isnt really surprising, as none so far have in Sedona. Sweeping vistas really showcase the Vortex off in the early morning, and three miles in I make it to the Adobe Jack red rock formations.

I wanted to sit and either read or meditate for a bit under the shadow of Adobe Jack, but the bugs become unbearable, and I forgot bug spray to ward them off.

So I return back the way I came, making this a quick six mile hike before 7 a.m.

But at least I got some trail time in, broke in the new hiking boots to help cushion the possibility of blisters during subsequent hikes, and will make it home before noon, leaving the weekend open.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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