Amblers easily breeze their way along beautiful historical trails
March 13, 2020
By Linda Schermer
Amblers hike Easy Breezy and Templeton Loop, photo courtesy of Linda Warren
On a comfortably warm, partly sunny day in January, the Amblers met to sign in at both Posse Grounds and at the VOC location, then drove to Courthouse Vista parking area, mid-way between. This arrangement is referred to as "dual" on the Sedona Westerners' website, and is used when the hike is about halfway between our usual assembly sites. Our leaders for the 5 mile, 600' elevation gain hike Easy Breezy/Templeton Loop were Louise Gelotte and Clint Gelotte, both veteran hikers. Hassan Hosseini and Jim Meade served as tail-gaters, who make sure to keep the group together.
We started on the Templeton Trail, crossed through a tunnel under Highway 179 then joined the Easy Breezy Trail, a lovely route that winds in and along a large drainage between Back'O'Beyond Road and Cathedral. It is lined with many Arizona Cypress trees, which have peeling bark that has a lovely mottled assortment of colors, including maroon, grey, rust, and greens. It also provides a view of the stately cliffs below B'O'B Road and views of Cathedral. As we neared the turnoff up to Templeton Trail, we stopped for our usual a.m. break and were treated to the celebrated oatmeal-macadamia nut cookies, prepared by veteran Westerner Bob Dannert, the cookie master, who has also taught a special instructive hike, "Hiking 101", for many years to assist new hikers.
Templeton Trail, at the point we joined it, is easy to traverse slick rock that offers scenic distant views. Our lunch break yielded a
panoramic vista, encompassing the area from Capitol Butte through Wilson Mountain, Twin Buttes, the Chapel, the Munds-Lee notch, "City Hall", Gibraltar, and Rabbit Ears. Hikers included at least 5 who had been Westerner members for more than 15 years. Conversation turned to how the Club operated pre-internet. The Westerners had started as a social club and "welcoming committee", then someone suggested "why don't we take a hike". Decades ago, there was just a single hike each week, alternating between a full-day hike on Saturdays and a Sunday afternoon hike. As the club expanded, more days of hiking were offered
with different levels of difficulty. Hikes are currently offered on Thursdays at 2 levels, Saturdays at 2 levels, Sundays, Tuesdays, and some Wednesdays which are special educational hikes or field trips. In the "old days", the Hike Boss (organizer for that group) was expected to lead all hikes for the full season from September through May, and to know the hikers well enough to assess whether they had the capacity to do the level of hike for that group. Also, pre-internet, one earned of the upcoming hikes by attending monthly meetings. Later, a printed list of hikes would be issued and changes were sent via Larry Dreyfuss's charming emails. The club members have a broad array of skills, and many tech-savvy members helped build and maintain our website. Now hikers are expected to check for updates using the website.
After our pleasant lunch break, we continued along the Templeton Trail, and as we dropped down from our high views, we began to notice pieces of metal roofing and old fences. These are remnants of the homestead of Harry Templeton, who squatted in the 1930s and built a fairly impressive two-story home from materials he salvaged. He lived there for decades, farming and ranching. The house was torn down and the area reclaimed by the Forest Service in 1970 following his death.To see a photo of Templeton's house, visit the Sedona Heritage Museum in Uptown and check the catalog #1996.1.9960. Many other informative materials
are housed there.
Soon we returned to the intersection with Easy Breezy Trail, passed under the highway again, and were back to our trailhead, satisfied
after another fine outing.
Written by Linda Schermer
If you are interested in joining the club, please visit the Sedona Westerners website at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership. You are invited to our next regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 9, 2020, at the Sedona Methodist Church, 110 Indian Cliffs Road.