Devil’s Bridge – Sedona

Instead of our normal Friday Valley fast food getaway meal, 7 scouts with their adult chauffeurs headed further up north to beat the traffic. Starving by the time we got to Wendy’s in Camp Verde, Baconators and peppermint Frosty’s were devoured in short order.  What remained was a short journey to our appointed campsite in stunning Sedona on the appropriately named Inspirational Drive.  After setting up the party circus and some assorted adult tents, the troop spent a non-standard evening with cell and internet reception tracking high school and college playoff upsets and other online games until lights out.

After a cool 43-degree morning with warm egg delicacies in both the scout and adult camps, it was time to head for the highlight adventure of the weekend – the remote Devil’s Bridge. Almost impossible to drive to through Dry Creek’s rocky road, it becomes a beautiful 4-mile hike to an accessible rock bridge with a fabulous view of the red rock valley below. We had two scouts on their first extended hike with the troop, and they handled the hand over hand climb up the steep parts to the bridge like old pros.  Later in the day on the return trip, a more experienced scout exhorted the newbies to keep to 5 minutes the two short breaks we took, to avoid the build-up of ‘laxative’ acid!  One certainly doesn’t want to deal with THAT on a hike. Upon our arrival at the breathtaking bridge, we noted with some chagrin that the bridge has recently become an online sensation.  The secluded bridge that my wife and I hiked to 10 years ago where no one but us was there to view it, now had a 40-minute line for people to get on the bridge to perform their myriad of staged Instagram poses. We ate lunch while waiting for our more patient troop members to get their turn to be ‘shot’ on the bridge, and cheered as couples kissed, or shook our heads as those born without a caution gene attempted handstands.  The parallelly implemented jet-boil brigade of troop freeze-dried lunches took a bit little longer than the wait for the photo opportunities, including a few tense moments as scouts were not so surprisingly asked to supply their own water (anybody got any dehydrated water I can use for my Mountain House lunch?).  And then of course there was the infamous stroganoff incident – that of which we must not speak.  As everyone knows, things that happen at Devil’s Bridge stay at Devil’s Bridge!

We returned to camp to begin preparation of dinners for kings before the anticipated rains came. The scouts made spectacular Dutch oven pepperoni pizzas, while the adults were blessed with perfectly aged and seasoned elk steaks from a generous scout father who was subsequently unable to attend with his son, with baby asparagus sautéed in bacon bits and fingerling potatoes grilled to perfection. In the evening mist, right before the drizzle began, we determined that Mr. Benyi is 3 handfuls short of a bag full of chocolate chips.  Even with that challenge, the cherry on top of the evening was a cherry chocolate chip cobbler designated appreciatively by one scout as a ‘ridiculous gut bomb’ (devils food chocolate, of course, for the Devil’s Bridge trip).  The cherry on top of the cherry on top was hosting one of our Eagles attending NAU who drove down for cobbler and a fun reunion with the scouts for a few minutes Saturday night.

Get ready – with all that moisture this weekend, there is hope that there just might be snow at Mormon Lake in January for our winter camping trip.  Hope you will plan to join us!

7 brave scouts – ‘We ain’t afraid of no Devil’s Bridge!’
Taking the slumber party outside the party circus tent
Take our word for it, he had a fan club of 100+ watching his every move
After 8 previous jet-boils for hungry scout meals, Mr. Nachtrab finally gets his ramen
If you sit for longer than 5 minutes, beware of the ‘laxative’ acid effect!
Personal pepperoni pan pizzas – dutch oven style!
Not a single thorn! (wellll, maybe it was a wee bit wet)