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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tonto Nautral Bridge (AKA One of my favorite places on the planet!)


Last week I took the kids on a little day trip up to the AZ mountains.  Truth be told, the older boys went kicking and screaming, or at least complaining and eye rolling.  But some things in life aren't negotiable so we went all together and much to their surprise, they actually had a good time!  
Tonto Natural Bridge is off AZ SR 87, which if you are traveling around Sedona, is a quick and pretty drive.  Or if you come up from Phoenix, it's about an hour and a half up into the gorgeous forest.
First we stopped and picked up some subs and had lunch at the top before our hike down into the "bridge."
Do you see that little stream of water?  And how it seems to be going nowhere?   Keep that in mind, cause we'll see it again later.
It looks like a big cave here, but it you look closely, you'll see some light at the end.  It's actually a pass through on to the other side.  And it's MUCH bigger than it looks here, compliments of a 16mm focal length.
So we hiked down. Because down with 2, 7 years olds, a 4 year old and my big girl camera is always easier than up.
Once you climb all the way down you can see through the "bridge."  Look at the pic just above this, and you can see the little people at the bottom of this pic?  And look up toward the very top where the bridge meets the blue sky, and you'll see the water from that little stream we saw earlier coming off the edge and falling down below.  In the very first photo in this post you see all the water coming down too.
Inside it is layers of limestone that is wet and VERY slippery.  Everyone, kids and adults alike, usually resort to crawling on all fours and still everyone usually falls on their bum once or twice.  It was pure paradise for my fearless ninja who loves to climb.  She tried so hard to keep up with the big boys!  Actually she did keep up with them no problem. I love the last picture in this set.  It's like she's has little suckers on her hands and feet!
Mimi got fireman carried by our resident boy scout, Patch.  She was his buddy most of the time and when the climbing got tough, he just slung her over his shoulders and she hung on, clinging with her arms and legs squeezed around his arms while he climbed.  They made and excellent pair!
This place is so so special to me because long before it was a state park, my father used to take me here when I was Mimi's age and all through my childhood.  Of course there were no park rangers back then, and I remember climbing all over, exploring, falling on my bum, swimming in the pools all day long, while my papa would play his guitar and the singing would echo off the walls. This place is part of my childhood and to bring my own children back here, (even though there is now an entrance fee, lots of signs, no swimming allowed and park rangers) is such an wonderful little trip.

13 comments:

  1. I love your Pics, I was in Sedona at the beginning of September, but I missed Tonto, we ware on a Trip actually Route 66, it was fantastic. Hope to come back soon.
    Greets from Switzerland
    Lisa

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  2. Beautiful! So many fun places to explore in the South West! Can't remember if you use a Nikon or Cannon. Just switched to a Mark 2 and really having a hard time with the focus. When you do a group shot of people do you use Al Servio or One Shot and or a tripod????

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    1. If I'm shooting anything that's moving, I'm in Al Servo. I hardly ever use my tripod cause to get one sturdy enough that I trust with my camera and lens it's just big and bulky. So I guess it depends on what the group in the shot is doing. If they are just
      THERE saying cheese, One Shot would work just fine. But is there is a chance they'll move, like I say, ok everyone walk towards me now. Then I would likely choose Al Servo. ---Does that help?

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  3. has Boo really gotten that tall? In the first photo he looks taller than Patch! Great pictures of a beautiful place.

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    1. Boo (which seems like such a baby name for my big growing boy!) is about 5'6" at age 12, and I'm 5'7" so he's going to pass me soon. Patch on the other hand is 6'1" and probably still growing. So Boo hasn't passed his big brother... yet. But he likely will.

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    2. Is Boo just his blog name for privacy reasons?

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    3. Hi Anonymous, ALL the names, including Boo, on the blog are nicknames for privacy reasons. I guess his just the most obvious one! Somewhere there's a long post about it.

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    4. Looks as close to paradise as you can get. AZ is different from any other state. I miss living there.
      With most of the children, I assumed names were fake. I'm surprised that Tess, Jude, and Nancy are just blog names. I blogged when we were bringing our daughter home. For privacy, we used blog names as well. You never know on www.land.

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  4. What a great daddy Patch will be someday! Treasure these photos!

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    1. I totally agree! He has a very compassionate heart under all that rugged teen man-boy ness!

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  5. This pictures are just breathtaking. Arizona is such a beautiful place that I probably will never get a chance to see in person, but it feels like I have been there just through your pictures!!

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