We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Thursday, December 23, 2010


  Over the years, Kim and I fell in love with Sedona...we've made several dozen trips there over the last 20 years or so...It has been a magical place for us...
  The very first one was back in 1991...we had come to Arizona on vacation, staying in Phoenix (and going to see Metallica and GnR at Phoenix International Raceway!) and we had to go up to see Sedona, having heard and read so much about it...
   As we approached, the red rocks took our breath away.  We stopped often to just stare at the scenery and take pictures.  We drove through town and headed to the north side of Sedona to Oak Creek State Park, where we hiked, ate lunch and went to the creek, where there is a natural rock slide.  It was incredible.  The water was pretty chilly, but the ride through it was so exhilarating!  We went down the slide over and over until we were exhausted.  Then, we put some towels on a red rock ledge beside the flowing waters, and let the sun bake us and relax us. 
   If you've never been to slide rock at Oak Creek, Sedona, it is just incredible.  There are large buttes framing the park, red rock ledges, pine trees and the creek, flowing through it, is just stunning.  We spent the day swimming, sunning and hiking...perhaps our finest vacation outing...
   After we moved to Arizona in March, 1994, we would always take weekend trips, as we wanted to explore this beautiful state that we had moved to...one of our first trips, was to Sedona.  I had bought Kim a black 1993 Jeep Wrangler, prior to us moving here and we decided to take it to Sedona.  We re-visited Oak Creek, hiked and talked about the time we had been there in 1991...then, we looked to take the Jeep off-road and were told to try Schnebley Road...we quickly located it, turned off the paved road and head on a twisting, turning road that climbed into the red rocks of Sedona.  It was like leaving civilization and going into complete wilderness back then.  After we drove for awhile, we saw a waterful, cascading down some rocks and decided to hike up to see if we could find its source.  We climbed up the steep hillside, which had large pines and ferns alongside the waterfall.  It took us a good hour to reach the top, where a stream spilled over the ledge.  You could see forever up there and we help each other and just soaked up the scene, before slipping and sliding back down to the Jeep, laughing, tossing clumps of dirt at each other and just having a blast.
    We continued along Schnebley road until we reached a plateau, with fields that stretched a long ways...there were huge cattle of some sort up there, that were grazing alongside of the road.  We had never seen such big beasts, with large horns and thought they must be some kind of water buffalo or something!  I can't remember if we ever figured out what kind of bulls they were...As we continued, the road hug a red rock cliff and the other side plummeted straighted down - again, breathtaking views!   The road twisted and climbed even higher, it was difficult to keep my eyes on the road and take in Sedona below.  We found that this road took us all the way to Flagstaff - it was such an incredible drive...we turned around and slowly made our way back the way we had come.  Another greatest time!
   Let's see...about 7 years ago now, Kim surprised our family with an great Christmas gift...she had booked us a hotel room in Sedona and a train ride out of Clarkdale, just southwest of Sedona.  We had Cody and Autumn and Kim was pregnant with Antonio...She had picked us out a beautiful hotel, with a beehive fireplace and a little balcony.  The kids were so excited they did not want to sleep!  We told them all about our times in Sedona together and let them know that the sooner they slept, the sooner we'd be able to go on the train ride!
    The next morning, after breakfast, we headed down to Clarkdale, boarding an old fashioned steam engine driven train.  Cody absolutely loved trains.  He was wearing his conductor cap and cowboy boots, fitting in well.  We chose a spot on an open air car and waited to go.  The train wound it's way through the landscape, following a river that had large cliffs on either side.  You could see eagles nesting and soaring through the air in search of food.  We all had a great time - especially the kids.  Kim had given us our favorite gift that year - she was always incredibly thoughtful and had great ideas like this for our family.  She had given us a memory we'll never forget...
    Now, I've written about our incredible neighbors, Betsey and Brian, who time after time, came to our rescue to watch the kids, bring them to the hospital to visit Kim, clean house, fix things that I can't fix, etc., etc.  As it turns out, Betsey's parents, Ursula and Sam, live in Sedona!  They are a great couple and when we met them, we hit it off right away.  Over the last few years, they have graciously invited us up to their home and have taken good care of us.  We have spent Thanksgiving there, with Kim bringing along her apron and jumping in to help Ursula and Betsey whip up the feast.  Their home has just stunning views of the red rocks and buttes off of their front porch, and the back yard looks like it is out of a magazine.  We would take the kids for walks along paths out of their back porch, spotting deer.  They have seen bobcats, mountain lions and other wildlife in their back yard over the years.  The kids really had a lot of fun playing out there with Hadley and Mitch and they would all camp out together in the same room, rarely sleeping and giggling through the night. 
     In the mornings, Kim and I would sneak out at dawn, breathing in the fresh, cool air and walking, hand in hand along the paths...taking in the sunrise, cool mists coming off the surrounding fields and forest and just talking...
     Sedona has been good to us...I'd like to get the kids up there again soon, so they never forget the beauty we all shared...
      You know, Jodi, Kim's cousin-in-law, keeps coming up with the best Mother Teresa references...I remember this one from her book "Come Be My Light", and she reminded me of it today, and it fits:

      "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world"
         -Mother Teresa

      If I don't catch up with you, please have a blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...squeeze your loved ones an extra time for me...enjoy their company...make some great memories this Christmas - it's up to you - I know I will, for the bambini's, and we cherish all of the Christmas' we spent with Kimmy, our miracle.


  1. I love your attitude, Dave! You inspire all of us to be better, to be thankful, to be faithful! Thank you for that! Merry Christmas to you and your little bundles!! Remind them to happy for their mom. :)

  2. Dave,
    I will never forget how welcomed Kim made us feel when we moved into the neighborhood. After only knowing me for a month she showed up on my doorstep on my 40th birthday with a beautiful gift of a white candle with sand and shells.

    It has been displayed on my shelf in my living room. How appropriate, a reminder of your "california beach girl".

    I know we don't know your family that well, but Kim ALWAYS made me feel like part of your gang whenever I would see you guys out. Her laughter and smiles will never be forgotten.

    Your blog is beautiful and I know Kim is looking down on you and your bambini's with love and grace. She is your forever angel.

    We are only a door away for anything that you may need.

    Merry Christmas!

    The Roberts Family
    Alan, Kellie, Tyler & Hailie

  3. Dave thank you of your wonderful memories of Sedona. It reminded me when we first moved to Tucson and Tim and I needed to get away after living with his sister for 3 months and he flew me to Sedona. From the air it is also breathtaking especially when yo go to land because it looks like you are going to run right off the cliff. Pretty intense for landing. Tim and I rented a jeep and followed some of the trails and I think we saw some of the same things you an Kim saw. It was wonderful and the history written in the cliffs were enlightening. I would love to go back again some day.
    I remember when Tim was hand-sanding some old furniture and complaining how he wished he had his tools from CT. Before long, Kim had bought Tim a hand sander for his Birthday. I Also remember the Christmas when she bought you the stadium chairs. Tim thought that was so cool. She always thought about others and you could tell she really cared about them not as acquaintances but as true friends.

    Missing Kim too,
    That is so true about Kim she always knows exactly what to get people.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the kids this Christmas. "Cherish the moment" has taken on a new meaning to me. We are here for you. God bless.
    The Hoffners

  5. Dave - Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your words remind us all about the true meaning of Christmas...family, love, faith, and hope. You continue to inspire me to live each day with a little more laughter and less worry; soaking in every precious moment and living in the now. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. May the peace of the Lord be with you during this difficult time and comfort you in your times of need. Love, The Lofgren Family

  6. Dave
    Thank you for sharing all your memories. I never got a chance to get to know Kim as well as many others. But I always knew she was such a loving and caring person. You just knew that from the moment you met her. I will continue to pray for you and your Bambini's throughout this Holiday Season.

    “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

    `Mother Teresa

    Love Always
    Stephanie, Steve, Sarah, Antony and Isaiah