The following is a real account of the incredible events that occurred on October 17th. These two vaguely-adult-like individuals, Mick Zano and Cokie McGrath, don’t agree on what exactly transpired after their "Occupy Wal-Mart" protest in nearby Cottonwood. Each insists their version of this hike-gone-horribly-wrong is the correct one. We’ll let you decide. The fact both of these intrepid explorers survived this ordeal is a testament to…who cares? But it’s really funny to laugh at them during this classic he said, she said. Enjoy.
Cokie McGrath: After we occupied Wal-Mart, I wanted to hike Bear Mountain, but girly man Mick would have none of it.
Mick Zano: Cokie is not the first person you think should lead an expedition into the unknown—Sherpa, or pack mule comes to mind. I wanted to do something safe and easy, not too far from the microbrewery.
Cokie McGrath: Zano suggested Soldiers Pass to get some shots of a burn area for a future Discord project he’s working on. Did you know they make some of this shit up here at the Discord? Zano is a girly man…now that part’s real.
Mick Zano: I only agreed to Soldiers Pass when you said it was an easy, well-marked, three mile loop. Ummm, it’s actually more of a straight line to certain death. Geometry is a wonderful thing, but Cokie apparently missed that day.
Cokie McGrath: Listen Pythagoras, we actually went in a semicircle which is halfway to a loop.
Mick Zano: Only because we got off Soldiers Pass and took Brins Mesa. Remember? When I said, "Hey, we’re off the trail and heading the wrong way!"
Cokie McGrath: I vaguely remember that. But I had been on this trail before. I predicted accurately when it would meet up with the road again. Did I not? Oh, and we did eventually loop back, just a much bigger loop than was originally intended. You just complain too much, Mr. Sassy Pants.
Mick Zano: Yeah, you made fun of me for going: ummm, we’re walking into the wrong canyon, umm, it’s getting dark, ummm, we’re out of water, umm, why are those animals surrounding us?
Cokie McGrath: Yeah...it’s like I said, you complain too much, Mr. Sassy Pants.
Mick Zano: So…when all of those things later became dire—
Cokie McGrath: You were the one who started poking the bushes for that snake. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do in nature...no wait, you’re always doing stupid things.
Mick Zano: Like letting you lead us to our doom?
|Picture taken somewhere on Soldier’s Pass (we think) near (gulp) sundown.
Cokie McGrath: Yeah, like what were you thinking? What part of, ‘I don’t have any sense of direction’ didn’t you understand, Mr. Zano? Besides, I knew where we were, sort of, and just because, God forbid, you get a little more exercise…
Mick Zano: A little more? You were the one skipping off in the wrong direction. She really skips, by the way. Oh, and when we finally reached the road, at dusk, three hours into our hike, you didn’t even want to ask the little old ladies by the trailhead where we were.
Cokie McGrath: Don’t be so dramatic. I knew we had to go right to get back to the car.
Mick Zano: Yeah, one town over to the right! The women explained, because I asked them, "Soldiers Pass? That’s in West Sedona. You’re in downtown Sedona…you’re like four miles away." This moment is when the sun officially set on our friendship.
Cokie McGrath: What a baby and, by the way, I asked them for directions, not you. Besides, we wanted to go for sushi and where did we end up? Right by a sushi bar...Yum!
Mick Zano: You were going to earn your sushi by safely getting us back to the vehicle. We were now actually further from the vehicle than when we started the hike, sometime yesterday.
Cokie McGrath: Settle down there, grumpy face. Did I mention how great the sushi tasted? Oh, and who’s the one who got the directions from the waiter?
Mick Zano: So what? I knew how to get back from the restaurant. I know roads and you’re the one who knows…you don’t know anything.
Cokie McGrath: Then why did you point in the wrong direction when you were talking to the waiter, like the exact opposite way to 89A? And then the waiter brings out a map and draws a dotted line from the sushi bar to our car. Remember that? And then what did you do with the map that the nice man drew for us?
Mick Zano: I left it on the table. That’s true, but I didn’t need the damn map. I said I could get us to Soldiers Pass Road, but wasn’t sure about the trailhead (I had only been there today). Then, if you remember, I suggested we take a taxi to the trailhead.
Cokie McGrath: A taxi? Yeah, why don’t you call Bald Tony to come save you?
Mick Zano: He prefers to be called ‘Vegas Great’ Bald Tony.
Cokie McGrath: What-ev. You don’t call taxis on hikes.
Mick Zano: You do on the ones you lead. My point being, we have no flashlights and it’s going to be pitch black out on Soldiers Pass. By the way, you told me not to bring the Cosmic Ray trail guide, because "this trail is so easy."
Cokie McGrath: Actually, you forgot the trail guide and wanted to walk back to the car to get it.
Mick Zano: Yeah, well you forgot your phone that has the GPS on it.
Cokie McGrath: Yeah, well, you would still have your Blackberry if you didn’t get demoted.
Mick Zano: It was a "lateral" move.
Cokie McGrath: Yeah, in the same way this hike is a loop.
Mick Zano: So you admit it’s not a loop?
Cokie McGrath: Why would I even bring my GPS thing into the forest?
Mick Zano: Because you always get us deep in the woods, at least metaphorically.
Cokie McGrath: Where would I even put it in my hiking outfit?
Mick Zano: I’ll give you one suggestion…
Cokie McGrath: Face it, girly man, this is part of the hike. We need to whip you into shape for Supai.
Mick Zano: Part of the hike? Walking between Sedona and W. Sedona’s business districts on a Sunday night is part of the hike?
Cokie McGrath: Did I mention you’re a girly man?
Mick Zano: Yes. You have actually.
[Then we walked through town, where I got my revenge by pretending we were on the wrong road.]
Cokie McGrath: That was mean.
Mick Zano: No, it was funny. You weren’t even mildly concerned when we were hopelessly lost up in the wilderness, but two blocks from the car, on a main thoroughfare, and you’re scared shitless.
Cokie McGrath: I wouldn’t say shitless. I told you I don’t have any sense of direction, especially at night.
Mick Zano: You should have stopped at the word sense...
Cokie McGrath: Funny.
Mick Zano: So then we passed the Best Western and I said, let’s ask at reception if they know exactly where the trailhead is.
Cokie McGrath: You said that waaaay after we passed the hotel. You said, ‘we should have stopped to ask’ long after that ship had sailed, buddy.
[So we get way out on Soldiers Pass Road and Cokie becomes convinced we missed the turn.]
Cokie McGrath: It was dark.
Mick Zano: Thus, my taxi suggestion.
Cokie McGrath: You say a lot of things that I don’t really listen to. Does this surprise you?
Mick Zano: I told you we had to get closer to that big mountain. So now I’m wandering around by my cell phone light, hitting my automatic clicker to see if my headlights come on, in an area that turned out to be nowhere near my car. Oh, and my cell phone battery was dying.
Cokie McGrath: Yeah, that was kind of funny—in an OMG I’m never hiking with this moron again kind of way.
Mick Zano: Me?! I don’t think there’s enough pot in Seattle to make anyone think this is anything but your fault.
Cokie McGrath: We found the car, didn’t we?
Mick Zano: Yeah, but not before I had to call my wife and have her Google Soldiers Pass on her Kindle. "Honey, can you tell me where I am? It’s dark."
Cokie McGrath: She’s going to like me even less now, isn’t she?
Mick Zano: Not possible.
Cokie McGrath: Hey, Mister, I’m the one who saved us by asking that lady in her front yard for directions.
Mick Zano: Yeah, and she said we still needed to go further, like I said. You turned a three mile hike into a nine mile hike…nine miles! And I have weak constitutions.
Cokie McGrath: What does that even mean?
Mick Zano: I don’t know.
Cokie McGrath: Buck up little camper So are we still going to hike down into Supai next week?
Mick Zano: How about we do half of Fat Man’s Loop and then get a beer?
Cokie McGrath: You’re such a girly man.
Mick Zano: I believe we’ve established that.
|This picture, taken before the hike, actually sums things up nicely. Full circle…like a loop.