Molly and Eric pose in front of Sedona's Courthouse Rock in December 2011. Instead of Bell Rock today, try this area. Photo by Cheryl Hartz
Well, all heads up hikers knew the world really wasn't going to end today, as per the end of the 5,000-plus-year-old Mayan calendar. But that didn't stop some not-so-savvy "woo-woo" types from clogging the trails and planning to wait all day for portals to open in Sedona.
According to Joanna Dodder Nellans' article in The Daily Courier, a Sedona area resident felt he needed to bring 111 people to the top of Bell Rock to witness his "leap of faith" when a cosmic portal was to open at 11:11 a.m. UT (Universal time).
Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said the man later assured YCSO he doesn't plan to jump off Bell Rock.
The Coconino Forest Red Rock Ranger District understandably was concerned about so many people heading up Bell Rock at once - and possible copycat leapers - especially in the cold. It is the first day of winter, you know, and snow and rain fell earlier this week.
The Sedona Fire Dept. was standing by with emergency responders prepared for anything.
People by the hundreds have headed to Sedona in the past for spiritual events they thought would happen, but none have come to pass, and I expect the story today won't be any different.
I just hope the people who do hike Bell Rock today prepare with layers of warm clothing, good footwear, plenty of water and snacks, and proper gear. Of course this goes for any hike. Please don't make Search and Rescue work over the holidays - or any other time.