Wet Beaver Creek

No, I didn't make up the name. And yes, it's right next to Dry Beaver Creek, in the Coconino National Forest east of Sedona.

Wet Beaver Creek slices through the reddest of red canyons, contrasting nicely with the gray-green mesquite, prickly pear and mormon tea. There are so many lizards darting into the brush that I am tempted to add Little Orphan Annie's "leaping lizards!" to my list of favorite expletives.

After two miles a side trail splits off and slabs up the canyon wall, following a handsome shelf of red sandstone.

Another two miles past the turnoff and you arrive at "The Crack," maybe the loveliest of Arizona's many spectacular swimming holes.

The bottle green water was so inviting that David -- normally a calm and reasonable person -- dove in without checking the temperature.

It was COLD!!! But of course that didn't stop us from swimming here and half a dozen other locations as we hacked up our way past The Crack and into the trackless upper canyon.

A (much) younger couple we met on the way out asked us if "the water is warmer than it looks, or are you just tougher than nails?" We suggested they jump in, wait until they were numb, and then they could swim all they wanted.

Nevertheless, we know this was the last dip -- and the last kiss -- of the summer. Stay tuned for fall fun and frolicking!