I know I have visited Sedona, AZ before and I have a picture to prove it. But I cannot for the life of me remember when it was. I remember that this picture was taken in Sedona and I remember it being taken. It must have been winter because that is snow on the ground and I am wearing a warm jacket. John took a picture of me standing in the snow to show that Arizona is not always hot. He then took many more of the rocks.
This being in the dark ages, before cell phones, Instagram and Facebook, he used a camera. When we got them printed, (yes we had to send them away to get prints) he realized it was a double exposure. Being a perfectionist, he wanted to toss it. I kept it, because to me it was magic, a woman rising out of the rock. Sedona is known for its Vortex sites, “a place in nature where the Earth is exceptionally healthy and a place on the planet of increased energy” (What is a Vortex? – Dennis Andres) I must have been at one and not known it.
Sedona is divided into three areas. Driving from Phoenix one approaches it on 179 which winds up a hill that is lined with restaurants, art galleries and small shops. Turning right at the top of the hill is Uptown. This is where Sedona began and has hotels, shops, cafes and a wonderful Art Center. Hollywood filmed many westerns in this area. Continuing past the village is Oak Canyon so named for Oak Creek which winds through the canyon, bubbling and gurgling its way through the red rocks for miles. On the left is a long straight main road, which could be any road in the suburbs of any city. This is West Sedona. What ties them all together are the towering limestone cliffs, huge green pines, juniper and cypress forests and the amazingly colored sandstone.
Wherever you are there is a view. Eat at the restaurant in L’Auberge Hotel and watch the ducks paddle the rapids of Oak Creek. Fallen leaves float over the rocks and pebbles. Flowers bloom on the opposite shore.
Have lunch, breakfast or dinner at Sound Bites Grill in Uptown and gaze at the rock formations where you will swear you can see Snoopy and Lucy.
One morning we took a drive to see other famous rock formations. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is built into the rock with beautiful views from the top.
Bell Rock has hiking trails to the top of it.
As does Castle Rock.
My favorite rock formation is Cathedral Rock, which is known as a Vortex site. It is in a national forest and area called Red Rock Crossing. Pre-settlements included Clovis Paleoindian, 10-11,000 years ago; southern Sinagua cliff dwellers 700-1400; to currant day Yavapai people. It was homesteaded in 1876 and used to raise cattle and farm crops. One can swim in the creek and cross on the red rocks under the shadow of the stunning Cathedral Rock. We strolled past the Water Wheel
and along the path next to the creek. And rising above us is Cathedral Rock.
I was filled with awe at the beauty of the rocks and gazed at the two rocks that looked like a king and queen surveying their kingdom.
We strolled back and noticed a photographer taking pictures of a couple standing in this amazing, curved root. They had just become engaged. We wished them luck and said we hoped they too, would make it to fifty years. The photographer insisted on taking our picture as well. Must have been the energy of the Vortex.
We pulled of the road on our drive back to get one last view of this natural masterpiece.
After our Rock formation tour we stopped in Uptown for ice cream and a visit to the Sedona Art Center and Galleries. We were lucky enough to view the paintings of Adele Seronde, a lovely petite woman who celebrated her 90th birthday this year. We chatted and she told us that the exhibit included paintings by her children and grandchildren.Talent runs in the family.
Her paintings were huge. This is her interpretation of Cathedral Rock
The next day we visited the Amitabha Stupa Budda, a Buddist sacred landmark. It stands high in the mountain of red rock above West Sedona.
One can walk around it in meditation.
Or simply sit in meditation on this beautiful wooden bench
As I said before every way you turn there is a view.
Sedona is full of art galleries including the Tlaquepaque Arts Village created years ago by Abe Miller. He built it to resemble a Mexican Village, which included plazas and a chapel. The artists lived above the stores that sold their creations.
Art in the garden
My favorites were Gallery of the Ascending Spirit, and The Gallery of Wholeness, Harmony and Radiance. Just the names make me feel peaceful. Honshin Fine Art owns them. www.Honshin.com
Card we bought
There is so much to do in Sedona for all ages. We took the Ancient Ruin tour with Pink Jeeps Tours and I highly recommend them. www.pinkjeeptours.com
Here are some pictures from the tour.
The ruins have been preserved as well as possible with limited funds
There are many other things to do like Vortex Tours, Trolley Tours, Horseback riding, riding the Wilderness Train and hiking. Or you can explore galleries, restaurants, have relaxing massages or just sit in the outdoors and gaze at the scenery.
The beauty was all around us, from this
To the clouds in the sky
We will return