Sedona, Arizona-Something for Everyone
I want to tell you about an awe-inspiring place to visit. Having lived in the mountains and now at the beach, I thought I was a confirmed beach resident, but Sedona could change my mind. I was in Sedona right before Thanksgiving when the temperature was cool at night, the days were clear and warm and the leaves were changing colors. Here’s why I was so enchanted by the Sedona area.
My condo living room and bedroom faced the multicolored rock formations that over millions of years have been formed by sea water, faults in the earth’s surface, volcanoes, and finally fresh water lakes and rivers. It’s been compared to a 10 layer cake made from varied shades of red, brown and gray rock deposits that change colors when they reflect the sunset. The website http://sedonabest.com/geology-sedona/ offers much more information on how nature painted the beautiful mountains. Fossils can be found when you walk the many trails that cover the area making it a hiker’s dream. We took a tour on Earth Wisdom Jeeps and our extremely informative and entertaining Native American guide, Kevin, found a pottery shard. He also entertained us with flute music as we soaked in the sensual magic from our beautiful surroundings atop a privately owned site which has now been made into a golf course. We were told that the previous owner wouldn’t have been happy about this and it also made the gods angry. There’s a tract of land that the current owners tried to develop, but encountered a variety of problems. They enlisted the help of a Shaman, who told them that he couldn’t help. It still stands as blight on a pristine landscape.
Many people are drawn to the area for the reported mystic qualities, so there are places to have your future revealed, healing crystals to buy, and Native American legends to explore. Vortex sites, points at which it’s believed the earth emits waves of energy that enhance meditation, prayer and reduce stress, add to the beauty and mystique. Visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village to see artwork by artists who are drawn to this inspirational area. It was suggested that buying Native American art directly from the artist was less expensive, but there seemed to be many purchases being made in the local shops. It’s interesting to just take in the wonderful array of art and artifacts displayed everywhere you look. Famous chefs must use the stimulating surroundings to enhance their culinary creativity, because many have opened restaurants that offer a wide variety of cuisine. The abundant prickly pear cactus is used for jellies, salsas, drinks, and even in tacos. I believe in eating the local foods, but I can’t recommend the taco. I believe the cactus was pickled and maybe the taste was just too unexpected even for someone who will eat almost anything. I liked everything else prepared with this cactus and next time I’ll indulge in a prickly pear cactus margarita. Wine is also made along the Verde Valley Wine Trail where wine tours and tastings are available. In the past movie producers were also drawn to Sedona to use the natural scenery as a backdrop for Westerns.
I couldn’t believe how quiet it seemed even during the day. Although this is bustling tourist attraction, it seemed peaceful everywhere we went. I also noticed that it’s very dark at night. Later I found out that Sedona was designated an International Dark Sky Community in 2014, so business lights are turned off after closing and lights are directed downward to enable stargazing. We visited the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff to view the moon through one of its several telescopes and even though it was daytime, the view was incredible. Flagstaff is also a great place to see Route 66, one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System that ran from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA. Some Baby Boomers may remember the popular 60’s T.V. show by the same name.
I know that I’ll visit Arizona and return to the Sedona area again. There were many places I didn’t get to visit, like the Grand Canyon, since my travel partner didn’t like cliffs and curvy roads with no shoulders and steep drops. I find these things energizing. Most people don’t understand adrenaline junkies. I also want to do much more hiking on the scenic trails and just feel the energy of the area. A hot air balloon ride and an outdoor Myofascial Release massage with a view of a 50 foot waterfall will also be on my agenda. I enjoy time alone without feeling the need to converse with others, so I plan to make this a solo trip. There are always people around who want to talk. At a western dinner show at the Blazing M Ranch we met a woman from France who was traveling alone. She was very friendly and had no problem fitting in with the other visitors. Just like my home in Florida, many snowbirds relocate to Sedona for the months when winter invades the upper tier of the U.S., so I should feel right at home since I’m a Minnesota native.
- Add Sedona and the surrounding areas to your travel destinations.
- Make sure you pick a time of the year that has the weather you enjoy the most.
- If you don’t like high places, you’ll still enjoy the trip as there’s so much to see you’ll never be bored.
- Bring a camera even if it’s just your smartphone. I’m sending all my pictures to my friend, but I know she’d have liked taking some of her own.
- You can travel on a shoe string if you don’t want too many creature comforts, but it’s a fairly pricey place. Be prepared to spend more than you planned.
- Take good walking shoes even if you don’t hike. Flip Flops won’t be your friends even in the hotter months.
- Wear layers so that you can be ready for cooler nights and jeep or train rides.
- Remember this is the desert even if there are rivers and mountains. Keep water handy, so you don’t get dehydrated.
- We didn’t see any poisonous critters, but they live there, so be prepared when you hike.
- Have a plan for what you want to see before you go. Time goes by so quickly and in the cooler months the sun sets early. There’s so much to see and you want to make the most of your time there.
- Enjoy the serene atmosphere and soak in the amazing vistas. Life is short and there are many adventures ahead. You may not get to come back.
As the Dale Evans Rogers’ song says, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”