Sedona is the kind of place that invigorates and energizes you. It’s almost magical the way the red rocks draw you to them. In early September the weather is almost perfect. The colors decorating the Verde Valley are beautifully contrasted by each other. You find yourself staring in awe at the sandstone rock formations with a huge grin on your face before you even realize it. While there, I kept finding myself thinking that I was looking at the fingerprints of God.
The beautiful scenic backdrop provides the area with many different reasons to visit. The outdoor activities are endless. There are hundreds of hiking trails ranging in difficulty. You can mountain bike or rent an ATV. To enjoy the water, you could visit sliding rock or dip your feet in the stream at Red Rock Crossing. The Verde Valley is rich in Native American history with areas of physical remnants of the past. They left behind pieces of their homes and rock walls featuring pictographs and petroglyphs. Sedona also features many areas of vortex energy. If you’re an art enthusiast, there are over 40 galleries to visit in the area. The shopping is great, especially if you love gem stones. There are some great places to dine, but it’s pricey. It’s the perfect place to enjoy God’s Creation, reconnect with your spouse, or simply just relax. I came to see my brother and his wife. They live in Arizona and suggested that it was a great place to vacation and meet up. They were right.
Our first morning we woke up around five. That’s very unusual for me. The only explanation I have is that we were totally on east coast time. Bummer. I caught up on some of my journaling while I waited for the free continental breakfast in the hotel to start. We ate and headed out. I had a list of things I wanted to see and do before we met up with my brother and sister-in-law the next day, but it was still a little early to start on that. So, I suggested that we explore. Um, usually when I suggest that to my husband, I see him cringe a little. Not this time. He just said, “By riding in the car.” I guess to make sure I didn’t have some crazy idea up my sleeve, like ATV’s or ziplines. I swear sometimes I feel like we’re the real life version of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. He always likes to have a plan – that you don’t veer from – and I….well I get bored easy. Anyway, we pulled out onto 89A and started driving. My man had his eyes on a huge rock formation and said, “Look how amazing that is, Annie. I think I’ll drive that way.” True story. I couldn’t believe my husband was being so spontaneous. This wasn’t the man I knew. Where was his map highlighted with the way to our destination. We drove down a bunch of side streets and ended up at the Sugarloaf Trail Head. He jumped out and told me we were just going to snap a picture at the bottom of the trail. We did. Then he started walking up the trail. To be honest, I was absolutely thrilled that the man was being so spontaneous and I actually had him on a hiking trail. I love to hike and he doesn’t. Guess who doesn’t hike much? That would be me. Taking the kids hiking by myself is NOT fun. Anyway, every time I asked him when we were turning around, he kept telling me, “Not much farther.” I hated to burst the happy bubble surrounding us both, but did he really have to decide to be spontaneous (especially about hiking) when I had my flip-flops on, no phone/camera, and I had plans of what I wanted to do for the day? Creepers, it’s like we’ve traded places! Regardless, I had to stop. Either flip-flop strap could break any minute and I would be stuck walking back down the trail barefoot. Besides, I had places to go no matter how bewitching that ginormous slab of rock was. I explained to him the situation of my shoes and my impending plans, but he didn’t change direction. He still kept saying, “Not much farther,” until we had gone really far. I finally turned around and headed back for the car. I knew he would follow. He loves me and doesn’t want anything bad to happen to me; like getting lost or getting stuck in a cactus. Sure enough when he caught up to me, he pointed out that I was on the wrong path. We finally got back to the car and headed towards the Palatki Heritage Site. We spent the rest of the day blissfully learning about the Sinagua culture. (A pre-Columbian culture group)
When we were through delving into the past, we had to grab some grub. Open Range had been recommended to us and I’m glad it was. The food was good, but the view was spectacular! We could have chosen to sit inside at the huge display windows or sit out on the deck. We chose the deck. The shades of red and orange that spanned the red rocks during sunset was phenomenal. Honestly, I don’t remember much about my food because I was too busy staring at the scenery.
I know I ordered the crab and shrimp salad, it must have been good because I ate it all.
One thing I noticed about all the restaurants and shops as I walked around was the music. I heard everything from the Eagles and Johnny Cash to the Doobie Brothers. Seriously, even the music in this place was awesome.