Tag Archives: red rocks

Prescription? Cottonwood.

 

After leaving the medical clinic, and arming myself with a large jug of Gatorade against the altitude sickness…. we followed the doctor’s advice and drove to Cottonwood, Arizona where the elevation was much lower. She told me to have lunch, slowly walk around and drink plenty of fluids.

 

 

Sadly, not my kind of fluids… but I obeyed because I was still feeling lousy.

 

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Cottonwood is an old western town and Main Street plays that up for the tourists.

 

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Although Santa looked a bit too happy if you want my opinion.

 

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I really have no explanation for this.

So we walked…

 

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And found a nice restaurant.

 

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With a bit of history.

 

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You have to hand it to their interior decorator.

Heck, I didn’t even know charred concrete was in this season.

 

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There were also cacti in soup cans on each table. Very high class…

 

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The husband ordered French Onion soup with Caesar salad, which came with an out of proportion loaf of bread.

I hemmed and hawed over the menu since…..

Sigh.

 

 

 

It would be an alcohol free meal.

 

 

But after not eating for 3 days I wanted comfort food…

 

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And went with the ham and cheese stuffed meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies.

And then… Maple Bourbon Creme Brulee.

 

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Because a girl can’t go completely cold turkey ya know.

After lunch we ducked in and out of a few shops where I saw purse that was screaming my name…

 

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Have wine, will travel.

 

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And passed by a plant called a desert spoon, which looked nothing like a spoon.

Really.. A spoon? How would you eat your Rice Krispies with that.

I think the botanist had my lunchtime cocktail. And then some.

 

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Heading back to Sedona there were rocks…

 

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Glorious, breathtaking rocks!

 

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And this….

 

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Beware!

 

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Hula Hooping cowboys ahead.

 

Enchantment…. and rocks.

 

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Don’t worry Forrest, Sedona’s got more than enough rocks.

 

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They were everywhere..

 

 

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And they were glorious.

 

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This was Boynton Canyon.

One of the most stunning scenic drives we found….

 

 

 

I know, you’re getting tired of rocks…. but come on.

 

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You have to admit they’re beautiful.

 

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At the end of Boynton Canyon is the Enchantment Resort.

 

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I’m not quite sure why it was enchanted…

 

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Though they did have some nice rocks.

 

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And houses built into the rocks…

 

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Rocks.

Houses.

And a couple of scattered cacti.

 

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Nice.

But not my idea of enchanting….

 

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The teepee?

 

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Maybe.

But I’m guessing it was the rocks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocks… Cathedral and otherwise.

 

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No problem Dick…. you’ve come to the right place.

Day 2 dawned in Sedona and we saw some sun.

We even saw the promised Red Rock from our kitchen window.

 

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Did I mention things were red in Sedona?

 

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Even the sidewalks were color coordinated.

Our first destination was the Back O Beyond Road…

 

 

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Where they build houses on rocks.

And if you want your own rock…

 

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This .40 acre can be yours for $489,000.

I said Sedona was red…. not cheap.

 

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At the end of Back O Beyond Road?

 

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Cathedral Rock.

 

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A rock that looks like a cathedral? Okay, if you say so.

A fellow tourist parked next to us said WE HAD TO drive up to the Sedona Airport mesa and take in the view.  BEST VIEW IN SEDONA they shouted.

We listened, we went.

The drive up was lovely…

 

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The disappointment when we got there? No parking and no stopping signs plastered all over the place.  A little farther up the road? A ticket booth, a guard, a gate and a “viewing” parking lot.

Pay to jump out of the car for 20 seconds and take a picture?

 

 

These are my captures as the husband was flying back down the hill…

 

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Did you know that only 19% of Arizona is privately owned?

 

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That means the vast majority of land is open to the public and you can pretty much camp, picnic or hike anywhere.

 

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Which they do. If there’s 3 feet of shoulder? It’s filled with cars and someone, somewhere is hiking.

The rock formations never failed to fascinate me and most of them had names….

 

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There was supposed to be a Snoopy rock and a Chicken Head rock, but sadly, we never found them.

 

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Though believe me…

 

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It wasn’t for lack of trying.

 

 

 

Rocks… and yes. More rocks.

 

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We spent a lot of time riding around and getting the lay of the land that first day.

Or more accurately, the lay of the rocks.

 

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Conclusion?

They’re really big….

 

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And really red.

 

 

And people will build houses right on top of them.

 

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I know I’ve said this before…. but get ready because I’m going to say it again.

 

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The colors are amazing in Sedona.

 

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And we hadn’t even seen the sun yet.

 

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For a coastal flatlander like me, this was impressive stuff.

 

 

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We have friends who had a spiritual wedding at a vortex in Sedona 2 years ago and they told us they stayed in a neighboring small town.

 

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Small?

Small doesn’t begin to describe it.  The only thing I found worthy of a photograph was a line of John Deere tractors wearing Santa hats.

 

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Granted, you don’t see that every day….but still, we headed back to Sedona.

 

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Where someone was giving my husband a sign to slow down.

 

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Much more subtle than my fingernail imprints on the dashboard, but equally as ineffective.

It really was too cloudy and too wet to fully appreciate the natural beauty….

 

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But Sedona’s businesses were pretty colorful in and of themselves.

 

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Trip Advisor pointed us to Cuchina Rustica for dinner….

 

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Which means rustic kitchen….

 

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And looked anything but.

 

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I started with a prickly pear margarita….

 

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( Hey, when in Rome… )

 

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The Christmas decorations were a little heavy handed for my taste….

 

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But OMG, the food! A delightful scampi like dish with homemade fresh pasta for the husband…

 

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And the most decandently rich veal with gorgonzola mushroom sauce, parmesan risotto with steamed broccoli for me.

 

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We happily waddled out….

 

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But not before the husband had to check if the fire pots were hot.

Tourists.

What can I say?

A rainy day in Arizona….

 

I didn’t even know that was possible, but sure enough we woke on our first full morning in Sedona to fog and drizzle.

 

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Okay, not that much rain…

 

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But even the fog couldn’t hide the beauty.

 

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Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte rise majestically above you as you travel up Hwy 179.

 

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179 is an amazing road that cuts right through the canyon.

 

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It was my first real look at Red Rock country and I was hooked.

 

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Even through the fog, rain and spotty windshield, it was fabulous.

 

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We’d heard a lot about the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross, and even though I’m not the least bit religious…. decided to do a drive by.

 

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I have to say it was pretty magnificent….

 

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Rising out of the red rocks.

 

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The walk up to the top is long and steep, so there are golf carts to help the fat and lazy like me.

 

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But since the weather was bad, we just drove up and turned around.

 

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And planned on going back for a proper visit when the sun was shining.

 

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We noticed some snow on a far peak and marveled at the difference altitude can make. It was 60 degrees down in the parking lot..

 

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So we said goodbye to the church in the rocks….

 

 

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And passed by this little hacienda…

 

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Apparently the locals were livid the mansion was built so close to the chapel.

 

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But when you have that kind of money, I guess you can buy any piece of rock you want.

Our first Sedona resort.

 

Week one found us at the Ridge on Sedona Golf, a nice resort in the oak Creek Village section of Sedona. Out of the way, peaceful and quite lovely.

 

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Admittedly, the bright green grass on the course was a bit of a shock after all the brown and red…

 

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But the contrast with the red rock cliffs was stunning.

 

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This was our building…

 

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Which was not the one I originally requested. Seeing that it was a special trip (35th wedding anniversary) and we’d never been to Sedona before, I asked for a top floor unit with a great view. Lush green golf course with stunning red rocks in the background? Sign me up!

 

So we went to the first assigned condo and found a stunning view…. which was completely obscured in every window by thick black netting used to hold back the waywardly struck  golf balls. It was hideous! So hideous, I didn’t even get a chance to grab my phone and take a picture of it’s hideousness before the husband was storming out of the unit and back to the front desk. Mind you, this was prime season in Sedona and resorts are usually full of snowbirds. Thankfully they were able to switch us to another quiet section, although our balcony view wasn’t as impressive.

 

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It was still a canyon…

 

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But the back end, with no red rocks.

 

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Unless you count the ones around the grills…

 

 

 

Oh well, at least it was net free.

The condo was nice enough.

 

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Done up in the southwestern colors you’d expect.

 

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New appliances, granite countertops…

 

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Of course the toaster sucked, as they always do.

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how these places that will spend thousands on renovations and decorations can’t shell out the extra $10 for a decent toaster… but I digress.

 

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It was a comfortable, if smaller place than we’re used to.

 

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But the king sized bed was comfy…

 

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The bathroom was big…

 

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With a tub…

 

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And shower.

 

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Our neighbors were quiet…

 

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And before long a mist descended on the canyon obscuring the only peak of red rock we could see from our kitchen window.

 

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Past the tree, through the parking lot and over the other building…. it was there, I promise.