Tag Archives: sedona

Moving day… and rocks.

The one week mark of our trip arrived Saturday…

And I’d spent 4 days of it sick. 3 in bed.

And now that the first week was over, it was time to move to our second resort… which I kind of hated to do since I never had the opportunity to fully enjoy the first.

Check out time was 10:00am, but check in time at the next one was 4:00pm so we had some time to kill. I floated numerous ideas, all of which the husband rejected as he drove straight to the next resort. I’m not sure what part of 4:00pm he didn’t understand, but off we went.

Naturally, our unit wasn’t ready and they told us…. are you ready?

Come back at 4:00pm.

Shocking…. I know.

So we revisited my idea of exploring and went to Bell Rock Park.

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Yes, more rocks!

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And you know they were fabulous because there’s my husband who never takes pictures… taking pictures.

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We read a little history…

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Hoped we’d see a roadrunner…

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Compared sketches to the real thing…

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Not bad.

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Close, but no cigar.

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We promised not to bust the crust…

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And headed down the Bell Rock Pathway.

Mind you, I’d just gone to the doctor the day before and still wasn’t feeling 100% back to normal…

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But the rocks were gorgeous.

And we walked…

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And walked….

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And walked some more.

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I was tempted to walk the whole thing and even climb up Bell Rock like these people did…

See that speck on the top left? Person.

Speck on the second tier rock on the right? Person.

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But every few minutes the husband was asking if I was okay, and it made me start to doubt he was. High elevation can make you sick… like it did me… but it also can drain your energy, cause you to burn more calories than usual, as well as leave you fatigued and out of breath after shorts bouts of exercise. So after walking a bit farther, and watching the husband purposely stick himself with a cactus….

We called it  a day.

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And said goodbye to the rocks.

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Hey now.

That’s a little harsh….

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?

Arizona sightseeing ….

 

After our trip to the Chapel, the husband headed up Hwy 179 …

 

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Through more canyons…

 

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And an infinite number of roundabouts, some decorated with rather nice metal sculptures.

 

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We turned up 89A and drove through the usually busy, but too wet to shop that day part of Sedona known as uptown. Sedona is large and spread out into separate sections. Oak Creek Village, where we were staying… was quiet and felt like a community. West Sedona was a long main drag of restaurants and strip malls. Uptown was attractive, bustling, and filled with all the expensive tourist shops you expect to see. But continue on 89A for just a mile or two…

 

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And you’re in a different world.

 

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The rocks go from red to brown…

 

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And you find yourself in a pine forest…

 

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On a twisty, turning mountain road….

 

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In the snow!

 

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Of all the things I expected to see in Arizona?

Snow was not one of them…

 

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But we were headed to Flagstaff and apparently it’s a whole different world up there. Kids were playing, sliding, sledding and building miniature snowmen. We saw a pick up truck owner fill his bed with the cold white stuff to haul back to Phoenix. Hoards of cars were pulled over on the side of the highway just so the passengers could get out and romp in the snow. Police were everywhere trying to keep them out of the roads.. it was nuts!

 

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Of course a little snow doesn’t bother us, we’re Mainers!

 

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Although the high elevation, switchback road got interesting in 5% visibility.

 

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As did Arizona snowplows who were literally all over the road.

50 feet? No problem… I’ll give you a hundred.

But there was a Prickly Pear Mule with my name on it….

 

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And nothing can keep me from that.

 

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Mother of God! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this was the best mule I HAVE EVER HAD! (and that’s saying something) I swore to myself I would find Canyon Diablo Prickly Pear Vodka before I left Arizona and smuggle numerous bottles home in my suitcase… Homeland Security be damned.

I have to be honest and tell you I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant, or where in Flagstaff it was. I was in mule heaven and totally oblivious to my surroundings…

 

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But you could tell by the shooter list the place had a sense of humor.

 

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5 points to the first person who can tell me….

 

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The male equivalent of Camel Toe without looking it up…

Go!

It was Sunday, the place had a big screen tv, and brother… get a load of this.

 

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Brilliant bar marketing, but a person could get seriously sloshed just watching the game!

Oh, and yes.

There was lunch…

 

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A spicy southwestern cheeseburger with awesome hot dill potato salad for me…. and a roast beef melt on rye with Spanish beans for the husband. What’s a Spanish bean? I have no idea… and after 2 mules I couldn’t have cared less.

 

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As we were leaving, this little darling was packing a snowball and had that “let’s hit the tourist lady” look in his eye.

To be honest, I doubt I could have cared less about that either. Take your best shot junior, the drinks were strong and the tourist lady won’t feel a thing.

Prickly pear vodka……  oh yes.

Yes, please!!

 

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The ride back?

Looked something like this.

I think… I was still savoring the vodka and not paying any particular attention.

 

 

 

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.