Sedona, Arizona: Beyond the Red Rocks

Have you ever felt like getting down on your knees, throwing your arms up in the air and breathing in the utter essence of your surroundings?  This happens every single time my car rolls up over the cactus spotted hills and down into the red, orange and glowing canyons of Sedona Arizona.

Ok, the truth is there many beautiful places on our planet.  And I’ve been to more than my fair share of them.  Yet the sight of Bell Rock in all its glory leaves one believing that somewhere, somehow, you did something really right in your life to deserve this magnificence before you.

Let’s back up a bit shall we.  Your journey starts in Phoenix Arizona, where one is likely to fly in via a reliable airline with pretty red and blue painted jets.  With your tummy full of peanuts and complimentary soft drinks what else is there to do but slide into your rental car and begin your one and half hour journey to Sedona.

About a third of the way there, one begins to wonder, what was I thinking?  The 90 mile drive between Phoenix and Sedona is scenic, in a cactus sort of way.  They are beautiful and I for one love cactus.  Cactus of every shape and size frame both sides of the flat and dusty road.  It’s at this point that I check my cell reception wondering if anywhere out there is a rubber tree plant that might serve as a tire repair option should the need arise.  Fellow travelers are few and far between.  This isn’t one of those roads that falls victim to rush hour surges.

On the contrary, your drive is expected to be serene and quiet.

Just about the time you stifle a yawn and reach for your cup of coffee, the scenery around you explodes.  The grey green beige landscape turns almost instantly to a red and orange burst of color.  The landscape is layered in tones of brilliance, like a sand picture you make at a county fair, where the merchant lets you pick your favorite color sand and pour it into a bottle layer on top of vibrant layer.

Before you a kaleidoscope of awe reveals soothing sandy tones encrusted with bright red and orange rocks.  It’s not just the color of the rocks that is astonishing, but the shadows cast by the sun and the clouds and the energy that is Sedona.

As you drive deeper into the Red Rocks the color brightens, the shadows come to life and the force that is Sedona surges through you.  Just about the time you realize you’ve been holding your breathe for who knows how long, the town of Sedona sprawls out before you.  And there begins your turquoise and beige journey into Native American history, an abundance of local artwork, and more dreams than you can catch in a lifetime.

Sallyanne Monti Written by:

Some of the perks of being born in Brooklyn NY in 1961: DaVinci’s Pizza on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Disco, The cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island. Some of the not so perky things about being born in Brooklyn NY in 1961: An accent you can never quite escape, A tiny patch of concrete better known as your backyard, A craving for carbs that started at birth and never really ends (heck they fed you pizza in your highchair) When I was five, I proudly declared to my parents that I was moving to California. They said “yeah right”. When I was fifteen, I proudly declared to my then significant other that I was moving to California. The response, you guessed it “yeah right”. When I was thirty four, I proudly declared to my new best friend who lived in San Francisco that I was moving to California. The response, by now you’ve probably guessed, “yeah right”. And so in 1996, lock stock and barrel I moved to California. It began (my later in life) love affair with travel. I mean it’s not like I didn’t travel before. Like the good Italian Brooklyn girl I was, my parents took us kids to New York’s Catskill Mountains on vacations (think Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing); and to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania (think cabin next to a lake) and in my later years think (champagne glass shaped hot tub and pink furry bedspreads). And although these small jaunts sparked my love of travel, it wasn’t until hitting the shores of California (ok actually crossing over the Reno border) that it all began to make sense. There’s a big giant world out there and I want to see it. And so I did and have and will continue to. Herein lays my quest, taking my not so shabby writing savvy and blending it with my love of travel, to bring you this… (drum rollllllll) ….yes you’ve guessed it, not so shabby Travel Writer, I know I know you’re probably saying “yeah right”. I am Sallyanne Monti. With my spouse Mickey, we split our time between our two homes in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and Playas del Coco Costa Rica. See, I really do travel. Now I have to convince you I can write about it.