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.

August 17, 2010