Driving into the community of Sedona I could not help but notice the variation of the landscape present in this escape from the desert heat located 4500 feet below where I was just 1 hour ago.
Sedona is located just 1.5 hours north from Phoenix and just 30 miles south from Flagstaff. I drove through the lush greenery of the Coconino National Forest and with every amazing switchback, I was delighted with greater views of sudden drop offs, beautiful trees and eventually the town of Sedona.
When my partner Michael and I drove closer to our final destination, we were delighted with the vibrant red colors of the rocks that have made Sedona a popular vacation destination.
With over 2.5 million tourists each year it rivals its neighbor the Grand Canyon for the highest amount of visitors in the state of Arizona; sedimentary rocks that were deposited here millions of years ago formed the famous rock formations and is what makes this region so poplar.
What is present now is a variety of landscapes including dry desert areas to lush ponderosa pine forests. However, the red rock has made Sedona famous with tourist and boosts this ever-growing economy of countless jeep tour companies, vacation properties and retirement advertisements.
Our first hike was the Lost Canyon Trail. Local friends suggested we attempt the trail that leads to a magical Indian cave; this Indian ruin does not receive many visitors and is the ideal location for this traveler.
After hiking approximately 30 minutes, Michael and I both looked towards our right and there stood the opening in the hard granite that had been some persons refuge from animals and the harsh Sedona sun.
The passage into the past was approximately 500 feet above me. We began to climb the red rock to see what we had come for. At times, I lost my footing due to the slippery surface, but I persisted on, knowing that soon I would be face to face with countless natural artifacts of the past.
The struggle was well worth it because when we finally made it to the Indian cave ruins it was magnificent so Michael and I decided to spend some time enjoying the fruits of our labor.
I stood there for a moment feeling the energy of the past; it is amazing that natives would carry their supplies here on a regular basis. The climb had been difficult enough for me without the items I would need to survive in this extreme local. I spent a considerable amount of time enjoying the scenery and relishing my triumph of succeeding in my climb.
Due to the uneasiness of the climb, not many people attempt this trek but I do suggest it for those not fearful of heights. I enjoyed the sense of history I felt while in the cave and suggest this marvel to anyone visiting Sedona.
The next day adventure of a different kind was on my agenda. Considering the number of jeep tours available in this region, I decided to see the basis of this popularity. We would be traveling with Earth Wisdom tours.
The Sacred Tour would consist of a visit to Rachel’s Knoll, known for the many mediators that visit this private location and the tour also included a visit to a vortex. Sedona has become famous for the four vortexes’ that are located in this region (Bell Rock, Table Top Mountain, Cathedral Rock and Boynton Canyon) and I decided to experience what they have to offer.
We met our tour guide Larry at one o’clock in front of the Earth Wisdom desk. He explained the two areas we would be exploring with our 3.5-hour tour and encourage questions when we so desired from the other three passengers and myself. During the tour, Larry explained “that a vortex is a natural area, where psychic energy is present and emitted to those around it”. Through my research that Sedona is “anodes” spelt backwards which means a conducted surface in which an electric current can flow.
Larry was very informative on the area and its history. He explained that our first stop of Rachel’s Knoll, is privately owned and only Earth Wisdom has permission to enter this location due to their respect of the land and their vast knowledge of the area.
Upon exploring, I noticed that there were many medicine wheels that the native Indians used as an integral part of their religion. Larry performed a ceremony of spirituality, cleanliness and the offering of sage. This represented our respect and would allow us to enter the medicine wheel. He instructed me to walk around the inner part of circle once clockwise and then sit wherever I felt comfortable. Each section of the medicine wheel represents spiritual significance and my area was for “moving on into the future” and rebirth, not to live in the past.
Afterwards, we headed for a clearing that gave us views of all seven canyons. We were on a vortex and I could feel the energy running through my body. Our tour was almost over, but mesmerized by the vibrant colors of purples and pinks in the sunset, we decided to watch the sun go down. I have traveled to many places but I do have to say some of the best sunsets I have ever seen have been looming over the megalithic formations of Sedona.
The time we spent in the Red Rock region has been a truly wonderful experience, with great hikes of varying degrees of difficulty; I could keep myself outdoors for weeks. The most important thing to remember when visiting Sedona is everything revolves around the wonderful backdrop.
Over the years it has grown to include many wonderful shops, antiques and countless outlet malls; however, one thing that has remained is the respect locals offer their natural surroundings. For over 11,000 years this region has been populated (the earliest being the Native American Indians) and will continue to grow and flourish with the years to come.