Let the Rocks Cry Out! (Red Rocks, That Is)

This past Wednesday (Jan. 31) we packed up the dogs and ourselves and took another day trip.  We headed north to Sedona, AZ.  It was a little longer drive this time from the previous two trips (2.5 hours from Buckeye to Sedona), however, the change in the landscape was quite remarkable and made up for the long drive time.  We left warm, flat, dry desert with cactus and tumbleweeds and ended up in the mountains of the northern Verde Valley region of Arizona with birch trees, evergreen trees, and even a little bit of snow left over from the snowfall they got over a week before we were there.

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Sedona’s main attraction is the red sandstone formations that are in and around the city.  This area of Arizona is some times called “red rock country.”  The sandstone almost looks illuminated when the rays of the sun fall on it in the early morning or late evening hours.  These beautiful sandstone formations also have a cinematic legacy;  the area has played host to more than sixty Hollywood productions (even though the surroundings were identified to audiences as areas in Texas, California, Nevada, and other locations).  To say this area is beautiful is an understatement.  The pictures I’ve shared here don’t do it justice; you’ll just have to see it for yourself some day.

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You can see the different layers and colors of sandstone.

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These formations have unique names: Two Nuns (on the right) and Mother and Child (to the left of Two Nuns).

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The Sedona area and Verde Valley have a history that goes back to 11,000-9,00 B.C. and the time of the Paleo-Indians.  Other native peoples that inhabited this region were the Sinagua, Yavapai,  and Apache.  Early Anglo-American settlers were farmers and ranchers.  When the Sedona post office was established in 1902, Sedona had 55 residents, and in the mid 1950’s the number of residents had grown to 155.  It was during the 1950s that Sedona began to develop as a tourist destination and vacation-home and retirement center.  Most of the construction and development seen today was done in the 1980s and 1990s.  Sedona’s population today is about 10,000.  Here are some pictures taken while we explored the town.

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Our friends from Dexter, Dennis and Mary Ann Reel, and their dog, Charlie (Zoey’s boyfriend!).

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Jack and I and our dog, Zoey.

We spent our day exploring the shops in town and eating a leisurely lunch.  After lunch we drove an additional 10 or so miles into the mountains of the Coconino National Forest.  We drove through a portion of Oak Creek Canyon with the crystal clear Oak Creek along the side of the road.  We went to a look out point on the top of the Mogollon Rim where the elevation was 6,420 feet and the view was gorgeous.  The drive up the two lane road had hair pin curves and steep hillsides and cliffs on both sides.  It was beautiful!  The view from the top was breathtaking (again the pics don’t do it justice)!

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These first two pictures are taken from the car as we drove, and I’m pretty much looking straight up!

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Another “straight up” view.

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Picture of one of the hair pin curves close to the top.

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We saw snow from a distance, but when we got to the top, the parking lot still have several piles of snow from where the snow plows cleared parking spaces.

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If you zoom in on some of these pictures, you will see snow still on the ground in areas that I’m sure don’t receive much sunlight.

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The pine trees were gorgeous and refreshing to see after so many days of just viewing dry desert.

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If you zoom in and look closely, you can see a small portion of the road we took to get to the top (look close to the middle of the picture).

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Look at the smaller hill in front of the taller hills. Zoom in and you’ll see the road and hair pin curves we took!

Next we drove to The Chapel of the Holy Cross.  This is a Roman Catholic chapel that was built right into the buttes of Sedona.  The chapel, completed in 1956, was the idea of a local rancher and sculptor, Marguerite Brunswick Staude.  It was built in eighteen months at a cost of $300,000.  In 2007 the chapel was voted as one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona.  Again, the pictures don’t do its beauty justice.

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Plaque on the outside of the chapel.

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Inside of the chapel (I wish I would have taken more pictures inside, however, there were so many people and the “reverence” inside could be felt by everyone).

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The sculpted cross on the alter – BEAUTIFUL!

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The chapel from the outside. You can see how it was built right into the sandstone butte.

After visiting The Chapel of the Holy Cross, we headed back to Buckeye.  We had enjoyed another wonderful day of exploring Arizona.  On the way home we were blessed with a beautiful sunset along with the silhouettes of two hot air balloons.

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That pretty well sums up our trip to Sedona.  We feel truly blessed to be able to travel around in our RV and see this beautiful country.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peggy Hines
    Feb 05, 2018 @ 02:09:58

    Betty, wow! Your writing and pictures are wonderful. Its almost like I’m there with you. So glad you and Jack are enjoying Arizona. Thanks so much for sharing your incredible adventure. Love you both.

    Reply

    • Betty Huffman
      Feb 08, 2018 @ 17:33:57

      Thanks, Peg. That means a lot to me. I never know if I’m telling enough of what I learned or just rambling on and on. I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. Love you! 💕

      Reply

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