Nestled between Coconino and Yavapai counties in Arizona lays a world full of red rock mountains and bright green plant life that will stop you in your tracks. Debating between driving on the iconic Route 66 or heading up north a couple hours away to Sedona was the topic of our breakfast Sunday morning in Scottsdale. Route 66 is something Andy and I both have (and someday will) get to do, but overhearing a gas station attendant saying that ‘Route 66 is a commitment not just something to breeze by on, you have to be in it for the long haul.’
Knowing that and wanting to be able to commit, we decided not to crunch our time with Route 66 and head up to Sedona instead. All I have to say is that I am glad we picked Sedona as our side trip because it is beyond beautiful there.
The famous red sandstone rock formations that stretch from hiking to mountain biking bring people from all over to experience the allurement. Sedona is even a special place for spiritual pursuits and finding a higher purpose to life. Our jaws certainly dropped when reaching the Sedona city limits as the desert sands started shifting from gray to red. Giant sandstone rocks shooting up to touch the clear blue skies had Andy clicking away on the camera.
We spent sometime walking around some of the city shops and stopping in a quiet gallery to find a perfect piece of art to take back home with us. We got to talking with the clerk and she showed us pieces of jewelry from an artist that I have fallen in love with, Jimmy Poyer. His ability to take a beautiful gem and sliver and create a piece of jewelry that I would wear forever has me as a permanent fan.
We did not get to spend as much time as we wanted to in Sedona knowing we had a four hour car ride back to Vegas, we had a quick lunch and packed up and headed out. Always knowing now that we will make it back some day to Sedona, to watch sunrises and sunsets reflect and light up the red rocks in ways we will never be able to express in words, maybe only photographs.
Heading up 89A highway is the only way you should ever leave Sedona, no matter what direction you are heading to! The road winds with the river and the mountains, the forest trees standing tall making you play peek-a-boo with the mountains that lay behind. Quickly the red rocks start fading out being replaced with grayish-brown sandstone and soaring ponderosa pines. We had a flash back to our time spent in Colorado!
Soon, about 12 miles outside of Flagstaff we came upon a scenic overlook and decided it was worth the view. Luckily, at least for me, there was a Native American craft show going on and I couldn’t wait to check out some local arts. Finding the cutest little lady selling beautiful turquoise, silver, and hand crafted dream catchers, I chose a dream catcher that spoke to me and we headed on our way to overlook beautiful Arizona.
The view is nothing what I thought Arizona would look like, in my mind and from our drive in, I always thought of Arizona as a dry desert, full of cactus and tumbleweeds. Our view was completely opposite, trees after trees, and cool crisp air kissed our cheeks, we found ourselves gulping deep breaths of fresh pine air.
It was one of those views that made you stop and ponder, to be thankful for what you have, to know that no man made structure could or ever would be as magnificent as what our very own eyes were seeing. A view that makes you take a step back, put down all digital devices, and just sit and stare. As always, the mountains will continue to call me back and urge me to keep on exploring, and I know I will be back. Soon.
“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in an old land; feel the exaltation of the high plateaus, the strength of moving waters, the simplicity of sand and grass, and the silence of growth.” August Fruge