Monday, February 23, 2015

Sedona Sights

When we had said our tearful good-byes to my sister Jan and BIL, Lanny, we headed north to Sedona AZ.  About an hour into the trip, we were at a stand still due to an accident miles ahead.  It seems like an everyday occurrence with the way people around us shut off their cars, got out of their vehicles to smoke or visit, and even climbed the hills nearby to see what they could see.  Eventually Joel joined the crowd and visited with a man who had moved to Phoenix from Chicago.  His wife worked near Sedona and they had a long distance marriage 5 days a week.  Not ideal, they made it work.  After about a half hour of backed up traffic, with cars parked on the Interstate bumper to bumper for miles, someone ahead yelled that traffic was beginning to move and soon we were off.  Even our drive up to Sedona was an adventure! 

Trucks and cars at a standstill
on AZ interstate

Joel (in the hat of course) talking with a traveler

As we left the Interstate for Sedona, we could see all the beautiful red rock mountains, boulders, and foothills that made this place famous.  We stopped at an information center and looked at their displays and when we were leaving, a man behind the counter asked if we wanted a map of the area.  He asked us where we were from, and when we said Iowa, he told us he was originally from Minnesota.  When we asked him where, he said Fergus Falls.  I said, "That's where Joel is from"!  Turns out he had graduated with Joel's brother Doug and knew him.  He still returns to the class reunions, and visited with Doug while there.  It really is a small world.

Driving to Sedona

Road view
We had heard that there is supposed to be a special "energy" found in Sedona and we saw enough advertisements for psychics and crystals that led us to believe others thought so.  We focused on the beauty in the views around us.  We had been told we just had to see the church in the rock, which is a Catholic chapel built right into the rock.  It was a sight to behold.  I attempted to climb up the steep, steep road to the chapel, but only got about a third of the way before the altitude and the incline had my body complaining loudly.  So we got into a handy courtesy cart and rode up the rest of the way!.  It was a looooong way down, especially after we climbed all the steps to the top.  What a view!  As I said before, the heights made both of us a bit dizzy. 

Red Rocks of Sedona
Chapel in the Rock
Outside of the chapel
The chapel was awesome with the sun coming in the windows..  You could sit on benches and rest, pray, or light candles in there.  A lovely place filled with God's presence.  We also drove out to the airport road and joined others who were watching the sun set, as it cast different shadows on the rocks changing the colors, shapes, etc.

Sedona Red Rocks

A McMansion built in the rocks of Sedona

There were many tourist places to shop and we did stop at Tiaquepaque, an upscale arts and crafts village that also had within it's streets a mission church, but mostly we were really not interested in shopping so we moved on to spend our time looking at the landscapes.  A wonderful work of art by our Creator.
Mission in Sedona at Tiaquepaque

I do all the hotel bookings, so I decided to surprise Joel with a small villa like place to stay called Las Posadas.  It was an adobe style place, with a kitchen, living, and bedroom area.  Nice two-sided fireplace and the smallest TV's I have ever seen.  Maybe 15 inches.  We could open the floor to ceiling windows and take in the fresh night air which was nice.  And we ate a Mexican breakfast fixed and served by a lovely woman the next morning.  It was yet another adventure :-),

Las Posadas
 The next morning we left for Santa Fe.  It was recommended that we take the back highway to Flagstaff so we did.  Amazing.......scary at glad we did it!  There were a couple of times where I said out loud, "Thank you Jesus that this is not our day to die".  After it came out of my mouth twice, Joel told me to STOP saying it.  It seemed he was stressed enough trying to drive the windy road.....So, I did....and praised God instead for the beauty He was letting us experience! 

A view from the top where we stopped and walked around

Some where down there is the road we
just traveled!

Side of the road as we drove up the mountain
The speed limit was 35-40 mph with mostly no passing zones.  It was exhilarating for me to be the passenger in the car.....a bit more hairy for Joel, the driver!  So, this pretty much ended our visit to Arizona.  Truthfully it was hard to leave AZ behind, but we still had more adventures ahead!


Sharon said...

We have traveled to Sedona several times, and the drive through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff is rather breathtaking. So glad that you got to see some of this beautiful country.

And honestly, yes, that random meeting?? Indeed, what a very small world sometimes!

Blessings, Renee - my best to you and Joel as you continue on your happy journey!


Anonymous said...

I could not recall the name of the canyon we drove through.....thanks Sharon!