After the big trek to the Grand Canyon we decide to spend a day in Sedona. We have heard it is a spiritual place and Tywana really wants to see it. It’s about half the way back to Phoenix. So, tonight we are paying for two hotel rooms, one in Phoenix and one in Sedona. Tywana, our travel agent, has done an excellent job of choosing our accommodations. We just need a little place to crash for one night in Sedona. The Village Lodge fits the bill. It’s actually in Oak Creek, but it’s 15 minutes from Sedona and cheap. It’s a “vintage” location. It’s quaint, but without the modern amenities we can live without for a night.
The drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon is like none I’ve ever taken in my life. The sweeping vistas as I round the bends in the road take my breath away. I’ve seen something similar in Twnnessee, but not to this scale. The changes in climate and the flora as we climb from 1,000’ feet above sea level to 7,500’ above sea level are obvious to even us completely oblivious to biology. The saguaro cactus that is so plentiful in Phoenix just stops growing at a certain elevation I think around 3,000 feet. We see larger bushes and more greenery. The soil changes. Then we run into rain and notice the temperature has dropped 10 degrees. Then we see pine trees, so many we can smell them even though the car windows are up. I could swear we were in North Carolina. Then the pine trees go away and it’s another environment. We counted no less than four.
On the way back we pull, off the main highway I-17 to get onto the state route that will take us into Sedona. We are just driving along when we make one bend and suddenly there it is. These are the red rocks everyone has told us about. Words don’t do rhe majesty of this view justice. Tywana and I can’t stop saying “Wow. Look over there.” for about 10 minutes straight. Kayla is sick of hearing it.
We find our lodging for the night. They did not lie about the view. It’s at the base of a big rock formation. At $70 in this location, I’ll gladly take it. We pull in and I’m exhausted. The hippie behind the counter gives us our keys. Yes, actual metal keys. We ask for a place for dinner. He’s eating pizza from the place in the plaza the lodge is in, he tells us. There is a Chinese restaurant attached to the lodge, a Thai place 500’ away and an organic Moroccan restaurant 1,000’ feet away. I watch the second half of the Cavs game on the crappy TV in the room and we head out to the Thai place which is an excellent fine and hassle free at 8:00 pm. We walk right in, are seated immediately and Kayla and I have an excellent mixed seafood and ginger dish while Tywana has her standard plain Pad Thai, no spice.
The next day Tywana and I are up with the sun which is early, early in Arizona. We venture out for baked goods and spot a small place called The Desert Flour. We grab a couple of pastries and a home made breakfast burrito and eat them while Sleeping Beauty is back at the room. We call for a Jeep tour and get one scheduled for 9:30. That is going to push Kayla, but we want to do some shopping in Sedona and be back in Phoenix before rush hour.
Roy, our driver is a chatty Cathy, perfectly suited for the job of tour guide. Turns out he’s a transplant raised in Michigan, lived in Cincinnati for fourteen years and moved out here 8 years ago. Roy is about my age. So, it can be done.
The tour is a couple of hours and we learn about the climate, the history of the town, the flora and the fauna and the local sites. Someone has come up with a name for just about every rock around this place. We finish the tour and have lunch at a Mexican restaurant where Kayla tries prickly pear tacos since weve sewn about a million prickly pear cactuses in the last couple of days. They’re really good. The leaves are picklee and sauteed.
We find some Indian jewelry for Ty, a crystal angel for me and some t-shirts for each of us. We are all glad we made this day trip and we climb back into the car for the two hour, 3,000’ drop drive back to Phoenix.