Sedona, Belated

Sedona Collage

Click on the collage above to go to the entire set of Sedona photos on Flickr. I haven't yet put descriptions and tags on all of them, but I'm working on it.

All in all, we had a great time on our getaway weekend. And it was exactly what we both needed. You know how sometimes you've just stayed home to long? It's not like anything was particularly wrong, it's just that we hadn't left since we'd moved here, and we were starting to go stir crazy.

The weekend was projected (even here in Tucson) to be cold and wet, and on that score it didn't disappoint. Friday temps were in the 50s, Saturday they crept into the 60s with rain, Sunday it was in the 70s and sunny. The inn where we stayed was nice, but nothing spectacular. We will probably look for a nice B&B next time, but we pulled this trip together on the spur of the moment when we learned that I had Memorial Day off.

Saturday we went shopping uptown, bought each of us crystals (of course), and then (when it looked like it was finally clearing) went on a jeep tour. No, not the Pink Jeep Tour; we wanted a more Sedona experience, so we took a Vortex Tour through Earth Wisdom Tours (recommended to us by numerous staff and patrons in the shop where we bought the crystals). Aside from the fact that the rain returned as we headed out, it was a great tour. We had it to ourselves, and our guide, Hugh, was great. He explained the geology behind the astounding landscape (you can see why it was named one of the ten the most beautiful place in America) and the vortexes and introduced us to what might just be the "most hugged tree in America". Yes, that's right, actual tree hugging.

You see, one of they ways the locals claim you can spot a vortex is to look for the twisted trees, and this one happens to be very twisted (unfortunately, I didn't get a picture). It is also toward the top of a bluff said to have been used for generations by the native people for vision quests. The theory is that the swirling energy emanating from the earth at the vortex causes the trees to grow in helical spirals rather than straight up. I did get a picture of one such tree:

Sunday we went hiking (on a trail recommended by Hugh). It was about a 3.5 mile trail that went straight into a canyon (then a 3.5 mile hike back out). And despite the absolute breath-taking-ness of the landscape, I have to admit that one of the things that struck me the most was that we were walking through woods and there were no bugs. I'm not used to hiking without heavy duty bug repellent, and this was kinda heavenly.

One thing I have not blogged about (partly because it's so weird still to contemplate) is that a member of our church was found murdered in her home the morning of the day we left for Sedona. (M's Senior Pastor told her to still go away for the weekend because we both needed it.) I've had friends die of drug overdoses and in car accidents; I lost a friend in high school to a rare blood disorder (and another college friend to the same disorder); I've seen friends and relatives die in old age of cancer, stroke or Alzheimer's; and all but one of my grandparents are dead. This, THIS, is not like any of that. While the police seem to now suspect that the crime was probably not random, the feeling at this end is one of total randomness.

What does this have to do with Sedona? Well, M and I were finally able to start processing what had happened at this beautiful spot called The Chapel of the Holy Cross. [I didn't take any pictures of the Chapel itself, but there are some stunning ones at the website, and more at Flickr.] It is a small Catholic chapel built into the red rocks, and if you're ever in Sedona, it's a must-see. The chapel itself is beautiful, and the views it commands are stunning.

Believe (or not) what you will about the vortexes, etc. It doesn't really matter in the end. Sedona is, by the very nature of its beauty and it apartness, a fantastic place to unwind and recharge.

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