God doesn’t make trash and regardless of who you are, there are some places in the world that the natural beauty of Gods handiwork can’t help but amaze you. One of these places is Sedona, Arizona.
The boss and I had been making our way west from Texas towards California to fulfill a promise we made to our son. We stopped for a week of rest in Arizona. We have what we call exploring days, and the boss decided that she wanted to visit Sedona. Naturally being the curious type I asked her why, really wanting to know what they have there that I’d wanted to see? She said that they have beautiful rocks there and it’s supposed to be a very spiritual place… so off we went.
As we drove along I saw miles of what I’d call oversized sand dunes, large wind turbines, and lots scrub trees. Then as I crested a hill, suddenly all I saw was black on both sides of the road. I thought to myself “look at that”, it went from miles of sandy desert to rich black Mississippi delta land, just like that. Turns out it was just miles and miles of solar panels that hooked up to a small power plant. Anyway, as we drove down the long lonely highway the land started to get hillier and there were a proliferation of large boulders making it unfit for farming or building a house, etc.
The boss commented that nothing but mountain goats could live on this sorry looking land, and then we saw it; a sign that read INDIAN RESERVATION. I knew that these first Americans had been driven off their ancestral land by the long knives, (U.S. Calvary), but I had no idea that their current reservations were so desolate and barren.
As we neared Sedona the scenery got much more interesting. There were distant buttes and mountains, but you couldn’t see the contrasting colors at that distance.
When we finally arrived in Sedona, I saw God’s artwork on full display. It truly is something to see. There is a plethora of color that shows the rock strata and allows the informed eye to determine the age of the formations. You have to tread lightly however, because the road around the mountain is winding and narrow with non-existent guard rails.
I’m sure I missed a lot of beautiful scenery trying to stay on the road, because a distracted driver could be a dead driver on this narrow mountain goat trail “road” quite easily. Fortunately there were several areas where the road widened and you could safely pull off and take a few pictures. Getting around this mountain on the loop and back on the main highway headed towards downtown Sedona took us about an hour.
When we reached downtown we instantly realized why this is such a tourist Mecca, there is amazing natural beauty in every direction you look. The only problem is the town has grown up around it and much of the really good stuff has a building blocking your view from the roadway. Stubbornly we persisted on until it became obvious we had entered the dreaded tourist trap portion of town. You know you are there when you see a curio shop and jewelry store selling “real Indian” jewelry on both sides of the street, both claiming to have the best prices in the state.
These kinds of places just turn me and the boss off, so we just stopped and took a few scenery shots where we could and skee-dattled out of town. Some of the more enlightened among us claim a spiritual connection to the mountains in this area and that’s all well and good, but I didn’t make that connection. I just felt that maybe God needed a place to put His beautiful rock garden and Sedona, Arizona just happened to be the place He picked.
If you get the chance, it’s definitely worth making the drive to see. In our opinion, it’s a very GOOD thing.