Sights, sounds, Sedona

April 12, 2014

Gorgeous redOh, God and I do mean God, because who else could have created such incredible beauty?  Tectonic shifts and erosion and ferrous oxide, yes, I know, but all that had to start somewhere and I do believe that a Universal Force, the Divine or call it God, ignited this place and the world.

vista w redrockWe spent four days and three nights cradled between red rock formations that blew our minds. Look left, look right, look across the valley—look everywhere and see Mother Nature’s sculptures.  How can you forget the glory of God in such country?

Chapel Holy CrossI can only show you fragments, scraps of the experiences we had, because it was all on such a scale that it’s impossible to cover in a blog post. Or two. Or three.

Let’s start with the Chapel of the Holy Cross, inspired by the Empire State Building (say what???) and designed by Marguerite Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, with his help.  Here’s what she said: “Though Catholic in faith, as a work of art the Chapel has a universal appeal. Its doors will ever be open to one and all, regardless of creed, that God may come to life in the souls of all men and be a living reality.”  Built right into the buttes of Sedona, it’s supposed to be a powerful energy spot. A Sedona vortex.

Chapel inIt’s a good thing Mass is said facing the congregation now, because any priest who looked at that view would certainly forget the words to the ritual. As I entered a “pew” –really just ultra-modern benches without backs–our guide told me that my particular seating position was supposed to be the most powerful in the chapel. I sat and within moments felt the vibration of the place and was engulfed in tears. I don’t know, just happened.

Chapel candlesI never leave a chapel without lighting a candle. Born Catholics have their little rituals and that’s one of mine, even though the Church itself never did much for me and I don’t consider myself a Catholic except by culture.

Chapel st franThe statue of St. Francis was different and fitting.

Bird head in redCan you see the bird?

Stupa topAmitabha Stupa was our next stop, in the interests of ecumenicalism. We circled three times and left an offering. I’d like to go back and will go back on our next trip.

Buddha at stupa longThe Buddha presides over the stupa and all of the red rocks. He has so much presence.

Stupa statueThis is a place to sit a spell and meditate.

Stupa flags bestThe attention to detail made every step an adventure.

Stupa flags diff bestAnd always, a reminder that we were in the high desert.

That’s the prayer wheel. Spinning, spinning, spinning…..

Purple flowers - red earthEvery step we took was on a work of art.

red far niceAnd when we looked up, we couldn’t miss red rocks, ever.

Sedona unusual diff2Closer, the rocks sometimes looked like little cities, little buildings, and some had names to match.

Red oh ohEvery rock was a visual orgasm. Ohhhhh….!

Twisted tree juniperOur guide told us that twisted juniper trees signify the location of powerful vortexes.

Twisted treeA closer look. Ignore the golf course. We did.

Sedona pretty closerBecause this is really what it’s all about.

Mickey earsWalt Disney had a place in Sedona and often brought Disney execs there for inspirational retreats. Some say the idea for Mickey Mouse ears was born here.

bear statueThis sculpture is called Salmon Dreams. The bear was my father’s totem and I never miss an opportunity to photograph one. Or a depiction of one. This was at a shopping place called Tlaquepaque that had galleries, shops, restaurants. We had lunch there but I wasn’t interested in paying Sedona prices for the beautiful jewelry or clothes and I don’t feel like I missed out by declining.

rock ivy water niceOak Creek shows itself everywhere and this ivy is also everywhere. Ahhh…peaceful.

Angel wall hanging SedI fell in love with this piece.

Pretty dressOrchid is the color of the year and this shop reminded us with an adorable dress. You’ve got to love the combination of commerce and religion.

Wildflower BreadWe found a fantastic sandwich and salad place. Five stars.

cakeBut we also ate at L’Auberge de Sedona where I had the best filet mignon I’ve ever had. This was a dessert we shared. It didn’t stay whole long enough for me to get a shot of it intact.

port afireCheese and a 20-year-old port for dessert rounded off dinner another night.  Have I told you how lucky I am to be married to such a cool guy? I probably have, but let me tell you again. I have a very cool husband.


This is the moon, but we saw Mars and so many, many stars and constellations.

And then we went stargazing. Our hotel had an astronomer over to show us the night sky through elaborate telescopes and powerful binoculars. He was very knowledgeable. And super-looney tunes.  It was so much fun!

Spine fossilI have a story about this fossil that I’ll tell another day.

deer tracksFound these at one of the trail parking lots. They’re painted.  Interesting little idea.

Sedona pretty3Are you tired of red rocks yet?

Yellow cliffsNot quite as red.

And did you want to hear what Oak Creek sounds like?

Close your eyes, breathe in….and out….ahhhh…..

So redThat’s it for today. Did you love it? Talk to me.  I did last week’s Sedona gift giveaway already, but I’ll do another today. Here’s how it will work:

Please share on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or other social sites, then leave me a comment letting me know what you did. One entry for every share. I’ll mail you off a cute little something if you win.

13 comments on “Sights, sounds, Sedona
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    I Loved it! My parents have been to Sodona many times and never tired of its beauty. A trip for the future. You had a wonderful day and thank you for sharing it with us.

    • admin says:

      We actually spent 3 days, just to get maximum effect but still get home in time of for some appointments. It was fantastic.

  2. Mell Schoening says:

    This is definitely a “wow” posting! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Corinne Rodrigues says:

    I have heard about Sedona from various mentions in books but didn’t realize it was so rich with sights and sounds. Your pictures are a treat, Carol, I enjoyed journeying with you. Look forward to hearing about the fossil too. 🙂

  4. Gorgeous photos of a very special place . Thank for sharing them Carol!

  5. Wow! What an astounding place. I would love to visit here and participate in all the rituals from around the world.

  6. Linda says:

    As a proud Catholic, I really appreciated this blog and I thank you for sharing. Looks like you had a special experience with your husband on this trip. So awesome!

  7. Claudia Schmidt says:

    So beautiful and awe inspiring. I love that part of the country.

  8. Suzanne Fluhr says:

    We took our sons to Sedona. We stayed in Oak Creek Canyon. No red rocks, but at the time we were there—soft greens and the babbling creek. Soothing.

  9. Hi Carol! I enjoyed your photos and traveling along with you as you visit the sites. It looks like your weather was just perfect and everything about the trip was lovely. And because I’m already a WINNER I will let someone else win this one! ~Kathy

  10. Kathy says:

    It looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Found out I will be about 2 hours away from there when I visit my relatives. I may take a trip to Sedona while I am there.

  11. I am so jealous Carol! Absolutely beautiful pictures.

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