roadtrip

Sedona Dreamin'

A LOVE AFFAIR WITH RED ROCKS: SEDONA

 

Bell Rock

Bell Rock is a magnificent place and a must see in Sedona for undeniably gorgeous views. It’s one of those places that leaves you silent while looking out at the vast red rock mountains accompanied with colors of dark green and turquoise.

“Yah, I could live here,” I think to myself. As I also wonder in my head how many times I’ve told myself that throughout my travels. I really could be happy anywhere.

We hike up from the parking lot and talk to a park ranger about how far we can climb Bell Rock.

“Well, you could make it all the way to the top with some climbing gear. But the last people that did that we had to come up to rescue.”

This trail is approximately 0.75 miles long and ascends the northern face of Bell Rock.  The trail is well marked as it leaves the Bell Rock Pathway (which is a longer 3.6 mile trail with views of bell rock, courthouse butte and other landmarks.)

We ended up hiking to a path on the left (we were told there was really no wrong way to hike it) and went around the whole circumference of bell rock, arrived at the front and center and then made our way up, to about half way. It's A fairly easy hike (Moderate in some areas the route we took).

Normally there is a “red rock pass” daily fee of $5 to leave your car parked in the lot, but because it was MLK Day, the park was open for free to visitors.

Directions: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179 in Sedona, take 179 south 3.6 miles to a paved turnout and trailhead parking on the left (east) at milepost 309.8, .2 miles south of the entrance to the United Methodist Church for the northern trailhead. For the southern trailhead, from the South Gateway Visitor Center, go 1 mile north to Bell Rock parking area on your right.

 

Cathedral Rock

 

Located in Coconino National Forest, Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed areas in Arizona.  The natural beauty of Cathedral Rock has been drawing spiritual visors for decades and is considered one of the strongest Vortexes in Sedona.

It is more of a rock climb than a hike. It is short, .7 miles, but strenuous and quickly rises 608 feed in elevation.  The climb has great views all along with spires rising majestically from the sandstone base, but the most spectacular are from the top.

Directions to Cathedral Rock: Located just south of Sedona, take Highway 179 south from the 89A/179 split. Travel 3.4 miles and on the first roundabout, make a right on Back O'Beyond Road. Travel 0.6 miles to the parking lot on your left. The trail head is at the south end of the parking lot.

 

Airport Mesa Sunset

What a magnificent area to watch the sunset.

*Note: do not leave once you see the sun set behind the mountains. Most of the magic happens about 30 minutes - 1 hour after you can no longer see the sun, casting an array of hot pinks, oranges and yellows throughout the sky and surrounding mountains.

Be sure to check out the mountains as you watch the sunset, because some pretty magical light is casted for great photo opportunities.

Airport Mesa is named for its location next to the small Sedona airport.

Getting There: Drive West out of Sedona on the Arizona Highway 89A and turn left onto airport road.

Go straight up the road to the top (before you reach the airport), where you will see a flat area to your right (there will be people there already) and a parking area to your left. Just park and walk over!

Adobe Village Inn- 

I was greeted at the door with a smile and beaming eyes of a tall man, Steve,  that said, “You must be Danielle.” 

There’s something that I love about the charm and hospitality of a bed and breakfast.

Adobe Village Inn, a 7 bedroom house, is situated about 1 mile from the famous Bell Rock, and has a view that makes you want to stay forever.

Each room is uniquely decorated and has either a seasonal gas or wood burning fireplace. Also downstairs is a large community area with dining area, fireplaces and comfortable couches to relax in.

We were led to “The Tumbleweed”, a southwest rustic charm room, with a fireplace, homemade cookies from Cheryl,  the owner, and a bed that made me feel like I fell into the clouds of heaven.

In the morning a 3 course breakfast was served. My morning menu had:

Waldorf salad, cinnamon streusel muffins, southwest veggie frittata with salsa verde and turkey sausage.

YUM.

We had more than a positive experience staying here, and would definitely recommend it to those traveling to Sedona.


Oak Creek Canyon Roadtrippin'

OAK CREEK CANYON FROM FLAGSTAFF TO SEDONA:

If you are driving from Flagstaff to Sedona, or Vice Versa, make sure you take the Oak Creek Canyon route. Recognized as one of the Top 5 Most Scenic Drives in America, by Rand McNally, it is a winding road of breathtaking beauty. Initially you’ll snake quickly down switchbacks into the canyon that hug the edges of cliffs and then eventually opens into oaks with evergreen pines with a backgrop of red-faced cliffss. The drive is about 14 miles, and is a picture perfect landscape the whole route.

 

Chapel of the Holy Dove

One of the benefits of renting a car and not being on a time limit is the ability to stop and enjoy random sites along the way. The Chapel of the Holy Dove was definitely one of these moments.

We passed the TINY chapel, and thinking it may have been a figment of my imagination, I had to turn around to make sure my eyes were seeing correctly.

The entrance to the chapel (whcih looked like an outhouse) was no taller than I was, and is open year round for visitors or worshipers to enter. The entire back wall of the chapel is glass, providing a stunning view of the San Francisco Peaks.

The chapel leaves free CDs of sermons in different languages that visiors can take. The visitors journal is not the only thing that interntional travels leave their mark on. The walls and benches of the chapel are filled with felt-tip pen signitures, prayers and town representations.

History of the Chapel of the Holy Dove


The Chapel of the Holy Dove sits on a parcel of land originally part of a small ranch purchased by Watson M. Lacy, MD in 1960. He was the only physician at the Grand Canyon Hospital which he operated with his wife, Ruth. They came to this area for respite from the demands of the medical practice at the Canyon. The beauty of the Peaks affirmed the goodness and majesty of God. They wanted to give travelers the opportunity to share it. In the summer of 1961, with the help of his sons and some hired hands, the 41 year-0ld Lacy, with no experience as a builder, used explosives to create holes in the rock beneath the Chapel to secure and position the large Ponderosa Pine logs which comprised the original A-shaped structure framing the San Francisco Peaks. Local volcanic rock and petrified wood was used to build the supporting stone walls. This was a project for intermittent days off from his practice at the canyon. The Chapel was completed in 1962. Dr. Lacy died October 1991. The ranch property was sold but the parcel on which the chapel stands remains in the trust of his widow.

On March 8, 1999, the Chapel was destroyed by a transient's campfire but the stone walls remained. Shortly thereafter, 18 year-old NAU student, Christen McCracken obtained permission from Mrs. Lacy to raise funds to rebuild the structure. Since the Chapel had become a popular landmark, the local public supported the project. Many materials were donated by Flagstaff merchants. Volunteers supervised by Flagstaff resident Ricky Roberts, completed the current Chapel, similar to the original, in April 2000.

The Chapel is open to All. Four of Dr. Lacy's six children, the daughter of an Arizona governor and Christen McCracken were married here, besides many others. The chapel of the Holy Dove was named to acknowledge the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, described in Matthew 3:16 as descending "like a dove" above Jesus in commissioning His earthly ministry as God, Incarnate.

The building was dedicated in memory of Dr. Lacy's brother, George, and nephew, Randy Lacy, who drowned in a boating accident in California in 1957. The original memorial plaque read: "In Memory of George and Randy Lacy whose great love in life and great courage in death made known the Glory of God." Lacy's profound grief resulting from the loss propelled great soul searching which led to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Once an agnostic, he discovered "...the Way, the Truth and the Life" was to be found only in Jesus, who said of sacrificial love in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

It is our prayer that all who visit the Chapel of the Holy Dove would experience God's love and power.

 

Directions: 18 miles north of Flagstaff on Highway 180, near milepost 236

 

Trading Post by Dairy Queen:

Just a few miles before you enter Sedona, there's a Dairy Queen, at  4551 hwy 89 A, that has a setup of about 10 Native American vendors that sell fair priced and good quality souvenirs. You can find sterling silver jewelry,  hopi and navajo pottery and turquoise pendants among other souvenirs. It won’t be fine jewelery like items sold at Garlands but the the jewellery is authentic and the prices reasonable.



Grand Canyon Getaway

 

There’s a distinct charm of visiting the grand canyon during the winter time.

People walk around bundled up as if you are in a ski town, but instead of lugging around skis and snowboards, tourists have walking sticks and a camera slung around the neck.

We chose lodging at the Bright Angel Lodge, mainly because it is one of six lodges that offer accommodations right at the rim of the Grand Canyon. The lodge is located on the South Rim, which is open year round, and is also the most visited location at the Grand Canyon National Park. You can pick up the hiking trail right outside the lodge that goes for 22 miles.

Bright Angel Lodge has natural rustic character, and our private cabin was steps away from the South Rim,  with breathtaking panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. The main lodge is a cozy log building, with Navajo designed doors painted in yellow, red, turquoise and powder blue. There is a beautiful stone fireplace in the “lobby” with an 8 foot thunderbird hung above with feathers that hang down from it’s mighty wings.

The lodge also features a gift shop, two restaurants, a lounge and an ice cream fountain.

Good to know: Entrance fee’s to Grand Canyon National Park is $25 per vehicle, and the park entrance pass is good for 7 days.

Recommendations: Go to the Grand Canyon in the winter. It’s a lot colder, yes, but there are a lot less people to deal with compared to summer crowds. Just be sure to bundle up!

 

Day trip from Grand Canyon:

From the Grand Canyon we took a day trip to Page, leaving early in the morning to make it to an 11 a.m. tour of Antelope Canyon, and returning back to the Grand Canyon after sunset. I HIGHLY recommend doing the activities of Page in a day, which CAN be done, as there is not much in Page besides the three main highlights: Antelope Canyon, Antelope Canyon River Tour, and Horseshoe Bend.