|The Bell rock formation, Sedona.|
I'll sneak the 'Getting There' blog in second or third having, hopefully, lured you in with the sheer beauty of the place.
VisitSedona.com waxes lyrical about the area in a way that will make the average undemonstrative Brit (my husband) reach for the vomit bucket. It says, 'Sedona exists at an impossible intersection of soul-nourishing wilderness and pampered luxury … start with scenery that makes your heart leap. Sedona nestles among a geological wonderland. Multi-hued formations jut upwards from the high desert floor, creating a vivid, mesmerising setting that changes hourly with the light.'
The annoying thing is that (apart from the pampered luxury bit, which depends entirely where you are staying) they are right. It's bloody beautiful to say the least and despite being deluged with New-Age-Atlantean-Ascended-Masters-wanky-bollocks about healing energy vortexes — they don't call them vortices for some reason — it has got amazing, genuine healing vortexes. I'm not what you'd call especially psychically sensitive but I can spot a powerful place when one hits me, especially if it stops me in my tracks when I'm least expecting it.
The wonderful orange tors are coloured by hematite (iron oxide) — or in my husband's terminology 'rust.'
Yep, that's it. Sedona is rusty. That's what makes it beautiful.
It's at the base of what's called the Mogollom Rim, an escarpment running through the middle of Arizona. There are three types of rock: sandstone, basalt and limestone and the tors are formed as the softer sandstone erodes away. There are hundreds of walks where your eyes will just gorge themselves on geological gloriousness and it truly is worth taking each morning morning and afternoon just for the changes in the colours.
A friend on Facebook commented that she'd been to Sedona before it became a tourist trap, implying that it was better then. Well, the town itself may indeed be one of those and it's certainly got more than its share of therapy centres, shops loaded with dream-catchers, crystals, more-or-less genuine Indian jewellery and more gluten-free cafes that you could shake a smudge stick at … and its teeming with long-haired folk wearing purple embroidered clothes with too many buttons but, frankly, I'd say the whole area is absolutely brilliant. I'll tell you about the fudge shop later.