The Red Rock country is a great place for history, geology, archaeology, art and Nature aficionados
Entering Sedona at dusk, one is mesmerised by the translucent glow of the sunset still lingering on the astonishing array of massive red rock monoliths.
Wondrous Sedona, a favourite resort for tourists and Arizonians alike, is 119 miles from Phoenix and is located in Arizona’s high desert under the towering South Western rim of the vast Colorado plateau.
Sedona is blessed with four mild seasons marked by abundant sunshine and clean air. In an idyllic setting, the average annual high and low are 74.7 degree and 45.7 degree Fahrenheit respectively. Strategically situated at the mouth of the splendid Oak Creek Canyon, it is characterised by colossal red rock formation as well as the contrasting riparian areas of Oak Creek Canyon with fresh green patches of pine, juniper and cypress trees and the massive Coconino National Forest.
As one takes a turn on a curving road one is amazed at the sight of innumerable mammoth fire red buttes and mesas which have been appropriately named Courthouse and Bell Rocks, and not far away are Cathedral and Coffeepot Rocks besides several others. And strangely when people think these famous rocks appear very familiar, it is because they have been the backdrop for manifold Western Hollywood movies as well as modern day television commercials.
The city of Sedona, one of Arizona’s premier tourism, recreation, resort, retirement and art centres, was incorporated in 1988.
Historically, it was a rural ranching community located far off the beaten path but as mentioned its unrivalled natural beauty became nationally known through its motion picture industry.
I checked in at the intimate, serene, Heaven’s Ready Guesthouse located in the heart of Sedona’s Red Rock Mountain views.
While sipping the morning cuppa, comfortably seated in the sundeck easy chairs, I heard a rustle in the bushes and spotted a gazelle raising its head before vanishing into the wilderness.
As the sun’s brilliant rays fell on the stupendous russet rock formation, the radiance left me agog! There is a screened porch with therapy spa where one can immerse oneself. Again, one can lounge at leisure in the heavenly flagstone patio and get an eyeful of the sunrise!
There is a hiking trail directly in the outback which I tried out and reached the second most powerful vortex in the area which has 360 degree views to the famous Red Rock formations including Bell Rock and Capital Butte. One can meditate and practice reiki at this vortex to gain inner peace and healing energies.
Heaven’s Ready is located near the centre of town within walking distance to world famous art galleries, gift shops and a fine array of dining.
I had a sumptuous breakfast at Wild Flower Bread Company and dined at a South Western restaurant. This is the paradox and enchantment of Sedona — luxurious resorts, unique shops and restaurants, nestled in an unusually rugged canyon surrounded by a vast national forest. This land that is known as the Red Rock country virtually is a year round playground for everyone — for history, geology, archaeology, art and Nature aficionados.
Shops specialise in exclusive collection of Native American crafts, Navajo rugs, Native American jewellery, pottery and woven baskets. Both the Hopi and Navajo Reservations are just a day’s trip away from Sedona. A few hours away is the Grand Canyon and scintillating Las Vegas.
There are stunning examples of early architecture in the form of ancient Indian ruins situated throughout the Sedona area.
The mystic red glow of Sedona’s phenomenal buttes, spires and pinnacles, the exuberant riparian character of Oak Creek Canyon and the transcendental sublime nature of the surrounding wilderness overwhelmed me.MEERA RAJAGOPAL