Lilypie - First Birthday

Sunday, September 06, 2009

[Sedona] Red Rock Country

Week 3
Day 15 (Dec 4th, Thursday)
Day trip to Sedona

Due to Thanksgiving weekend, we hadn't done any travelling but instead stayed put in Chandler for the holiday sales. Dad was bored with all that shopping and wanted to get out of the house, so we made a day trip to Sedona, a two-hour drive from Chandler, for some sightseeing and picnicking.

Most of the time, the highway scenery in the US is pretty boring especially in the southwest, with the stark, dreary landscape composed mainly of stony hills and stunted vegetation. This drive was no different, except in Arizona we got to see miles and miles of huge, tall cactus, also known as saguaro. And occasionally some very odd highway signs would catch my eye, names of places like Dead Horse Ranch and Bloody Basin Road. So morbid. =_='''

We were amazed when our GPS led us into a turn into Sedona, and all of a sudden we saw these gigantic beautiful red rock mountains just before our eyes.

Red rock country - stunning ruby red array of sandstone formations lined with age

Sedona is off the usual tour map so if you take the usual West Coast tour they don't bring you here. The most famous person in Sedona is Senator John McCain who stays here. He was the Republican candidate vs. Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections. Sedona is most famous for its natural beauty - the Red Rocks - which come in many forms, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Coffee Pot, Grand Piano, Devil's Kitchen and also one which looks like Snoopy lying on top of his doghouse. It is also a popular spot for New Age believers to meditate because it is one of the five 'energy vortexes' of the world. Totally no idea what that is though.

Our first stop was to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a very special church built into the rock itself.

Interior of the church. We spent some time here in this beautiful and peaceful sanctuary, and just let the overwhelming calmness sweep over me as I sat in the church pews. The church is built on top of an energy vortex, would that explain the extraordinary calmness I felt? We also went down some steps to the basement of the church where there was a little souvenir shop. I didn't buy anything there, everything was so expensive. The cheapest cross I could find was made out of withered saguaro... very unique.

It was indeed a sacred place. Just right outside the church we saw this scenery of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms (middle short) and I didn't realise this until much later... but Leo's mom said that the right two looks like the Chinese Gods of Longevity! (福禄寿) Unbelievable!

After that our stomachs were growling so we headed off to Oak Creek for a picnic, as suggested by Leo. He didn't follow this time cos he had to work. He was such a darling to key in all the maps into the GPS. However I couldn't really find the creek that he mentioned so we stopped for directions at Orchard Inn Sedona, and the receptionist was so kind to lead us down to the hotel's creek area and told us we could go there for our picnic!

When we reached the picnic spot, my heart almost skipped a beat. It was like a scene out of a painting!

By the creek. It was autumn and the trees had just changed color to yellow, brown and a darker shade of red. The beautiful blue sky, falling autumn leaves and sparkling creek... it was the most picture perfect moment. So Autumn in my Heart.

One of the hotel chalet buildings

And the creek's waters were sparkling, glistening in the glowing midday sun. It was exactly how I pictured those creeks which I read from storybooks. It didn't disappoint.

So many Mandarin ducks swimming in pairs... *lovey-dovey*... I find the drakes especially smart with the dark green color and white band around their collar.

Mom cooked fried rice... we hadn't had a picnic like this since we grew up...

Hotel chalets... complete with blocks of firewood.

Sea of autumn colors

Went back up to the hotel lobby. There was a plot of grass here where we lay and took photos with the amazing backdrop. And the red rock behind me seriously looks like a protuding dick... hahah.

Afterwards we continued our journey to Airport Road where we had a more elevated view of the whole area. The elevation of Sedona itself is 4500 miles above sea level.

Mom and I with a blue berry bush behind us.

View from Airport Road.

The heat and dryness of US desert weather made it almost impossible for us to continue any longer. After a while our excitement wore off and we decided that the red rocks all looked the same to us. :-P Passing this last mesa (flat top mountain) as we drove back, my brother and mom were too tired and bored to even get out of the car so just my dad and I got down and took pictures of each other... haha.

On to Montezuma Castle, next.

5 comments:

josze said...

ah i've been to chandler twice but didn't manage to go sedona. wasted. haha yah lor only in US hor the parents would cook food and bring out picnic. so nice right! never get to do that in malaysia.

Adelene said...

The place is so serene and beautiful! The mandarin ducks look really cute too!

khengsiong said...

Sedona is the Mecca of New Age movement, right?

Xweing said...

josze: there's a nice place near lakeview towers relau by the lake which is also suitable for a romantic picnic for two. ^__^

adelene: i love the ducks!!

khengsiong: thanks for dropping by. seemingly so, but i didn't really take note of the new age thing there. too deep. the only new age stuff i know of is enya and yoga. :P

Elizabeth (aka Ellie Teacha!) said...

I went to school at ASU in Tempe and went to Sedona all the time! You have gotten to travel so much, you are a lucky girl! Glad you enjoyed the beautiful state of Arizona :)