Michal and I arrived back on the East Coast this morning after spending the last week in sunny Arizona. My dad and step-mom moved to Phoenix eighteen years ago. While it sucks having family so far away, visiting Phoenix after an incredibly long upstate New York winter felt like paradise!
Since I have been visiting Phoenix at least once a year for more than half of my existence, I spend the majority of my time there soaking up the sunshine and taking advantage of every second I get to spend with my “old man”. In the spring, we always take in an ASU baseball game and I make sure to catch at least a few brilliant desert sunsets.
On Wednesday, Michal and I drove about an hour and a half North to Sedona. We visited Sedona for a few hours on our way back from the Grand Canyon Several years ago. We vowed to go back and hike the beautiful red sandstone rocks.
We started off our day by walking to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This chapel is built right into the sandstone. Rumor has is that several energy vortices exist in Sedona. Some people say that this chapel is located close to one of these.
While I do not have a strong opinion about the vortices, I did feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calm while sitting in the sanctuary of the chapel. Maybe the energy of the vortex was flowing in the chapel or perhaps I was overwhelmed with the stunning views.
After we left the chapel, we decided to hike to Devil’s Bridge which is the largest sandstone arch in the Sedona area. Since we did not have an off-road vehicle we had to hike to the initial trail head. Hiking through the desert in April is hot!
The trail was poorly marked and it felt like we had hiked forever. Eventually we finally ran into someone. As luck would have it, he was a forest ranger who takes people on guided hikes in Sedona. He shared with us that Sedona has been known as a spiritual place for hundreds of years. He said that Native Americans never actually lived in Sedona, but they traveled there for spiritual healing. If you need to go someplace to heal spiritually, Sedona is a beautiful place.
Thanks to assistance from the forest ranger we finally made our way to the Devil’s Bridge. The trail included some steep rock climbing. As someone who is afraid of heights, this was quite the mental battle, but the experience was worth it. Standing on the arch and viewing the vast landscape of sandstone was humbling. It reminded me of how small and insignificant we are in this world.
After we spent time at the top of the arch, we hiked down to the bottom. I was glad we went to the top first. Had we not, I cannot guarantee I would have gone out on the arch.
After hiking several hours in the relentless desert sun, we were exhausted. However since we only had one day in Sedona, we decided to take the advice of the forest ranger we met and explore Crescent Moon Ranch. Crescent Moon Ranch sits on another one of Sedona’s vortices.
My favorite part of this park was sitting on the sandstones by the creek. The afternoon sunshine warmed our faces and the sounds of flowing water were the perfect respite after a long day. Being from New York, it also felt amazing to be in shorts, a tank top and thigh deep in water in the beginning of April.
Our day in Sedona ended by catching the last moments of the sunset reflecting off the gorgeous red rocks. Sedona is one of the places that I could easily visit over and over again. The beauty of Sedona never ceases to amaze me.