June 18, 2012

Trip Start Apr 28, 2012
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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, June 18, 2012

This morning we awoke to a beautiful day and our plan was to visit the city of Sedona, everyone raves about Sedona so we had to see for ourselves. Our first stop was at the visitor's center where we just happened to be helped by a volunteer who was from Vero Beach FL.; he was very helpful giving us a lot of information.  Our excursion through Sedona started with a drive north on U.S. highway 89A, a picturesque drive through Oak Creek Canyon, with amazing views of the red rock cliffs and the Ponderosa Pine forest.  After passing through the Oak Creek Canyon and climbing the mountain we came to an overlook with a view of the valley that took your breath away.  What made this overlook even more different was that there were several local Indians selling their crafts to the public.  Descending the mountain we stopped for lunch at "Bootleggers Picnic Area" and a short hike to the mountain stream nearby; continuing on we stopped at several scenic overlooks, taking advantage of the opportunity to view the beautiful red rock cliffs.  Our next objective was the “Chapel of the Holly Cross” a small Catholic chapel built on the top of a red rock bluff in a way that the structure blends into the rock and the “cross” is used for both a structural and visual feature.  From the walkway to the chapel you have a 360 degree view of the red rock mountains in all of their fantastic formations.  These mountains, the cliffs, and the stand alone formations of red rock are awesome and beautiful in their own way.  We then headed to a parking area for a hike to view the rock formation called “Cathedral Rock”, but to reach it we had to drive down a very rough unpaved road.  From the parking lot we took a hike through the desert and down to “Oak Creek”, passing through an area of reddish brown sand, a hike of about 3 miles.  At the creek we found several families swimming in the creek; apparently they reached the creek from a different and much easier access. Returning to the highway we passed by “Cathedral Rock”, Castle Rock”, “Bell Rock” and “Courthouse Bluff” several of the named red rock formations.  After spending many hours out in the heat of the day, in excess of 100 degrees today, we headed for “Tlaquepaque”, an arts and crafts village, where we walked around but didn’t buy anything.  We then returned to the camper for a swim in the pool and a glass of wine.  The city of Sedona is an interesting city, geared to the tourist; and they have eliminated many stop signs and traffic lights along the major road through the city, replacing them with “roundabouts”, apparently in an attempt to keep traffic moving.  I do not know what the official temperature was today but this afternoon the truck dashboard reading of the outside temperature read 102 degrees.

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