Ah, Sedona. The very name conjures up the warmth of Arizona, visions of grand colorful mountain vistas, and mid-winter breaks for snowbound travelers. It often gets listed on an Arizona vacation checklist, alongside the Sonoran Desert, Grand Canyon, and Painted Desert.
We’ve been here before, almost exactly two years ago. And really didn’t enjoy it due to it being Spring Break which flooded the city with traffic and people.
It was also free National Park Day which flooded the local National Parks and Monuments with spring breakers looking for financial and social relief.
We had some time before MsBoyink’s final post-op checkup in the Phoenix area, and also had just purchased a Thousand Trails zone pass which included a park in nearby Cottonwood. Once we bought the pass the first 30 nights of camping were included, so our stay would already be covered.
Add that to the chance to re-visit with some new friends and it was an easy to choice to come up this way.
I was anxious to “redeem” Sedona, visiting it again during a hopefully less-busy time and enjoying its natural beauty without the hordes of people getting in the way. Some nasty windy & cold days intervened, but we were able to extend our stay longer to get back into some nice weather.
Finally a day promising to be sunny and in the 60’s came along so armed with a day-hike book kindly gifted to us by the Keiters we drove into Sedona for another visit.
I really didn’t want to drive through the town of Sedona again.
I knew seeing the plethora of Jeep tours, Helicopter tours, t-shirt shops, New-Age peddlers and restaurants would immediately make me want to stab my eyes with sharp objects.
So I intentionally chose a hike that was more on the outskirts of town and managed to save us from having another eye surgery bill.
What I didn’t know is that I had unwittingly chose the site of one of Sedona’s so-called “Energy Vortexes”. What’s an energy vortex? Here’s one definition and here’s an article on How Sedona became vortex capital of the world.
For me the only vortexes in Sedona are the ones that suck the money from tourist wallets and the ones sucking the gas out of your tank while you sit in traffic…but I digress.
Boynton Canyon Hike
Our hike this day was in Boynton Canyon where the book we had specified a 1.75 mile each way hike. When we got there the sign said 3 miles each way - which is a bit long for us based on our current conditioning (lame, I know but we’re working on it).
We struck out anyway, enjoyed the little vista offshoot, even though the fun part of the trail around the spire was kind of being “owned” by a guy meditating (this being the site of the so-called Vortex that we didn’t know about).
We pressed on up the longer trail, but after a walk along side a seemingly endless fence to a high-end resort we lost interest and turned around.
We’ve become convinced at this point that the Sedona experience is one of trying to find photography angles that block out housing and developments, waiting for parking spots, and dodging other hikers and bikers on the trails.
Should Have Been Protected
A commenter (on a blog that I quickly lost the URL) of said it best:
Sedona is what happens when a place that should have been protected wasn’t.
It’s true. Imagine any of the significant National Parks without the protected status of being a National Park. Time shares, high-end homes, Jeep tours, helicopter tours, and restaurants would quickly populate the area, greatly affecting the experience of visiting the natural wonder that started it all to begin with.
Not that we were in a bad mood. It was a beautiful day and we had a good family time.
It just wasn’t that awe-inspiring quiet nature time we had hoped for. We drove back “home” and decided that we had enough time here we could try again once more before having to leave the area.