Unfortunately, once we got to Sedona proper, we found that the tourism trade had taken over the town, ruining the peace that we felt on the drive up. The influx of restaurants, stores and galleries driven by the tourist industry coupled with the tiresome traffic jams left a bad taste in our mouths. It is easy to see why so many people have a love/hate relationship with Sedona because we were immediately drawn to the natural beauty but repulsed by the commercialism. We were excited to check out the work of the local artists and artisans but sadly all we found were shops that specialize in cheap Southwestern gifts that had little to do with art and a lot to do with overpriced and tacky knick knacks.
We couldn’t run away fast enough from Sedona proper and head back to nature! Thankfully, we made plans to camp at Sedona rather than stay at a hotel. We were lucky to have gotten the last spot at Manzanita campsite, a small but clean site with only 18 campsites. Each site has a fire pit, a grill, a picnic table, and room for a tent, all situated along a bubbly creek. We pitched in minutes (as if we’d been doing it for years!) and left our stuff to check out some of the famous Sedona vortexes.
Our first stop was Bell Rock butte, which is called so for its supposed bell shape. We walked around the butte on a path that heads directly to its base. Indeed, there was a powerful sensation of peace and balance in the air that surrounds the butte. Presumably, this is why people call it a balanced vortex (some say it is the synergy of the feminine, the masculine, and the balanced energy). Certainly, there was something remarkably serene about Bell Rock. We stopped at Cathedral Rock butte next, and we concurred that it looked like a church surrounded by towering spires made of red earth. This vortex is made up of the feminine energy. It was beautiful for sure, but the air here didn’t seem as magical as it was at Bell Rock.
As it was getting late, we decided to head back to our camp site for some dinner and s’mores. The kind campsite host taught us how to light a campfire using pine cones as kindling, and we were able to eat dinner under the stars in the warmth of a fire. It was so fun making s’mores over a campfire, just like in the movies. We spent the rest of the night huddled around the fire, looking up at the stars, loving the peacefulness of our immediate surroundings and the expansiveness of the heavens.
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That pretty much ended our trip to Sedona – we thought about doing another hike, but when it came down to it, we decided that we’d rather spend the rest of the day lying in the sun. On the drive back to Lake Havasu, we all decided that with a little training and a lot of friends we could one day climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Who’s with us?