After a couple of back to back travel days, we were ready to just kick back and relax at our park today. Then, Sandie and Jim called and invited us to go for a ride with them to see some of the sights. We just couldn't turn them down! And, we're so glad we didn't.
After a quick tour of the campgrounds at Dead Horse State Park (which we highly recommend and will choose the next time we pass this way) and a stop at Tuzigoot National Monument (more on that in another post), we headed for Sedona.
The only other time we've been to Sedona was a day trip we made years ago from Phoenix. On that day, the town was enshrouded in low-hanging clouds and we didn't get a peek at the red rocks we'd heard so much about. Today's weather featured off-and-on showers and lots of clouds. We worried that our Sedona curse had stayed with us. But, as we approached the town, the brilliant red rock canyons came into view in the distance. Today would be our day to finally, actually see Sedona.
Besides being a stunningly beautiful area, Sedona is considered by many as a "vortex site". Cathedral Rock is one of several vortexes in the area, and is said to possess extremely powerful energy. Whatever the case, we can attest that is beautiful.
The towering sandstone towers surrounding Sedona get there signature red color from iron. Over millions of years, as water containing dissolved iron has passed through the sandstone, some of the iron has been left behind. The remaining iron oxide has coated the grains of quarts and given it color.
A highlight of our Sedona tour was a stop at the majestic Chapel of the Holy Cross. Built in 1956, this striking structure was designed by Margeurite Brunswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is lovingly maintained today by St. John Vianney parish. The centerpiece of the chapel is its 90-foot cross that rises between the rocks.
The chapel is located in a "complex vortex" area, which may explain why so many are drawn to step inside for some time in quiet prayer or meditation. Or, it could be the magnificent view through the windows. Whatever the source, it's a very spiritual place.
The chapel is surrounded by towering red cliffs. If you look closely in the center near the top of this photo you'll see an addition to this vortex area that's easy to miss.
We wrapped up our scenic tour with a drive along narrow, winding and sometimes pavement-free Red Rock Loop Road. Simply magnificent!
We're so grateful to Jim and Sandie for getting us off our duffs and to the rocks on this gorgeous day. Thanks, you two!