We took the advice of friends and approached Sedona from Prescott traveling East over the pass by Mingus Mountain then down through Jerome into the Verde Valley. We stayed for a few days at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood and made day trips to Sedona.

Jerome

Jerome looking back from the East

The Route 89A Pass over the mountains and down to Jerome (altitude over 5,000 feet) was one of the most beautiful rides we have taken, ending up with great views over the Verde Valley towards Sedona. Jerome is an old mining town, ghost town, now turned into a tourist trap nestled half way up the mountain. It’s not the most beautiful of towns but the location is amazing and the town has a lot of history to learn about. Copper was discovered and the first claim made in 1876. Copper was mined from 1883 until 1953. Jerome’s population rose to boom-town numbers of over 15,000 but dropped with copper prices to a low of 50 in the 1920s. It has made a come-back as an artists and tourist town with many of the buildings preserved.

We visited a ‘Ghost Town’ which turned out to be more of a junkyard but provided some fun photo opportunities of some classic rusting vehicles. We particularly liked the ‘Arizona Power Company’ motor generator (see movie below).

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Cottonwood

We picked Dead Horse Ranch State Park at Cottonwood as a good base to tour the area surrounding Sedona. The park has a number of small lakes which have attracted waterfowl, very noisy in the evening (hear audio below). We visited the ‘Blazin M Ranch’ for a chuckwagon dinner and western show (music was very well done) and happened on a street fair in Cottonwood with some classic cars. Cheryl enjoyed looking around the extensive collection of  ‘recycled garden art’ at the store pictured above.

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 More About Sedona, below.
Sedona

pb171699-panoAnd now for the rocks . . . Sedona is famous for the many pink and red rock formations surrounding it. It is an area of great natural beauty and there are records of human habitation back to 10,000 BC. The area was inhabited by the Yavapai and Apache tribes from 1400 AD until they were forcibly removed in 1876 to the San Carlos Reservation by Anglo-American settlers. Many of the 1500 tribe members lost their lives during the mid-winter forced march. The area was considered to have great spiritual significance by these early dwellers.

The development of modern Sedona as a tourist and recreation center didn’t begin until the 1950s. The town of Sedona adds little to the natural beauty to the area, no identifiable town center, many tourist shops selling crystals and incense, little character. However the overwhelming scenery of the area dominates and we loved driving around the surrounding area, taking many pictures. We couldn’t help wondering what the area would be like if it had been turned into a National Park.

We couldn’t discuss Sedona without mentioning Sedona’s Vortex. ‘New Age’ proponents believe that a Vortex is “A special spot on the earth where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of the earth’s plane.” Sedona boasts many vortices (or vortexes as the tourist industry calls them). We visited a few around the area and, while moved by the natural beauty, didn’t feel any “energy surging into or out of our bodies”. We have failed to discover when and where this concept arose but there is no doubt that the tourist industry leapt upon the concept, developed it, and is making a lot of money out of it. Glastonbury in England is another area benefiting from this idea. Here are a couple of interesting articles about the phenomenon.

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Arizona Power Company ‘Music’


  • Sedona, AZ

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    Jerome, Cottonwood, and Sedona, Arizona

  • 3 Comments on “Sedona Rocks

    1. Voyage dans le temps! Vous êtes dans un western!
      From Cheryl: Dearest Michèle: We ARE in a western, movie, book, and fantasy land. Thanks for your sweet comment. Lots of bissous. Cheryl and Colin

    2. Love all the old vehicles. Would love to visit there one day with the girls. As always, I love following your adventures and have shared them with friends, family, and co-workers. Thank you for allowing all of us to travel with you. What a great adventure!
      From Cheryl: We LOVE that you are sharing these stories. We’re so happy to know you are traveling with us, in spite of the fact that you are in Crownsville. We hope all is well with you and the gang. Love to you and the girls. C&C

    3. A bit behind on the blog. Some memorable moments from trips past to Sedona: 1) Hot air balloon ride; 2) Off road rental car tour!; 3) Off road jeep tour (got much further than the rental car!); Getting pictures of our aura taken; 4) Did one hike where Susan was freaking out on the side of a rocky slope. Upon returning to our wonderful B&B and recounting the hike, the owners exclaimed: “Oh you should try hiking to a female vortex instead of a male vortex. The female vortex was a lush tree lined valley compared to a bare rocky slope.
      From Cheryl: Wow, aren’t you brave to get into a hot air balloon and ride off road. Some of those slopes are more fun than an “E” ticket at Disneyland. Do you know that reference? But I’m glad I wasn’t with you. Perhaps Colin feels differently, we’ll have to discuss it! Who knew there was a female and male vortex? No wonder Susan was scared, she was in the wrong vortex! And having your aura read? So what did you find out that you hadn’t known about? Anyway, great memories were made and fun was had, so it really doesn’t matter, does it??? Thanks for sharing your Sedona memories with us, what a hoot.

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