Friday, April 1, 2011

Talk of the town

Thursday, March 31, 2011

CORNVILLE, AZ – Today we had a closer look at the town of Sedona. It’s divided more or less in two, the downtown and the uptown, with all the touristy stuff in the upper end, and the larger shopping centres and gas stations in the lower end.

We headed uptown because we wanted to book a jeep tour. They were too full to accommodate us today, but we’re set for a three-hour tour of the amazing red rock formations on Saturday. The jeep tour office was surrounded by little boutiques and shops, so we did some browsing.

One of the signature souvenirs of Sedona is the dirt shirt! Entire stores are full of them, all coloured the same rusty red as the soil and rocks around the town. We caught sight of a video that explained how the shirts are made – and they are actually dyed with soil! They have re-purposed what looked like washing machines into which they place white t-shirts, followed by shovels full of red dirt. You can by other dirt-coloured items; my favourite was the genuine dirt bag. Very handy and you sure don’t have to worry about getting it dirty!

There were a number of jewelry stores with wonderful pieces (bearing wonderful price tags) made from turquoise and silver, or amber, or all-silver designed into animals or abstract shapes. There is a huge artistic community here as well; we saw paintings and sculptures as well as objets d’art everywhere.

Sedona is a known venue for spiritual activities as well. There are psychics, tarot card readers and even services that will help you discover your past lives. On the map of Sedona, we saw several places marked off as a “vortex” — and the explanation was that people found these spots (mostly near unusual rock formations) as particularly energized, providing for some a profound spiritual experience.

You can go to any number of spas here and be massaged or soothed by having warmed rocks placed on your body. And, of course, there are eateries of all kinds, with exotic menus, and luxury hotels that offer all of the above in beautifully appointed rooms overlooking the spectacular scenery!

We actually spoke to a young woman who has lived in Sedona for most of her life and has never explored the formations around the town or ventured the hour or so from town to the Grand Canyon! She says she’s 31 years old and a self-confessed workaholic. We tried to show her the error of her ways!

Back at our campground, we spent a leisurely afternoon and, after dinner, enjoyed the company of Scott and Mary-Jane, another Canadian couple we met here, who have already been to some of the places we’re still headed for, such as the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. It was great exchanging advice and stories of our respective travel adventures! It was a lively conversation that whiled away several very pleasant hours in no time.

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