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Yearn to climb atop some huge red rocks? Need a bit of psychic guidance or attunement of your aura? Looking to spark your creative instincts? Artists, nature lovers and those with a metaphysical bent flock to Sedona, Arizona, for inspiration and a recharge of the spirit.

This modest community in northern Arizona is dwarfed by magnificent red rock formations that surround the town with names like Cathedral, Bell, Coffeepot and Thunder Mountain. One is even renowned for its resemblance to Snoopy.

Take a red rock jeep tour where you‘re escorted in 4-wheel drive vehicles that literally drive onto the huge rocks for an up-close view of buttes and monoliths. I was astounded when my driver urged us to “Hang on!” as he maneuvered our vehicle onto a boulder. It was a tad hair-raising, but the payoff was well worth it – some of the finest natural scenery in the western United States.

Locals claim that various points around Sedona are vortexes that attract psychic energy or power from the earth. I can't verify this, but judging by the number of psychics and aura readers that populate Sedona, there seem to be many believers.

The surrealist painter Max Ernst came to Sedona in 1950, and the beauty of the rocks has attracted artists and those seeking creative inspiration ever since. A local artist community thrives and there are many art galleries and shops. The Chapel of the Holy Cross to the south of town seemingly rises out of the red rocks. It was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student in collaboration with Wright’s son, Lloyd.

Sedona is a mecca for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, as the forests surrounding town provide a multitude of trails. At an elevation of 4,326 ft, Sedona enjoys a more moderate climate than the southern part of the state, so one does not have to be quite as wary about heat waves.

The Oak Creek Canyon area to the north of Sedona is particularly spectacular. You can also take a day trip, as I did, to the Grand Canyon. A week or weekend spent in Sedona is one that you will treasure.

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antigeekess Nov. 1, 2009 @ 9:55 p.m.

I don't think there's a lovelier place on the planet to watch a sunset than the top of Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona, AZ. It is not to be missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv9NZutPjMw&NR=1

Amazingly, I drove a 200SX up there in '96. Just 2 years later, it was difficult in a Geo Tracker, which had much higher clearance and 4-wheel drive.

I recommend a Jeep.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 2, 2009 @ 1:54 p.m.

I don't think there's a lovelier place on the planet to watch a sunset than the top of Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona, AZ. It is not to be missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv9NZutPj...

By antigeekess

Please, who wants to see a bunch of rocks??????

Sunset at Mission Beach is, by far, the best palce to ever cathc a sunset.

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:17 p.m.

I used to live at Mission Beach. Watched that sunset almost every evening.

Like I said, nowhere more beautiful than Sedona. From someone who's seen both, more than once.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:22 p.m.

Off topic... but did you guys see the moon this morning?!

I was driving to work at 5:30 AM or so and the moon was low on the horizon & huge! It looked amazing over downtown driving west on the 94.

  • Joe
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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:44 p.m.

No, but I was driving south yesterday when it came up around sunset. Massive moon in the east, sunset in the west at the same time. That's always cool.

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:53 p.m.

re: #4: Joe, I went outside at around 5:15am--the last two early morns, predawn, the moon has been hanging low, round and golden in the Western sky. Just like one of those beautiful harvest moons. I'm glad to hear someone else saw and enjoyed it, too!

Btw, does anyone else notice that the expression of the man-in-the-moon face looks a little constipated lately? :)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:54 p.m.

... windows down, stereo blasting. singing my ass off.

perfect.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:02 p.m.

Btw, does anyone else notice that the expression of the man-in-the-moon face looks a little constipated lately? :)

By SDaniels

Err...no, but I did see a big mouse eating his cheese snacks happily.

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:14 p.m.

"Err...no, but I did see a big mouse eating his cheese snacks happily."

SurfPup, you see a mouse face in the moon?

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

AG... roadtrip?

Those are amazing pix. - Joe

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

re: #9: Thanks for those amazing pics. Are the colors really that intense, or are they touched up? I know the rock has to be that richly red...

My kingdom for a teleporter! Right into Joe's sweet Chevy, windows down, blasting something Sedona-appropriate :)

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

Oh, and AG: is the "interesting" thing you mention the energy vortices, AG? People have told me they feel 'different' walking around up there...

http://itotd.com/articles/313/sedonas-energy-vortexes/

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:27 p.m.

I knew somebody was going to ask about those colors. Those are the real deal, folks. It's pretty unbelievable. Reflection off the red rocks has a lot to do with it.

The colors of the rocks themselves appear to change as the sun descends. The lower it gets, the more intense the red rocks become.

Haven't been there since '98, Joe. If I go again, I'll have to go via a pricey Pink Jeep Tour (at least you're with other people, and know you'll make it back okay):

http://www.pinkjeep.com/jeep-tours/sedona/scenic-rim.shtml

...or rent a Jeep. My current vehicle wouldn't do it, I don't think. Not any more. Like I said, I felt the road was worse in '98 than it was in '96. No telling what condition it's in, in any given year.

Sedona's incredible, though. My FAVORITE little Arizona town is Prescott, right down the road. Right on the Mongollon Rim, at a perfect 5200 feet. Seasons, but temperate.

http://www.visit-prescott.com/general/about-prescott.html

Californians pretty much bought Prescott in the 90s, though. Turned all the old Victorians into B&Bs.

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:33 p.m.

Re #13:

Yes ma'am, that would be exactly it.

Believe it, or not. :)

That's part of what makes it so special up there, too. First, you've got this gobsmacking, unearthly beauty to contend with, perfect quiet and the purest air imaginable.

Then, take off your shoes. You can feel the energy below your feet in the cool sand. Like some sort of electrical charge, with a hint of vibration.

It's somethin' else.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:34 p.m.

Tom Waits.

The Dynotones.

Nouvelle Vague.

Tikiyaki Orchestra.

The Pogues.

Duke Ellington.

.... what else?

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 3:44 p.m.

Aw Joe, driving around in scenery like that, you've gotta have something heavily dramatic.

I remember tooling through the mountians listening to Enigma a lot. Sometimes, Native American flute feels very appropriate. I met this guy once:

http://www.herschelfreemanagency.com/cody/cody.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jigc4XVQb50

Remember the Indian crying in the "Keep America Beautiful" ads? That was his dad (or stepdad, maybe), "Iron Eyes" Cody.

Anything really soulful or intense is great music. A place to listen to stuff you might not normally listen to. Really adds to the unbelievable "video" you're seeing.

Geez, I'm really missing AZ now. It's so calming, being up there.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 2, 2009 @ 4:13 p.m.

SurfPup, you see a mouse face in the moon?

By SDaniels

Only during full moons!

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 4:42 p.m.

"Anything really soulful or intense is great music."

I'd be happy with just the wind once I'm out there... but a long drive with only Enigma and flutes... uh, no.

That calls for the Reverend Horton Heat!

OK, now I want to go.

  • Joe
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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 5:25 p.m.

16: Whatever I recognize sounds good. However,

"...a long drive with only Enigma and flutes..."

Could be great--depends on your "mood." :)

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 6:02 p.m.

Hmmmm, so we're driving to a spiritual mecca/energy vortex and listening to a giggling, porny-sounding female do a nonsinging, talky vocal that uses the F word.

Magnify that "uh,no" in 22 by about 1000, and that still wouldn't get it.

I'm sure it's considered high art in the garage, though.

:/

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 7:07 p.m.

oh, all right... Ellington then. Maybe the "Far East Suite."

or just wind.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 2, 2009 @ 7:12 p.m.

... and what is wrong with the F word?

Mostly Rockabilly in the Garage, BTW. Or silence while I paint.

  • Joe
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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 8:34 p.m.

I feel like we're in the car now! Are we theeerrreee yeeeettttt, tiki?

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 2, 2009 @ 9:59 p.m.

I feel like we're in the car now! Are we theeerrreee yeeeettttt, tiki?

By SDaniels

Dont leave me at home!!!!!

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 10:07 p.m.

It's ok, SurfP--just a pit stop--see? Joe's filling up the tank, and AG is inside buying more Dr Pepper. I'll pick you up some jerky if you promise to do your business in the bushes over there :)

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PistolPete Nov. 2, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

http://www.myspace.com/nouvellevague

awesome version of "Too drunk to F"

Yes. Yes it is. Catchy tune.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 2, 2009 @ 11:19 p.m.

I'll pick you up some jerky if you promise to do your business in the bushes over there :)

By SDaniels

Done!!!!

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SDaniels Nov. 3, 2009 @ 1:13 a.m.

How did you ever think we'd leave you at home, now--much less the gas station! Why, I'm even purchasing a meat product for my favorite Puppy--no vegetarian dawg, he.

Now, we're fueled up and ready to go-- if we can just get the soundtrack to this trip tweaked, we are set to continue the journey. I say everyone contributes two or three songs. :)

SD's Sedona road trip soundtrack contributions:

  1. U2: "Where the Streets Have No Name." Simple, joyous --perfect for the desert scene--actually anything on this album.

  2. America: "Horse with No Name." Apparently, the desert loves things of no name. This one is a great sing-along, too.

  3. Orbison: "Dream Baby." Great, gallopy rhythm, in keeping with our horse (see above). Anything Orbison will lend a desert car trip a Lynchian feel.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 3, 2009 @ 6:08 a.m.

.... should I tell them that the Chevy only has AM in glorious mono??

Nah.

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SDaniels Nov. 3, 2009 @ 10:28 a.m.

Well! That changes everything! --Unless someone has a portable Bose :)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 3, 2009 @ 1:04 p.m.

One of the things that is on the list is this little bit of coolness: http://www.rediscoveradio.com

I'll even let AG pick the music.

  • Joe
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Derek Ray Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:50 p.m.

Have fun in Sedona, guys!

I loved your photos, antigeekess

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9 p.m.

Re #38:

Heehee. Thanks, but they're just off Google. Sumbuddy else took 'em.

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