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Sedona and the Grand Canyon

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S: Sedona and the Grand Canyon 2011

FC: Ken and Chris's Most Excellent Vacation Sedona and The Grand Canyon October, 2011

1: October 11, 2011 Flying out of Bradley at 10:45AM for a short (2 hour) flight to Chicago (not O’Hare) and then into Sedona, AZ, another 3 hours. It was about 2 hours drive to the WyndhamTimeShare. Quite lovely apartment with exceptionally accessible features in bath and shower. Big room with all the accessories. Comfy bed and the ever-present LG TV.

2: We drove through the AZ landscape and traveled through the Verde Valley with green treed landscape views until we started to come onto the Red Rocks. Really RED and rising in elevation. They appeared to be layered like mounds of frosting. The sandstone formations absorbed iron oxides and rusted to deep red color. Some of the sandstone was eroded giving the appearance of a wash-out but the significant mounds of rock were breathtaking in their height and complexity of form. It was mind-boggling and we spent most of our conversational nickels saying things like, “I can't believe this” and “This is insane”.

3: Other rocks were spikes of stone straight up into the sky looking like spires and Gothic monuments. The view from our TimeShare was the next door trailer park but walking around the complex there were excellent vistas to be had. Dinner at Troia, an excellent Italian restaurant with unassuming truly fabulous food. Home cooking with grace and subtle flavors.

4: October 2, 2011 My birthday!!! Yaay!!! We drove to Oak Creek Canyon to tour the area and get some up-close views of the Red Rocks. We had reviewed a number of possibilities for commercial tours and “things-to-do” but concluded that the “Pink Jeep” tours would present me with great difficulties getting into the jeep and the hikes to the “vortices” were going to be too difficult. We packed a lunch and went out to Oak Creek Canyon, about a one hour drive through staggeringly beautiful mountains and vistas. Very few road-side pull-offs for picture taking, so the pics are distant. The weather was clear and did not present much mist or fogginess. We went by “Slide Rock”. Coconino State Park (huge), Tricky driving and some hairy turning roads along the way.

8: Having gotten to the Red Rock Park in Oak Creek Canyon, there were a number of Indians with jewelry and stuff for sale. Nice pieces – all hand-made (I assume). Looked a lot like the stuff I make. Nice, but not impressive. Turquoise galore. Ken bought a hat!! We lunched alfresco and the sky opened up just as we were finishing. There were hints of rain for most of the time we were there but it was bucketing by the time we got to the car. Didn't last long though, and we were home in dry weather shortly. Took a little downtime at the pool and later found an excellent Mexican restaurant in Tlaquepaque Village. The village is a large complex of shops, galleries and restaurants. El Ricon was our restaurant of choice and we had blue corn chile relenos, excellent burritos and great tequila. Pretty nice birthday all around. Cool evenings and outrageous stars.

10: Oak Creek Canyon presented rounded treed hills in comparison to the red rock hills in the mountains.

11: October 3, 2011 Time for the vortices. There are spiritual vortices in Sedona. These are points where the geological / cosmic nature of the landscape represented by invisible meridians of energy deep in the earth either intersect, or come together in such a way that the “loca” is charged with deep spiritual power and concentrations of energy. They were originally identified by the indigenous Indians and were long used as places of religious worship and ceremony. As with all New Age events some people experience profound reactions at these places ranging from seeing colors, feeling vibrations. | We were on the hunt for meridian balancing, and chakra cleansing. It was not raining and that was good enough for us. We stopped at the Sedona Travel Guide and asked about the accessibility of some of the vortex(s). A lovely older woman Ranger suggested that we try Red Rock Crossing as an accessible vortex – walk-able with few steep hills or complicated pathways. Also, she said that Bell Rock might be a possibility that was more easily reached. She said that she had always been “drawn” toward the Red Rock Crossing and found it to be the best camping in the valley. So we took off for Red Rock Canyon again.

14: The presence of energy at one singularity is a repudiation of the force and power of the whole site itself. If you are truly seeking the power of the vortex, doesn't it make sense that the vortex will find you in the area? If you are not at the point/moment of the vortex, doesn't it make sense that if the vortex is activated by the interaction between you and the energies, that the energies will find you, as your desire draws them to you? In Reiki, you don't have to place your hands on the “right place” on the body. The chakras are merely a guide. Reiki goes where it is needed. | The initiation of the practitioner and his/her integrity overrides any mistaken pronunciation of the power words, or mis-drawing of the signs. If you are open to it, it will come to you. Why would it not be the same with the powers of the vortex?

17: Red Rock Crossing is in a beautiful park- like setting with the start of the hike on paved walking roads,easily traversed with the scooter. Paved walk ways gave way to hard packed red dirt - still manageable. At some point the trees presented a surface that was impossible to get across or over. Some folks came by and “walked” me over the roots while Ken negotiated the path with the scooter. I was up and wheeling in no time and, as usual, my scooter was object d’interest. When I stated that I had been everywhere with her, one of the women asked me what her name was. I suggested that I had not named her but that when I reached the vortex, her name would be revealed to me (of course). We started coming to pools of water; small brooks of running fresh water. People meditating on the banks, some walking quietly along the side and some bathing in the cool stream. Very buzz-y and very serene. Vortices have upward or downward “flow". Red Rock Crossing has upwards flow and transverse flow due to the waters of the creek. I got to “give back” (in thanksgiving or praise) – raising eyes and spirit towards heaven – up-flow- and cleanse the present status so as to realign the meridians and chakras in the “now” – transverse flow. BTW - The scooter's name was revealed - "Coyote"!

18: October 4, 2011 Still comfortable weather today. We are off to see more vortices. Off to Bell Rock. A fabulous formation looking just like a bell (Duh...). We tried a couple roads but were not quite on the right path. Finally we got to the site and were rewarded with an amazing mound of “red rock”. It was impossible for me to get close to it. ...but I have a theory. The vortex is a confluence of energies that serve the needs of those who seek it. It knows best what you want and need and its energies are shaped to what is best for you.

20: We then drove to Montezuma's Castle where we saw “apartments” carved into the stone of the mountain side accessible only by steep ladders. The perfect defensive positioning. You can see out everywhere and nobody can get to you. Imagining how people lived like this was nearly impossible and wondering how there could be any children left that didn’t fall out of the house to the rock pit 200 feet below was a wonderment!

21: Montezuma's Castle

22: October 4 Heading for the Grand Canyon. Long drive – 2 hours. More views of the red Rocks and it is crazy, but every time you look at them they’re different. I could swear that we had never seen these rocks before or had not been down this road. Of course, we had. But the lighting made it look different every time. The ride took us through Red Rock Valley again and then west to the Canyon. We were getting closer to the Canyon and up about 7-8000 feet in altitude. It was COLD! Who knew? Although thinking about it, how could we not have guessed? We stopped at a Target to get some sweatshirts (Didn’t we do this in San Francisco?) and the clerk told us snow was predicted for Thursday!!! We got in just past lunch time. The ride was pretty easy and the Grand Hotel was OK Grand. Clean, serviceable with cozy roomy rooms and a nice lobby. The weather was not promising for Thursday so we drove out to see some of the Canyon before things got really bad tomorrow.

25: October 5, 2011 Got up and the day was gorgeous! Beautiful weather so we took off early and headed out to the Canyon again before it changed. What we had been experiencing was that a shift from cool to cold and dry/sunny to pouring rain happened in moments. Carpe diem!! Our pass swept us through the gates and we parked at the same place we did the day before. Quick walk to where we could start our second tour. Fabulous Day!!! Who knew? The canyon was like the Red Rocks. All completely different from what we saw yesterday in the subdued light. Wrapped up in sweatshirts, coats, scarves and my sweatshirt pulled way down around my hands we spent several hours at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon taking a gazillion pictures of the Canyon and of ourselves. Every overlook was amazing and every one was different. Breathtaking to the max. Again, our conversation was reduced to “Deranged”. “Mad”, “This is wild!” ...I thought we had better command of vocabulary! We gathered ourselves up and took off for the bus tour route. Same southern rim just lacking in the hordes of tourists that were at the first sites. Buses came and went but there was always a time when there was no one there except us. Neat. pictures speak for themselves.

31: It was breath-taking. I went from calling the Grand Canyon a "Hole in the Ground" to really appreciating it as one of the wonders of the natural world. Again, a vacation that made me humble to be the the limited person that I am.Many thanks to my beloved for giving the opportunity to grow as a person, yet again.

32: Where in the world are Ken and Chris? | Venice or Vegas?? | Bridge at the Mirage or Bridge on the Arno?

33: Ken and I wandered back to the hotel until we decided we had no idea of what to do or where to go. Feeling like fish out of water we made reservations for dinner (which was great) and ran back to our room. I had mussels for dinner and Ken had a braised lamp chop with white beans. We shared a nice salad and great wines both red and white. We left at 10:00Am on Sat. and after a looong flight we got to Bradley at 11:00pm. Great Trip Great Fun. Great time. | We met a "native" at the Sushi bar who gave us the poop on what to see - The "Sirens" at Treasure Island, the Volcano at the Mirage and the fountains at the Bellagio and Bobby Flay's place was the best. When I mentioned that I had been to Flay's in NYC and seen the Canpanile in Venice she replied, "I could do that all here and never leave the strip."

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