In the Midst Of The Arizona High Dessert

Chaparral dots the slowly ascending landscape. Tall saguaro cactus fall behind, pine trees joining in as you climb from low dessert to high. Around a gentle curve of highway a surprise juts from the horizon, revealing a deep orange interior of smooth, naked rock that comprise wind and rain cut sculptures. Jaw dropping.DSCN5796

All of a sudden, the visitor to Sedona is transported to the backdrop of many a Hollywood western. But instead of John Wayne or a posse rumbling horse-top, a sprinkling of Southwestern buildings snuggle up to the sides of highway 89, dwarfed by  towering mesas and time carved mountains that rise in surrealism from the dessert floor. Like huge mounds of citrus sherbet, each sculpture is a compilation of layers of sandstone, the darkest umbers closest to the earth, in ever lightening shades- layers of orange and rose toward a cerulean sky.

Small wonder that this has been a holy place for millenium of native people, now a center of ‘new ageism’ and spiritual retreat. There is a pervasive feel of the mystical in the wind that has sculpted the cliffs for ions.
Western religions have a firm foothold as well.

Chapel Of The Holy Cross

Chapel Of The Holy Cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother nature had a treat in store in the black night of February. Thunder snow. Winds howled and the sky split with thunderous slashes of light. Swirls of white blew through the night.DSCN5788 DSCN5858 In the morning the mesa were dusted with white and the air veritably cracked with cold. The earth that bakes under a relentless sun throughout most of the year was now blanketed unnaturally white.

Over the next few days sparkling of diamonds drifted from the pines and the ice that made the highways treacherous, melted. DSCN5850

 

 

 

 

 

 

That limo-led winery tour looked better and better.DSCN5921

 

 

DSCN5825A visit to the Tlaquepaque Village, built to shadow its counterpart in Mexico, wrapped up with a delicious beer tasting at Oak Creek Brewery.

 

DSCN5821DSCN5902DSCN5930Whisked back to the resort in that glowing limo…

Sedona —

Ancient, alluring, mystical.DSCN5823 DSCN5799

Modern.      Artsy.

 

 

 

 

 

DSCN5914DSCN5838 DSCN5876Magical.

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One Response to In the Midst Of The Arizona High Dessert

  1. P. J. Lazos says:

    Love Sedona! Although the last time I was there it seemed to be getting overrun by tourists. I’m hoping that stabilized. It would be a shame to lose that mystical quality because it just got too crowded. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

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