I jerked awake. I must have fallen to sleep somewhere between Phoenix and where ever we were now. I glanced out the window and then did a double-take. Wow. My eyes seemed glued to the landscape around us. I had never seen such a beautiful sight. The cacti and scrub land that we had been driving through melted away to reveal the new, towering landscape before me. Great rock formations loomed in the distance, of all heights and shapes; sliding in and out of sight behind each other. One thing linked them all together- they were a deep, rich red. We past a sign that read ‘Welcome to Sedona, AZ! We were here.
Some friends had told us the back way to come in, to take 89A instead of 179, so we pulled up in front of Sedona Summit Resort, without hitting very much traffic. We headed out for dinner at the Barking Frog, where I got fried cacti. It was actually pretty good.
The next day, we went out to explore. Some of the rock formations resemble certain things such as Snoopy, a coffee pot, or a bell. Cathedral Rock, which looks like hands praying, was by far my favorite. My dad and I hiked up it for several hours, scrambling on rock slopes and up rough rock paths ending in a spectacular view of the valley on the other side. But that’s not the best part. Hiking further around the top of the rock led us to another view. There was a rock pillar jutting up hundreds of feet tall, from the base of Cathedral Rock to above where we were standing. I saw a way that I could get there. It wasn’t completely climbable but I thought that I could definitely get out on it and up a little ways. I went for it. After scaring my dad a little bit and a minute or two of climbing, I was out there on a ledge, more than 800 feet in the air. All alone out there, sitting on rock that was millions of years old, seeing the trees and rock stretch out before me, is something that I’ll never forget. It was so relaxing and peaceful with the wind blowing through the towering rock walls around me. Looking up I saw the rock stretch up and up. Looking down I could see the rock fall away to both sides and how unbelievably high up I really was. It was incredible.
Of course, it would be hard to beat such an amazing experience, but the Pink Jeep ride that we went on the next day came pretty close to it. Pink Jeep Tours gives scenic tours in a way I would have never imagined. Piled comfortably in a pink jeep, our tour guide driver takes us first to a Singuan Indian cliff dwelling ruin. Afterwards, we head over to Diamondback Gulch to do some off-roading. I don’t know what normal off-roading is like, but bumping down a 70 degree hill at way too fast of a speed and then climbing back up the steep other side, tipped back in your seats, staring down at where you just came from wondering how that was even possible, that is Sedona off-roading. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun.
The beautiful town of Sedona is surrounded by extraordinary natural wonders. Everyone should have the chance to see and explore such an amazing place.
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