Vortexes, Vistas, and Views

Trying to put into words one of the most magical trips we’ve ever taken might be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I will give it my best shot! We spent an entire week in Sedona, Arizona, and I am already dreaming of when I can move there or at least go back for a longer trip.

We flew into Phoenix on Tuesday, found our rental Jeep, and quickly headed out of the city. While I thought renting a Jeep Wrangler would be a fun adventure, I didn’t consider how rough riding and driving it would be for the two hours getting to Sedona. But we made it…. driving in on 179 and getting a glimpse of the red rock took my breath away. This was a bucket list trip for me, and just the first glimpse did not disappoint! We continued into town because, you know, my first stop had to be a local coffee shop! Black Potion Coffee had the best dirty chai and cappuccinos. It was a great first impression!

Since we couldn’t check into our Airbnb until 4, we decided to check out the local shops and get a feel for how the town was laid out. Before we had even left, I had a list of places on the map, so we started at one end and had fun exploring! It started raining a bit right before it was time to head to the house, which really surprised us since we were picturing a more desert-dry climate. It didn’t last long, but the clouds lingered around for a bit.

Before we got to the driveway, two roadrunners ran across the road in front of us…. I felt that was very fitting! We unloaded our luggage and got things settled into the most amazing Airbnb ever. It was called the Vortex House, which sat right on the Airport Mesa Vortex. The clouds opened when we walked out onto the deck, and we were blessed with a double rainbow! You would not be surprised at how many rainbow pictures and videos I have on my phone right now, just from that first afternoon!

The next morning we got up early and had coffee on the deck, watching the sun rise over the mountains. It was so peaceful and magical. We spent that early morning time, soaking in the peace and quiet before deciding it was time for a hike. And just not any hike… but what was considered the most challenging vortex hike… Cathedral Mountain…. our theme is go big or go home, so let’s start things out right!

A lot of the hike was climbing over rocks and through crevices, but the hard work was so worth it! By the time we made it to the top, we were out of breath but so glad we did the entire trail. The views were amazing; you could see for miles all around! Climbing back down involved sitting down and sliding for me, where I somehow came into contact with a cactus even though I was trying to be careful. That was not so much fun, but it did make the hike a little extra memorable…. That evening, after dinner, we thought we would check out the Airport Vortex; however, so did most of the town, I think… so we decided to save it for in the morning.

We headed out from the house on Thursday morning and took Brewer Trail to the Airport Vortex. Brewer Trail was only a mile from our house, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a place to park! Before we even got down the road, we saw a javelina heading up the side of the mountain. Brewer Trail was indescribable. I could literally feel the energy on that trail… at one point, I was so overcome with gratitude all I could do was just let the tears flow…. By the time we made it to the top of Airport Mesa, the sun was peaking over the mountain and the vortex was living up to its name. It was windy. We sat there for a while and just soaked it in! Getting up early and hiking was the best decision on the trip… the trails were not as busy.. they were quiet and peaceful, plus it wasn’t as hot. The animals enjoy the early mornings too! We saw a rabbit, quail, lizards, and a cardinal. Even a tarantula ran across our path!

That afternoon we treated ourselves to massages at the Wellness Center! Totally worth it! And then, later that evening, we had reservations for the Dahl and DiLuca. Our meal was delicious and they even surprised us with an anniversary dessert!

We got up and headed to Bell Rock Vortex Friday morning before the sun came up. We bypassed the loop trail and just went straight up the mountain. There were only a few other people around, so it felt like we had the whole mountain to ourselves. After exploring for while, we climbed over to a place to wait for the sun to come up…. I heard something that sounded like a rattle but I wasn’t sure what it was. As the sun started to rise over the mountain, we heard a medicine man start chanting/singing a morning prayer. I had goosebumps, and again just so much gratitude for being allowed to experience that moment….. exactly the right place at the right time.

After an early dinner at the Hudson (I recommend the Prickly Pear Margarita), we called it a night and headed to bed early.

Saturday was a completely different type of adventure! We went horseback riding! On the way to Camp Verde, we stopped and visited the Montezuma Castle and Well. Seeing the ruins and learning more about the Hopi people was an honor and something I plan on learning more about.

Our horseback ride was with Wild Western Horseback Adventures, and our horses were named Honey and Dusty. They were experienced with trail rides which were great since it’s been many, many years since I had been on a horse. I loved it and felt the ride for quite a while after…. I think I was on one of the biggest horses they had, ha! Honey, my horse, was rescued from the Grand Canyon, and she was used to pull logs out of the canyon. She had a little bit of an attitude…. Yes, we got along just fine! Along the trail, we saw a hawk swoop down and get a snake!

After our ride, we were ready for lunch, so we drove into Cottonwood and ate at Crema Cottonwood…. I had to try the pumpkin pancakes… it is the season, after all! The best pancakes ever…. not too sweet but enough that I didn’t even need syrup! We finished lunch then drove to Tuzigoot National Monument… so we could walk off our dinner. It was pretty hot so we didn’t stay too long.

Our dinner reservation that evening was at the Mariposa. I highly recommend eating there! It was another night of getting all dressed up and having excellent food!

Sunday morning, we drove out to Boynton Canyon vortex. Angus at Awakenings of Sedona, told me to watch for the Kachina Woman. As we were hiking along, I was watching for her, so much so, that I missed the sign for the vista. But as I have come to learn, things happen for a reason. I a walked around the corner on the trail, I came face to face with a mule deer. We locked eyes….. she stood there just staring at me for a moment before she just walked off…. another magical moment! We walked along the canyon for a while before I looked at the trail map and realized we had missed the vista path. So we headed back and then hiked up to the vortex. Every spot has such a different feel and energy… it is so hard to put into words. You really have to experience it for yourself! We stayed up there, sitting on the side of the mountain for a while.

On Sunday night a monsoon hit. There was so much rain, lightening and even hail! We were both shocked at the amount of rain!

Monday was our final full day in Sedona, and I wanted to take in as much as possible. Since it was still raining that morning, we didn’t get as early of a start. We had planned to go to West Fork, but since there was a flood warning and it was on Oak Creek we decided it wasn’t worth the drive if we couldn’t hike. So we thought we would try Devil’s Bridge. We struck out on that one too because we cound’t find any parking. So we headed to Fay Canyon. Again, it was such a different area… this trail had so many trees! It was mostly shaded, which was nice since it was later in the morning. After we got back from the hike, we grabbed breakfast and then went walking thru town again…. I wanted coffee!

We enjoyed the final evening just relaxing and soaking it all in…. and pretending we weren’t leaving in the morning.

Tuesday morning, we got up before dark so we could hike the Airport Vista one more time and watch the sun come up. This was the coldest morning of the whole week, but it was worth it! The clouds parted just enough so we could get a glipse of the sun. Sedona is a magical place that I recommend you visiting at least once! We did so many other things, but I have written enough for now!!

I can’t wait to go back!