Crowded Saturday in Sedona

Our roving retirement has been stuck in Scottsdale AZ for the last two months. We have decided to stay here even longer to ensure my recovery but that doesn’t mean we can’t go exploring. The only limitation is that I can’t walk very far yet. We really needed to get our of our one-bedroom apartment, so we decided to drive up to Sedona for the day. Our goal was to see the galleries and scenery as well as what Arizona had to offer on the way.

The View on the Way

The reason most people go to Sedona is to get a closeup look at the beautiful red rocks. Our motivation wasn’t much different. We departed on the highway to Flagstaff, which was new for us because we came in a different way from Las Vegas. Since I am fond of the desert landscape, the 1 hour and 45-minute drive to Sedona was really pleasant and surprisingly mountainous. There were loads of saguaro in the landscape even as we started to climb up and out of the Valley of the Sun. Then we saw road signs showing donkeys crossing the highway for 15 miles.

We spent at least an hour on a mountain highway that dropped into a beautiful green valley of cottonwood trees that grow near a river. While we couldn’t see the river, but we knew it was there.

After we got off the highway, we started on another road that had a traffic circle every 1/2 a mile. Since there really weren’t any cross streets, we figured the circles were to slow down the traffic. They worked really well, very annoying. We finally turned onto the road toward Sedona and got our first views of the famous red rocks.

Mindlessly, we had decided to go on the weekend and ran into a pretty big traffic jam trying to get into town.

Lunch in Sedona

Since it was lunchtime, we chose to veer off to a restaurant called Creekside that advertised great views and a mellow environment. After a great lunch on a patio with spectacular mountain views and one of my favorite drinks, Chimay Belgian Ale, we decided to find some galleries.

Galleries and Crystals

The traffic had died down a bit, so we got to the town’s main drag pretty quickly. After picking a central parking spot, we set out in search of galleries. It turned out that we only managed to find one nearby gallery, down the street a short walk away. There were some nice things, all done by local artists, but the gallery count was nothing like Santa Fe, which we thought might be comparable.

We were surprised to see loads of crystal and reading shops. They each had new age stuff in the windows and big signs outside. The sheer volume of these stores surprised us enough to mention it to you.

Wine Tasting

On the way back to the car from the gallery, we saw a sign for wine tasting. Naturally, we had to stop in and check it out. The primary wine region in Arizona is southeast of Tucson, in a place called Wilcox. The wine was so so, but the view was spectacular.

Too Many People

It is also worth mentioning that there were too many people in Sedona for my comfort. About 75% of them were wearing masks. Considering these statistics and the narrow sidewalks, we decided to return to the car after only a short time on the street.

On the way back to Scottsdale, we stopped at a small town called Cottonwood and headed to Main Street. The town was a well-preserved version of what you’d think an old west town would look like. We’ll stop in for some refreshments next time we are nearby.

For those of you who’ve been to Sedona, tell us what we missed.

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  1. When Lori and I went to Sedona last year, we also ate at Creekside. We went in March though, and for breakfast, so didn’t have a beer.

    For “new age” spiritualists, Sedona is a place where various natural forces converge, and so lots of crystals, shops, etc.

  2. I don’t mind the “vortex” seeking. I was just a little surprised how many shops there were.

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