When Sweetie and I left Arizona the last time after our Grand Canyon excursion something told me we would be back and soon. As we were driving out of Flagstaff the last time we were there I couldn’t get over the distinct impression that there was something more for us to see and accomplish in Arizona so when Sweetie suggested that we go back to Arizona and Sedona for their vortexes it felt like part two of the two part series.
Sweetie and I are travelers of the afternoon and evening. No matter how hard we try we can’t get out of the door before about three in the afternoon, so for a drive that should last 8 or 9 hours we almost always choose to run from the sun going and chase the sun coming home and this trip was no exception we didn’t head east in earnest until about 3:30. Sweetie is the foremost car trip outfitter in the land. When we take off for a road trip our car can feed a dinner party in luxury and entertain a room full of kids even though it’s just Sweetie and I on these trips my Boo has us prepared. We had a fabulous meal, all the munchies and sodas anyone would want, plenty of water and ice, and the Sweetie magic bag that contains everything from extra socks to the ability to almost perform surgery.
Sedona is known and especially in the Southwest Native American cultures as a pilgrimage destination. It has four recognized by the Park Service areas where the energies that come out of the earth are very pronounced which are called vortexes http://www.lovesedona.com/01.htm in Sedona and not vortices. Apparently that’s how they can identify the people who are not from around there. Now the Park Service “officially” recognizes four of them, but I happen to think they only recognize the ones on their land so they can direct the people to pay the fee in order to park and enjoy them. As we rode into Sedona I know I felt more than just the four locations that the Park Service outlines on their maps.
It was about 10:30 when Sweetie and I pulled off the I40 to the 17 to 89A which is the last 20 odd miles into Sedona itself and the dark that introduced itself to us on our Grand Canyon excursion was in full effect again as we pulled into Sedona. Riding around the mountain/canyon roads of Sedona at night you can see the falling rock signs, but you just can’t see the mountains that the rocks fall off of. You can look into the inky black voids and imagine how far they go if you want to, and Sweetie was sure into it, but I was more into keeping the car on the road. Yet as nervous as I can be in the heights and as bold as Sweetie is as we approached the town both of us began to sort of even out. It’s hard to explain, and I’ll try again later, but the energies surrounding Sedona are palpable.
We tend to take these trips on a couple days notice. Sweetie will provide the inspiration and I’m there to say let’s go. Consequently we don’t tend to get the hotels in the front of the city we usually stay at the second Best Western in town. That’s fine by me we don’t travel for the hotels and we normally get to ride through the city as a preliminary reconnaissance before we do the thing. Riding through Sedona that night my first and overwhelming impression of the town was these people have money. First of all it was closed. I didn’t even see a bar hopping. It’s full of little spa’s in exquisite locations, and retreats that sound like 400 bucks a night. A cool thing about the way Sweetie and I travel is sleep comes easily. When we finally get checked in and on the pillow 6:00 am comes and my internal rooster crows before we know it.
I couldn’t wait to see what Sedona looked like so while Sweetie showered shampood and shined I walked outside to get a gander. Sedona is beautiful. If you’re into a fairy canyon vision of red rock mesas interspersed with slate canyons with formations that remind you of works of art Sedona’s the place. The Best Western that we stayed in happened to be right at the foot of the Airport Mesa and the location of the first vortex so as the sun was about to really get up we decided to take that one in first then plan our day.
Sedona has its airport in close proximity of the vortex and as I’ve never heard of airplanes going down the first thing I thought was these things must be truly benign. About half way up a three mile hill from our motel was the turn off and observation rock. Even though it was early the parking area for it was nearly full. We in fact got the last parking spot. It was when I was heading to pay the fee in a vending machine that was broken that I felt the first difference. Have you ever been near a very high voltage electrical transmission station? Maybe played with a Telsa coil? Start there and multiply the feeling by 10 levels of subtlety then subtract the physical effects. We decided to chance not having the pass for the parking area and walked on up to the observation rock. There seemed to be about 30 people already there in various levels of appreciation, devotion, or just sitting there thinking. It was peaceful. The vistas of Sedona again impressed. I don’t know if it is an ordinance but the homes of Sedona really match the landscape. They appeared made out of adobe and painted in natural colors that contrasted very well with the rocks and hills they were nested in. Sweetie and I did devotion, I practiced my tai chi on an area of the rock that actually contained a drop, and I wasn’t the least bit nervous, and we hung out a good half hour before going to the top of the mesa to enjoy the full sunrise.
After the Airport Mesa we decided to go to the local chamber of commerce and get oriented as well as buy a pass so we could enjoy the stops without looking for Mr. Ranger. The people they have staffing these places are always so helpful and the gentleman who helped us in Sedona was a peach. We got maps and a cool GPS device that would provide a narrative as we approached areas of interest we decided on our vortex tour and lit out.
One of the other interesting aspects of the Sedona area I noticed is my normally keen sense of direction was completely scrambled. Normally I can fall into any area or city and if I know what time it is, and can look at the sun I am usually pretty fixed as to the cardinal directions. In Sedona my internal compass was haywire. We were supposed to head in one direction toward our next vortex, but instead I took us almost back out of town to Slide Rock. We are never lost on our trips. We are always right were we should be and we needed to see Slide Rock.
It is the homestead of one of the original White homesteaders of the area and an absolutely natural waterslide. This man engineered an irrigation system and was selling his produce as far away as Los Angeles in the early 1900’s before there was even a solid road to the area.
Whenever Sweetie and I go into the “wilderness” I’m always reminded of the theme from Green Acres “New York is where I’d rather stay, I get allergic smelling hay, I just adore a penthouse view darling I love you but give me Park Avenue” That’s my sweetie, one of the only women I’ve ever known to go hiking in a blouse and work it. The walk to the vortex at Bell Rock was a hike, but it was pleasant. It can be as hot as all get out in Arizona, but once again we were lucky. It was only about 95% according to the cars thermometer and we had a nice walk to the Bell Rock vortex.
Boynton Canyon Kachina Woman
It was a 5 mile round trip hike to visit the Kachina Woman, and she had a nice uphill component, but she was worth it. The vistas were magnificent again, and the feel of the vortex potent. People did an interesting thing in stacking up rocks all over the place. The very trees around the Kachina woman were decorated like Christmas trees with stacks of rocks. I believe they stay because of the energy of the vortexes. I didn’t feel like making a pile it felt somehow wrong kind of like using the Woman’s energy as a stunt. Sweetie and I hung out with the Kachina woman for a good long time. So long with the hike out and the next 5 mile jaunt the remaining vortex had to offer we decided to head back to Airport Mesa to enjoy the sunset.
Hopi Reservation 2nd Mesa Arizona
We had a great evening. I asked a maid where they enjoyed eating when they went out and she hooked us up with Jose’s Café and we dined very well. We chilled out in the Jacuzzi at the motel with a cool couple from Bolivia. Interesting thing about them is he was a police officer from the Phoenix area. He had been in America since he was young, but his wife grew up in Bolivia. Of course I had to ask him his feelings on SB 1070 and after the obligatory he’s a man in blue too speech it came out he didn’t like it. The idea that his lovely wife or their beautiful daughter might have been subject to the strictures of that law had it been allowed to stand did mean something to him especially since he put his life on the line everyday defending those who would question him out of uniform or his wife because it was a sunny day.
The hikes had the same effect on us as the drive, and with the Jacuzzi as even more help we went down like Tyson had punched us. When we woke up the next morning on Sunday we decided we would pack up find a nice church hit up the last vortex and head back to So. Cal.
We sort of scouted around for the feeling that we wanted to stop and join a congregation for the day, but for some reason nothing was clicking. I don’t know why Sweetie didn’t feel it, but there was something about the opulence of the churches I saw that made me not want to just fall in. I was wearing my adventure shirt after all. When we were last in Arizona we hung out a little with the Dine people of the Navajo tribe, so sweetie suggested we visit the other main tribe of Native peoples in the area the Hopi. It was only another 3 or so hours down the road, and it went right by the place where the first confirmed meteor smacked the earth, so I was there to say let’s go.
It’s about 50 miles off the I40 to the Hopi Mesa. These are the kinds of lands I long to see. It’s possible to look into the distance and outside of the road there is little evidence of the hand of man and for millennia. Vast tracts of land that delight the eye for as far as it can see.
When we arrived at 2nd Mesa we went to the only motel on the Mesa which also had people selling things, tour offices, and a nice little motel. We hit up the museum walked around the surrounding area a bit, and went into a shop. There we met a man who told us we had the opportunity to witness a Woman’s dance in the village that was closest entrance road of the Mesa. When we got there we met a man who had come in with his family from off the reservation for the services. He invited us to watch from his mother’s roof which is actually living space. It turns out we got to go to church after all. The ceremony was very touching. We didn’t take pictures of course, but we were able to feel what we had hoped to. As Black Americans we are people of the chant and drum and watching the women dance their prayers felt strangely familiar.
We had considered staying on the Mesa for the night, but it was 3:00 again traveling time, so we hit the road. Arizona is now ours as we are free beings living on a free earth. I don’t know if we are going to hit this place again soon Sweetie has never seen Lake Tahoe, and I don’t know how we’ve been together so long and that not happened yet, but having had the chance to meet its peoples and soak in its ancient lands it’s a place I can now call my own.
Photo credits to my Sweetie. The very Universe and all of time will be our playground.