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Red Rocks and Vortexes

April 16, 2019

The colors on these just slay me every time.

I finally escaped Tempe after 19 days. The town was fine, the people were nice, but it’s basically a sprawling suburb surrounding a very good university where it seems they worship the devil (Arizona State). If it weren’t for the warm hospitality of my fellow Elks, I might have felt worse about staying so long, but they were great.

They took me in, made friends with me, gave me advice, laughed at my jokes, fed me and bought me many drinks. I will always look back fondly on Lodge #2251.

But onward. Northward, out of the sprawl of the greater Phoenix area. I was soon in saguaro country again, climbing gently and steadily. A few hours later, I turned onto the road leading me to Sedona, mythic town of energy vortexes (they don’t say vortices) and crystal healers.


No idea what a photon genius is/does

I was just bippity-bopping along in Gladis, turned a corner and gazowie! Gigantic striped red mountains with their geology hanging out for anyone to see. The further I traveled into Sedona, the larger and more spectacular they became.

The town is nestled among these spectacular red rocks, occupying the Verde Valley and creeping up the sides of some of the mountains. Even the Elks lodge had a view. Pretty much everywhere in Sedona has a view.

It was alarmingly beautiful. I was walking across a street, turned my head to make sure no one was going to run me down, and gasped, loudly. The couple next to me asked me “What’s wrong?”
“It’s just so stunning,” I said, pointing to the view.

Sedona felt so familiar, and I soon figured it out – it’s a lot like Ojai, near my hometown.


The view from the more touristy eastern part of town. There’s an RV park down there amongst the elms.

Beautiful, expensive, touristy, filled with spiritual seekers of every persuasion. People wearing natural fibers, as Laura would have said.
Sedona is also known for great hiking, which many people do, and jeep tours, which many MORE people seem to do. These big jeeps kitted out with superstructures holding 8 to 12 seats and a canopy zoom up and down, filled with more or less happy-looking adventurers.

There are tours of the vortexes, tours of the canyons, sunset tours, balloon tours, bike tours, helicopter tours.


On my walk home.

Me, I found my happy place at the Whole Foods across the street from the Elks. When you’re traveling, it’s good to have a neighborhood place to hang out. In Tempe, it was the Elks. In Sedona, with the Elks only open 3 nights per week, it was Whole Foods. They had a lovely wine, beer and kombucha bar, snacky foods including cauliflower tacos (yeah yeah!) and a nice patio. I could grab a slice of pizza from the hot bar, get a glass of wine, and sit outside watching European tourists do their thing – wear slim, fashionable clothing and argue over which groceries to buy.

I worked a lot, hiked a little, met some great Elks, and even spent an evening – a long, long evening, as it turns out, learning the intracies of Elks bingo. My RV neighbor Patty invited me, and I thought, “Oh, why not?” since I enjoyed spending time with her, and what else was I doing?

Man, those people have more stamina than me. The last time I played bingo, it was drag queen bingo, where you buy cards for each game from drag queens to raise money for charity.

Here, you had to fork over $21 and get a thick pad of cards to play 6 at a time in games of puzzling complexity. Did I mention 6 at a time? I was so nervous, trying to keep up. Between the new-to-me rules and the multiple cards, I’m pretty sure I missed some bingos, but I did win a dauber in a drawing, so if I ever do decide to go back, I’m ready for victory.


Sedona is named after a real person, Sedona Schnebly. Her grave was in a little graveyard adjacent to the Elks lodge.

  1. April 16, 2019 21:35

    It really is stunningly beautiful there. Note to self: need to go back.

    • April 17, 2019 07:31

      Wait til we get to Monument Valley in the next post. Have you been there?

      • April 17, 2019 08:42

        No, unfortunately, I haven’t made it there yet. I really really want to.

  2. April 17, 2019 06:25

    Michael and I had a date night once at a Bingo night a local Elks lodge. It was the most fun. We were probably the youngest people there and our bingo neighbors were so fun. Michael won the final game of the evening. It was enough money to buy me a new bike. My bike is named Bessy the Bingo Bike.

    • April 17, 2019 07:30

      Wow! You hit the jackpot! All I got was one fake bingo – I called it after someone else, but before they had formally called the number – it was up on the screen – so I got the sad trombone. Rookie mistake.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    April 21, 2019 21:34

    That was one long bingo night!

  4. April 30, 2019 17:39

    THOSE MOUNTAINS! I spent last year’s birthday in Arizona, wandering from Tucson up to Flagstaff, but I didn’t have time to explore Sedona, but it’s on the list. The views from the road gave me intense wanderlust feels.

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