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sun & snow in Sedona

We caught an early flight on a crisp, chilly Portland morning. Bound for Sedona, Arizona, where warm, weathered and ancient red rock rises into an almost unnaturally blue sky; where winter sun hurls long shadows over vast landscapes; where acres become miles of hay-pale grasses and scrub and cactus stained blue-grey-green. They grow clouds like mountains here, Everest-high, brilliant blooming white. This is a dramatic and stirring place. It can also be profoundly quiet. Peaceful. Ancient cultures have left enduring marks on cliff walls and, it would seem, in the rocks themselves. In the silence, you feel them here. There is a wildness, an untamable beauty, a largeness of scale that puts us humans in our place. It feels so good to come down to our true size. You can do that here and never feel less for it.

We arrived in Phoenix and drove 2 hours north to Sedona, elevation between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. (Hikes will take you higher still.) Soon after arriving, the snow began to fall. Beautiful! This trip was going to be cold, very cold. But we were ready for it.

We received great news when we checked in!

We were to have an outdoor, open-to-the-stars shower!

One and a half feet in…

…then out.

(Indoor plumbing came with the package too.)

First couple days we stayed close to “home,” wandering the little town streets, the completely charming arts and crafts market Tlaquepaque, slipping into galleries and shops to thaw our noses.

I’m sure you’ve guessed – we’ve also eaten very well. A little too well and less exercise than we’re used to. We’ll pay for this.

Food-wise, the highlight has been the Sunday brunch at the place where we’re staying. I’m not always a huge fan of brunches. This was phenomenal. The setting was beautiful, overlooking a tree-rimmed creek, the sun shining through our southern facing windows so warm now they were rolled open. Creek rushing, ducks quacking, gentle breeze lifting the curtains, and the most extensive, gorgeous array of foods to fill our plates with.

Mimosas and plenty of water.

I’ll detail later what these good people fed us, but several of the salads were so delicious and out-of-the-ordinary, that you can expect to see some recreations posted here.

~ ~ ~

We walked around the snowy town in mittens and hiking boots. Too cold to be out for long. The eyes wanted so badly to linger.

~ ~ ~

The next day temperatures warmed a bit and we headed for the river and the red rock and the falling sun…

There is so much I’d dearly love to share with you. Sadly the process of uploading photos here is painfully slow. (I mean excruciating!) And even after great lengths of time, only occasionally was I successful in the end. I’m resigned to sending you these few.

I’m in search of another location to post from. If you don’t hear from me again in a day or two, it’ll be Thursday.

Hope you’re all well and happy wherever you find yourselves.

See you soon!

Spree

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. jim callas #

    Beautiful post Ani!

    December 6, 2011
  2. Love these photos and this update from AZ. So glad to know a bit of the journey, and thanks for braving the uploading process. Ugh. I personally release you until Thursday from doing that again — if I have such authority. 🙂 xoxo

    December 6, 2011
  3. The colors of those red rocks are more glorious in your slow-loading camera than I remember ten in person. Just beautiful.

    I’m excited at the thought of learning about those unusual salads.

    Have a great trip.

    Ronnie

    December 6, 2011
  4. Oh, I’ve been there and loved it as well.. just in the heat of spring, not these cool photos you’ve got. I think I’d like to go back and experience snow there.. I truly enjoyed your descriptive writing, it really gave the feel of the place for me:)
    ps why so long to download?? If you want, fire me a question and maybe I can help?

    December 6, 2011
  5. How cool that you have an outdoor shower!

    December 6, 2011
  6. Ali #

    Sounds (and looks) incredible! I can’t wait to see how this trip has inspired your culinary delights!!

    December 6, 2011
  7. Exquisite photos! I couldn’t help but chuckle when you took your camera into the shower…. I can only imagine what people might’ve thought if they saw that! Looking forward to seeing more from your trip. Safe travels in the meantime 🙂

    December 6, 2011
  8. Darlyn #

    Just lovely. Wish we were there. Looking at the pictures, I feel like I just was.

    December 7, 2011
  9. pete clemente #

    Your description woke memories of this magical place. One of this planet’s perfect picture post cards. Thank you!

    December 7, 2011
  10. What an incredible trip – and those photos…amazing!

    December 9, 2011

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