Coming into Sedona, you don’t miss it. This place announces itself without an ounce of self-consciousness. It’s riotous, full of absolutely everything southwest and some that tries hard to be. It wasn’t until close to the end of our trip that we actually stopped in. Funky, up-beat singing-out-loud music, room after room of color explosions, statuary, pottery, icons, spices, ornaments, jewelry, chilies and garlic braids hanging from rafters, cactus (living and make-believe), cow skulls, every sort of kitsch and wanne-be art, and some really cool stuff. We didn’t buy a thing. We had such fun!
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Changing gears completely (and thankful we had an hour or so to do it in) we visited Montezuma’s Castle. The site was inappropriately named because it had absolutely nothing to do with Montezuma – but the namers were rather clueless on that point. It was inhabited by people commonly referred to as the Sinagua between 1100 and 1400 c.a. Then, like so many of the settlements (now ruins) in this part of the world, it was mysteriously evacuated.
One wonders why. It sat in such an idyllic setting. A lovely little valley, treed, alongside a gently rolling river. Crops of corn and cotton were planted on the valley floor. The adobe-bricked buildings, most of them perched high up and inside the cliffs, faced south to take advantage of the solar warmth in winter, while being shaded from the searing heat of summer. It was a spot well-chosen.
We saw beehives, laden with sweet honey, perched inside openings in the cliff.
Swallow nests lined the ceilings.
You could picture them living here. You could almost hear their echoing voices.