November 29 – December 2, 2019
We’ve already been to Sedona a couple of times, the last time was to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary in 2012. When looking for a way to use up some vacation ownership points, we decided to return to this beautiful part of our country.
Snow was forecast in Minnesota for the day after Thanksgiving, but we managed to get out ahead of any storms. Yay! However, when we landed in Phoenix, we learned that Sedona was getting snow – several feet according to the clerk at the car rental counter – so we upgraded to an all wheel drive vehicle. The sky was dark to the north and we were concerned about making it to our destination. We checked in with our lodging and were told the sky was clear, so we kept going. The big storm was farther north. There was some snow in Sedona, but it was rapidly melting.
On the other hand, it was cold! It wasn’t much warmer than what we had been trying to escape back home. We spent our first full day stocking up on groceries, settling in, and trying to warm up our little “cottage.” We are staying at Sedona Pines Resort, a vacation timeshare located just a couple miles outside of Sedona. The cottages are of modular construction, yet cozy and comfortable. The resort offers many activities, with a swimming pool, hot tubs, restaurant and entertainment.
Sunday, December 1
This was a day of exploration. We stopped at a local Farmers Market, which we always enjoy. It’s a great way to find out what the local produce is like. We picked up some sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, something we hadn’t had before. It’s a root vegetable, related to sunflowers rather than artichokes, and they taste more like jicama than an artichoke. Can’t wait to try them.
Mark wanted to see the Tesla superchargers at Oak Creek Village. We didn’t bring the Tesla with us, but we always like to find out what’s available. There are fourteen charge stations at this location, and we did see a few Teslas while we were there.
The US Ranger station was just another mile or so farther. We stopped there to pick up some trail maps so we can plan our days.
Monday, December 2
The sun was shining, and the temperature was more comfortable, so we decided to venture out. We drove to Bell Rock, located near Oak Creek Village. There are several trail options here, and we stuck to something easy since we haven’t completely acclimated to the change in elevation. Sedona sits at about 4,350 feet, so it only takes a couple of days to get used to it.
There is still some snow clinging to the shrubs and cacti here. Most of the snow has melted and there were many rivulets of water along our path.
The views are stunning here, as they are all around Sedona.
Following our gentle hike, we stopped downtown to wet our whistles. While sitting at an outdoor deck, we were treated to several sundogs. The technical term for a sundog is parhelion. A sundog forms when light rays pass through high cirrus clouds.
We’d never seen any double arcs (tangent arcs) or even one arching away from the sun before. One set of sundogs actually resembled a set of lips. The most stunning of all was a Circumzenithal Arc, which resembles an upside down rainbow. At home, we’ve often seen them on either side of the sun, and usually they’re just white.