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Thursday, April 7, 2011

California Love ~

Wellll, it looks like I'm a bad blogger =( I have been SoOoOo busy lately its been impossible to keep up with everything!!!  Last time I posted we were still in Cottonwood, AZ--So much has happened since then lol I don't even know where to start!  I supposed I'll fill everyone in on then till now hehe.

SO I already wrote about our visit to the GC and our original trip down Oak Creek Canyon, as well as our day in Jerome, so I suppose that leaves us on our 2nd trip to Oak creek Canyon (Tuesday March 29th).  We had originally planned on doing a few of the better known, easy oak creek canyon hikes during our visit, but we got a late start that day, and as soon as we headed up the trail the weather started looking gloomy.  We wanted to get started earlier, but we didn't actually leave to head to the top of oak creek canyon (near Flagstaff) until around 2:30 in the afternoon and made a few random stops along the way, so we got to the top around 4:15.  At the top there is a little outlook area where there are several stands with Native American crafts set up, mostly Jewelry, and a few other odds and ends (belt buckle, statues).  We are both big fans of Native American Jewelry so of course we had to stop and take a look around.  After browsing, we walked around the outlook, and could see all the way back down the canyon!  It was crazy to see the road we drove to get up to the top winding around curves and through thick patches of trees, and eventually disappearing into the canyon.  The view from the top is beautiful, but the ride back down was breathtaking!  All the houses along the creek are beautiful--talk about jealous!-- and it was so peaceful hearing the sound of the water flowing over the rocks and down the mountain, the smell of spring was definitely in the air!  Since we got such a late start the Slide Rock State Park was actually closing right as we were about to pull in, so being the rebels we are, we parked a little ways away, hiked a short trail and climbed down some rocks down to the "slide" of Slide Rock State Park.  AND-so glad we did!  It is such a beautiful area!!  Over time the creek has etched away the red rock creating a natural "slide" in the rocks.  They say in the hot summer months this place is packed full and sometimes hard to get into, but since it was cool, and almost closing time, there were only about 3 other people there.  It was a little chilly, but I was curious about how cold the water was FREEZING!... but I'm sure would feel nice in the summer.  Had we been here in the summer, I doubt I would  have taken a trip down the slide.  Its a very narrow shoot carved into rock...I can not imagine it is a smooth ride, actually I would image it a s kind of painful and possibly damaging to swim wear, unless you a small child--BUT--it was a great spot for pictures =)  and of course we got some....
This one is from the top where we hiked down 

the white water that ends at the left side of this picture is the "slide"

Such a beautiful place!! I wish we could have stayed longer, but the park was closed, and the sun was starting to go down, so we climbed back up the wall, up the trail and hit the road.  We decided to stop in Sedona, and do some window shopping.  We stopped and got some ice cream =) and sat on a patio looking out at the beautiful red rock scenery, soaking up the evening sun.  The gloomy weather had passed quickly, and the evening was warm and the streets of Sedona were full.  We stopped into several stores admiring all the unique  art, and red dirt dyed cloths and bags.  Some of our favorite things (and obviously, everyone else's) were the Indian Jewelry and Kachina dolls.  I say everyone else's because they were in almost every store on the main strip.  It was so much fun looking at the hundreds of different styles from the different artists. Each piece of jewelry is unique and every doll has its own personality.  After avoiding the temptation to to buy anything at any of the stores, I finally decided to purchase a ring.  It is a sterling silver ring with tigers eye, jasper, onyx, and opal stones.  And the lady even gave me a lil discount, which always sweetens the deal =)  By this time we had browsed most of the stores on the main strip and they remaining one were closed so we headed back to the campground.

We had some GREAT neighbors at the campground for a few of the days we were there.  They were from New Mexico, and were on a mini vacation.  The husband is a colon cancer survivor, as well as living with Parkinson's for the past 15 years.  He built custom classic cars, and carved BEAUTIFUL walking sticks.  We had a campfire one night, and they invited us for wine another night.  We had a great time and definitely enjoyed the company =)

On Thursday, we went to several of the Sedona Vortex's.  Here is sone Vortex information, found from this  website:

There are several energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy, located in the Sedona area. (In Sedona, the energy centers are referred to as vortexes rather than vortices.)  The energy from these vortexes saturates the whole area in and around Sedona, and can be noticed in a subtle but general way anywhere around town.  If you actually go to one of the vortex sites, which is where the energy is strongest, it can be a very uplifting experience.  The energy you take in at one of these energy centers can stay with you and affect you positively for days afterwards.

In addition to being a beautiful and serene place, Sedona has long been known as a spiritual power center. This is because the power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are "on the path", that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities
The vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth. The vortex energy is not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest.
There are four main energy vortexes in Sedona. The subtle energy that exists at these locations interacts with who a person is inside. The energy resonates with and strengthens the Inner Being of each person that comes within about a quarter to a half mile of it. This resonance happens because the vortex energy is very similar to the subtle energy operating in the energy centers inside each person. If you are at all a sensitive person, it is easy to feel the energy at these vortexes.

Ok, so that was easier than trying to explain myself what a vortex is =)  We went to the Airport Mesa and hiked around, first up to the outlook point, then around the airport trail.  Here are a few pics, 
the small "bell" shaped one on the Right is Bell rock, from Airport Mesa.

This is all of Sedona, you can barley tell its there, it blend so well!

After leaving airport mesa, we headed to Bell rock.  It was a GORGEOUS day!! The sun was shining bright, hardly a cloud in sight, and it was a nice warm 85 degrees, PERFECT motorcycle riding day!  There were TONS of bikes on the road! ---I would like to take a moment to  say it is motorcycle season, and taking a few extra seconds to take a second look may save lives of our loved ones. Give us our fair share of the roadway!!  Take an extra second to look for could save my life, Thank you!--  Since it was so warm we didn't hike all the way up the bell, but we seen a couple people hike all the way to the top of one of the columns.  here are a few pix:

What a fun day!  After leaving bell rock we rode around on the motorcycle for a bit more and then headed over to Tlaquepaque shopping center.  Unfortunately most of the shops were closed, (the stores in Sedona all close before 8pm! most at 6 or 7!)  but we were still able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, (with hardly anyone to get in our way haha!)  There were tons of beautiful metal sculptures and and large Water fountains everywhere.  We went into an amazing art glass store and a rings store, where Kiley decided she needed a new ring lol, most of the shops there were pricey so we went back to one of the stores we stopped in the day before and she got a sterling silver ring with a big turquoise chunk, with silver inlay running through it.  After doing our lil shopping stop we went back to airport mesa to catch the sunset.  We got there just as the sun went behind the rocks, and a few people were leaving, but the show was just beginning! We got some great pictures of sunset over Sedona.

these pictures look much better full size, so click to enlarge!!!

Kiley should be posting more pics from our Sedona/Cottonwood trip.  As for now, I'm tired and this post is pretty long.  Tomorrow i'll write about our time in  Phoenix and so far in California.  Hope everyone enjoyed their week, Happy Friday everyone =)
JR and Kiley


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