As I last left you in my updated post, Nate and I were heading out to Hoover Dam and Lowell Observatory. Well, we made it to Hoover Dam, along with 3000 other people. No, I’m not imbellishing that at all. We were lucky on the 2nd pass to get a place to park just to take a picture. Our return trip, with a side trip on Rt. 66, was boring and uneventful, other than seeing a prairie dog and a rabbit. We still haven’t made it to Lowell, but we will.
Yesterday we went to the Grand Canyon and hiked to the 1 1/2 mile marker on Bright Angel Trail. We had thought of going on to the 3 mile marker but weren’t sure how long it would take for us to return. The trail was extremely icy and downright treacherous in places. Crampons would have been welcome. It took an hour and a half to go down and two hours coming back up, and we took it easy coming back up. I was really surprised that the ascent wasn’t tougher. I had been told it was tougher than Potato Knob Trail at Holly River State Park in the great state of West Virginia. However, I beg to differ.
Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. In the Grand Canyon, you deal with elevation, high temps, and arid conditions. In West Virginia, you deal with high temps and humidity. However, the first ascent on Potato Knob Trail is brutal. The whole trail is brutal and I’m sure there are trails at the Grand Canyon which are equally as brutal, especially in the summertime. I was just surprised because I had been told it was much more difficult. Or maybe I’m just in better shape than I thought.
Anywho, Nate and I returned to Sedona today and visited The Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is said to be built over the site of vortex. Nate and I had visited the vortex at Cresent Moon park and while I felt peaceful, I didn’t really experience anything profound. However, at The Chapel of the Holy Cross, I had a totally different experience. Maybe it’s the way the inside of the church is made but it was definitely a profound experience. I may have been Catholic in a previous life or maybe it was the spiritual energy. Regardless, the wait in traffic was worth it. I cried because at that moment, sitting on the pew, I knew, more than ever, there was a “God.” Whatever you believe “God” to be.
I knew I was sitting in the light of something far more beautiful and holy than any person could ever hope to attain. It made me feel weak and powerful, all at the same time. It was amazing.
We then continued on to Montezuma Well, which was once an underground cavern that sunk in and is now fed over a million gallons of water a day at the perfect temperature of 76 degrees year round. Pretty impressive. We then tried to find a few other vortexes but didn’t have any luck and decided to call it a day and stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream. And now I’m blogging. I suppose once I upload all of the pics, I’ll ruminate further on The Chapel of the Holy Cross and my experience there.
Sunset Crater Park with S.F. Peaks in the distance
Nate in the “Ice Cave” at Sunset Crater Park. The park rangers said they go down there in the summertime to cool off. The underground cavern which supplies the cool air has been caged off.
Nate and I both enjoyed the “Blowhole” at Waputaki Ruins. Yep, just a spot in the Earth that either blows or sucks air, depending on the air pressure on the outside. That day, it was blowing.
Petrified Forest (via Nate’s phone camera since I forgot mine, duh!)
Petrified stump (via Nate’s phone camera again)
The Painted Desert
And more desert
And you never know what you’ll catch a pic of in the sunset…
Hoover Dam – Nevada Side
Hoover Dam – Arizona side
Overlook on way back to Kingman, AZ
We also stopped along the way for ice cream in Dolan Springs, AZ. Didn’t get a good pic of the sign though. It was a wide spot in the road on the way to the West Rim of the Canyon. We just thought it would be cool…. and I did meet Eddie. A local cowboy with a kick ass smile and very little ability to speak English. I think we could have gotten along just fine though. Meow.
Nate would want you to see this camera phone pic he took of Shelby GT in Kingman, AZ.
Relaxing on Route 66 at Seligman, AZ after a long day. On to THE Canyon…
Nate is trying to become the spokeskid for Aquafina and the Grand Canyon.
View from Bright Angel Trail
A Kaibab squirrel at the 1 1/2 mile resthouse. He was sneaking up over the edge to get a drink of Spring run-off.
Nate and I at the 1 1/2 rest house.
Ahhh, the lovely canyon and my handsome son.
Towering canyon walls
I think my son has a future as a photographer.
Look closely and you’ll see this…
The SAR helicopter had landed although we had already left and didn’t know why it was there. We passed two park rangers who were on their way down and they didn’t know either.
Nate resting… less than 10 yards from the top of the trail
And you’ll see the 1 1/2 mile resthouse
And night falls at the Canyon
Mather Point… on to a new sunrise
The Peach at Peach Lane in Uptown Sedona
Mr. Lizard welcomed us to Uptown Sedona.
The red rocks of Sedona above The Chapel of the Holy Cross
It looks soft, doesn’t it? No, not so soft. Very prickly.
And close-up of purple cacti (at Chapel of The Holy Cross)
See that great house in the foreground, with the great view of the rocks and the Chapel? Yeah. I had to get a close-up.
Wow, do you see those four garage doors???? Wow.
Nate got this great shot of the outside front of the Chapel. Although people were taking pictures inside, I thought it would somehow be disrespectful. Besides, as far as Chapels go, I’ve seen more ornate without nearly as much feeling.
The Arizona Sycamore
And, of course, there’s the inspiration I’ve received…
Finished this tiger’s eye piece right before I left.
And the inspiration to finish this.
And I found some new beads at Cocopah Bead Store, the oldest bead store in AZ. I mixed them with some beads I already had and wha-la!
And these beads I ordered as a kit from Cocopah before I got here. Both of the pieces use red jasper. The top one has Australian pearls (I think, I need to check back before I leave), and foam green freshwater pearls. The bottom one has turqoise with the jasper. The lady at Cocopah said I have a good eye for color. I took that as a supreme compliment.
And as a supreme compliment to fresh mountain air, red rocks, and spiritual experiences, I’m going to bed. Sweet dreams, my friends. And don’t forget to look in that rearview (side) mirror.