Thursday, July 3, 2014

Flagstaff Con Day 4: Sedona

Some places are simply magical. There's something about it; a feeling in the air, a view, the faint odor of something greater than yourself that inhabits a place lets you know that this place is one of the magical places in the world, and words simply can't capture it.

So, naturally you label these places "vortexes" (or "vortices," if you're a smart ass) and set up shop as a mystic nearby so you can profit off of nature's wonders.

Welcome to Sedona!

To be fair to Sedona, the place really does seem like something out of a fantasy movie. The Lord of the Rings trilogy could have been shot near Sedona and I would have been just as sold.

The best part is driving down to Sedona from Flagstaff, taking the winding, beautiful road that shoots off of Interstate 17. The lovely forests and towering, colorful crags take your breath away and, frankly, makes it rather difficult to keep my eyes on the road; an important task, since much of the road involves being precariously close to sheer drops that would cause either death or, at least, a severe case of whiplash.

The magical, green, craggy mountains slowly give way to magnificent mesas and plateaus that honestly rival the Grand Canyon in their majesty. I took to calling them "watermelon" mountains, since they gave the impression of an upside-down slice of watermelon: the green trees gave way to a strip of white limestone near the top before reaching the red/orange stone that made up the bulk of the mountain.

The town of Sedona itself is fairly touristy, and I don't recommend spending too much time there if you can avoid it. The food is pricey, and every other shop is a psychic, a new age medicine practitioner, or some guy in white robes selling crystals and offering tours of his fairy garden.

Which, hey, if that's what you're interested in, go nuts. You can get your aura cleansed, photographed, and read, have your chakra massaged, and replenish your energies all in the same place there, if you want it. I have better uses for my money, though.

The real treat of Sedona was the surroundings. One of the last things we did was go to a trail that lead to a place called Cathedral Rock. Though the trail was only about a mile long, it was one of the most interesting trails I've ever been on.

Rather than your standard trail, which is often marked by a sandy strip created by near-constant traffic, the trail up to Cathedral Rock involved climbing up the sheer face of a mountain for a while, climbing up a near-vertical crevice at some point. It was amazing, and once I got up I wasn't sure I'd be able to get down.

You know how in, say, Skyrim soemtimes you start walking up a mountain in the vain hope of taking a shortcut, and at some point you can't help but wonder how your character is keeping their feet given the steep incline? Walking up this trail, I discovered that those situations are actually more realistic than I thought.

Anyway, there was supposed to be a vortex at the end of the trail. The hike was definitely worth the effort, but I didn't notice any vortexes. All I saw was a beautiful view and a sign letting me know I'd made it.

The sign and the solar flare teamed up to block the view.

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