This week we are taking you to a place close to home. Sedona, Arizona is 100 miles (160 km) north of Phoenix/Scottsdale and about 30 miles south of Flagstaff. It is a popular weekend and vacation spot. The rock formation above is Cathedral Rock, and in the late afternoon it seems to catch fire with the glow of the setting desert sun.
This is another view of Cathedral Rock from Red Rock Crossing State Park. Oak Creek is responsible for carving Oak Creek Canyon, which opens up to the red rocks of Sedona. This area has been used for filming Western movies.
This is the entrance to the Mi Amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort, our favorite place to stay in Sedona. From the treatment rooms at this spa, you look up at the red rocks of Boynton Canyon.
This is a view of the town of Sedona from the mesa atop which the small local airport sits. It provides an overview of the area and views in all directions. Many of the rock formations in Sedona have names. If you look closely at the right edge of the ridge in this photo, perhaps you can appreciate why it is called "Coffee Pot Rock."
This is Oak Creek, up river from Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Does this look like your mental image of Arizona? I didn't think so. Arizona is much more diverse than people realize. It is not all desert. In fact, the country's largest Ponderosa Pine forest is in the high country above Sedona.
You might be wondering, why are the mountains and rocks in Sedona red? They contain a very high iron content. When they are exposed to the rain, the outside of the rocks oxidize. That is the same process as rust. In Arizona, we call this color "Sedona red." Next time you see the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team on TV, you will notice that their uniforms are Sedona red.
I will close out this series with a Sedona sun set. How did Sedona get its name? Sedona was the name of the wife of the original settler of this area, and he named the town after her.