Not that I am trying to be a booster for Arizona (because I am not) but (politics aside) there are some f@#*%ing amazing sights to be seen here. It is no wonder that even with the high heat and scarcity of water, Native Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards and lastly European Americans have come to explore and dwell in this place.
One of the most beautiful and (some say) magical places is Sedona. Even after 14 years, I never cease to be awestruck when I see the vistas there. I can't say much for the town because it is mostly hotels, resorts, souvenir shops and tourist cafes.
The people are a mix of cool artsy, new-agers, tourists, and wealthy out-of-towners or retirees. Some of these people are warm and friendly but some are decidedly not. Let's just say that 60-70 year olds in hummers and gated neighborhoods that won't give you the gate code when it has been updated, even though they know you and can see that you are stuck, don't really build a sense of community.
But, really, let's face it, we go there for the geography. And it does not disappoint. Whether one is climbing the steep face of Cathedral Rock, ambling along the trail at Back O' Beyond, or hiking into Boynton Canyon, the best thing you can do is forget about everything except the immediate time and space. It really is a place to get your soul charged up, get fresh air, and enjoyable exercise. Just don't forget your water, hat, and sun-screen!
These are photos of a rock we call the Hamburger Bun (I don't know what it is really called), Me at a friend's new pool with Cathedral Rock in the background, and a blissful day about a year ago at a place called Buddha Beach on the back side of Cathedral Rock. The water is an added bonus!