Sightseeing around Sedona, AZ.

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

This is my new tub, about a hundred feet from the campground! No showers here, but this incredible and great temp pool sees me daily. I say great temp, that is in the sun, the water is cold but the warm weather has been a gift from above.

Even the locals are telling me that these temps never happens in the winter… just hope it lasts.

Beyond the rocks, passing under a bridge, the creek continues as I heard also that fishing was pretty good. In the meantime we played tourist today… not much of a choice as the highlights of the area are pretty frequented I should say. Montezuma Well and Castle were on the program!

The good news has been that even being a National Park, Spirit was allowed on the trails! Why?… because they have figured out, finally, that people were just leaving their dogs in the heat of their cars! Good thinking… of course “sidecar” applies also.

The turn off for Montezuma Well was not too far from the campground, going north on 179 we made a left on this mild dirt road, FR 119, where we almost got empaled by a gravel truck going warp speed, finally making it safely to the Well.

I will not feel at Peace till I write this… sorry, not much to do with the Well… I have been off balance since my arrival here. And finally this afternoon I realized what was going on… Too many people, too much traffic, too much commercialism! They have robed off the beauty of the area which is unlike many others.

It is hard to appreciate all those monuments standing proud in their colors and shape when one’s attention has to be on trying to deal with the traffic, lost tourists on their cell phones weaving across the road… I can just imagine the scene if winery tours were present!

As in comparison to Valley of Fire, it is like night and day. I am not criticizing the choice people make building their homes, how can we blame anyone for wanting to move here, and at the same time, destroying the Peace and Serenity of the Land. So what is one individual like me suppose to do? I want to see Sedona’s beauty, at the same time such beauty is just not moving my senses, halted by the barriers cris crossing my physical and mental path.

Dilemma right? Live with it… as they say, deal with it! Well, that is what I am doing! There are still a couple areas I would like to see… off the beaten path, hopefully a Pink Jeep from the Pink Jeep Tours will not run me over… and then off to a quiet “neighborhood” as I call it! A member from the DesertUSA forum called me today, Kevin, I am meeting him in the morning as he will show me some areas where as he said… are very remote.

This is the result of being spoiled by my past camping spots, nothing else. Spoiled by vast inhabited lands which allowed me to blend in with Nature. That said, back to Montezuma Well. 1/3rd of a mile short hike to a deep depression, filled by dark blue water, formed long time ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. It is a monument to the ingenuity of the former Indian inhabitants. They built their homes around the lake from which water was diverted into irrigation ditches to water their farms, and, not surprising, the Beaver Creek Golf Club is using today the same irrigation system… we have come a long way, haven’t we? You can see the remains of the Pueblos on the rim of the Well. Think about the fact that the larger one contained 24 ground room floors and the other 15.

The Yavapai and Tonto-Apache, now known as Yavapai-Apache Tribe, have been living in this Verde Valley for centuries. They both trace their origins to Montezuma Well and still come to the Well annually for ceremonial purposes.

Great roads leading to Montezuma Castle afterwards… this is what it said.

Water, water which we take for granted was the center of life, still is and will be for ever as the most sought commodity on Earth. This Pueblo, which by the way was neither a Castle or part of the Montezuma empire, was contructed in the 12th and 13th centuries and is one of the best preserved prehistoric cliff dwelling in Arizona.

This was a scaled down model of what the Castle is like inside. I just think it must have been real pleasant to live up on those cliffs! Five stories, 20 rooms with an overhang that shielded them from the rains, snow and the hot summer sun. Great concept it was.

I have to say, the complete venture and visits are very interesting… crowded or not, worth the trip. And it was time to head back to camp as we do just about every day… A quick stop in town for some groceries, not without bumping into another GS Rider, from Flagstaff, Peter. Nice bike!

1987 Airhead, R100GS… completely rebuilt… came with an Adv Rider sticker!… and some great Touratech bags. He was working… that is what he said 70 miles from home… “great day for work!”. I guess I am not the only one with the bug.

Still so much to see around here, much Artwork displayed a bit everywhere, will be tourists a bit more tomorrow!

My neighbors are leaving in the morning, 9 young volunteers for the Coconino Rural Environment Corp, from many different States… working hard all day with chainsaws… this is Andrea back to camp sharpening her blades as they all have to every night.  And here I thought I had it hard! A great very friendly group, inviting me to their fire every day…

You be well…

Ara & Spirit

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5 Responses to “Sightseeing around Sedona, AZ.”

  1. Linda Says:

    Thanks for the preview Ara, I’ll be there in May after the Butterfly Rally. WOW I can’t wait.
    Stay Safe

  2. Paul Jaramillo Says:

    Ara,
    I spent some 14 years in southern AZ in my youth. It is wonderful to see pictures of the Well and Castle again. Unfortunately, I think your comments about traffic and population encroachment are very accurate. I think I need to go see those places again before they are over run.
    Ride safe, time4me2ride

  3. Clem Says:

    I am amazed at your gratitude for the beauty that you are witnessing. I really love reading about your adventures. I am at the same place I think, I feel much more at peace away from the crowds. I’ll be there this summer.

    take care

  4. Cameo Says:

    That first photo is just striking! I’ve never seen such red earth next to such blue water. Thanks for sharing it with us. Were there any fish in the water? Does Spirit like to swim?

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us – it’s inspiring!

  5. Kate Says:

    Ara,
    I have finally had a chance to sit down and read your writings and it is so wonderful to re-live your advenutres! I was one of the ‘kids’ camped next to you at Beaver Creek and had to leave early because of my broken foot, remember me? 🙂 I am still planning on going to India in January and I will keep you posted on my happenings there, slowly delving into the Tamil language so I can communicate with the children!
    Warm thoughts your way and give Spirit a little hug for me!
    -Kate

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