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Sedona is a red rock paradise nestled in Aizona, about two hours from Phoenix. We left for Sedona, early enough from Phoenix and watched as the weather changed from slightly hot to a breezy chill. Just our luck, the temperatures dropped much more than we expected and we had to put on our sweaters. We fly all the way from all the cold only to realize we brought the cold along. As we reached Sedona, the landscape changed with the weather and become decidely redder. We stopped at a bike shop, Sedona being famous for its trails but given the chill we didn't rent any. Our first views were temptingly inviting.

Sedona takes its name from Theodore Carlton Schnebly's wife, Sedona Miller Schnebly. In 1902 when he applied for a name for the Post Office he formed, Sedona was approved. The rock formations at Sedona were formed over millions of years with sedimentary layers of sandstone. Dinosaurs roamed the land between 200 and 65 million years ago and between 20 to 12 million years ago, volcanic activity caused the Verde Valley to down fault into a deep basin with lakebeds, creating the Mogollon Rim. About 3 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau uplifted. Since then, erosion by wind, rain and snowmelt has created Oak Creek Canyon and exposed the layers of sediment (Schnebly Hill Formation sandstone) to form the spectacular red rock formations we now see in Sedona.

We got some lunch in Wildflower Bread Co., a popular chain of restaurants and then headed for the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, the chapel was built in 1956 and rises 200 feet from the ground between two large red rock formations. We took our time at the chapel as the 360 degree views were beautiful. We then headed into the formations to the Schnebly trail and hiked. It wasn't a long hike since intermittent rain drops scared us back to the car, but along the way, the rock formations stood above us even more magnificently than we expected.

Back in Sedona, we checked out Tlaquepaque, a unique artists' village. After a refreshing glass of Zinfandel, Mango Margarita, hot chocolate and water at the Oak Creek Brewery we headed to the Sedona airport to grab our last views of the city before we drove to the Grand Canyon. So either on the way to or from the canyon, make sure you stop by Sedona.

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Additional Photos by Jyothi Karthik Raja (yardbird) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 48] (133)
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