As we mentioned before, we decided to stay in Camp Verde because it was conveniently located near a number of things we wanted to see and do. Sedona, AZ, is only about 30 miles from Camp Verde, and it was one of the places we wanted to visit. We made a day trip to Sedona from where we were staying in Flagstaff back in 2007, and we decided we wanted to see more this time.
Sedona is primarily a tourist town, and known for its beautiful scenery of red rocks. It is also somewhat of an artist community and has numerous studios and galleries. The next photo shows the uptown section of Sedona, which is the historic section and which is the area where many of the shops are located.
Sedona was founded in 1902 when the first post office was established, but it wasn't incorporated as a city until 1988. The first postmaster got to pick the name of the town, so he named it for his wife, Sedona Miller Schnebly. Sedona was of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry who grew up in Missouri.
We learned about the Sedona Trolley from our online research. The Sedona Trolley has two tours - the Sedona Highlights Tour and the Seven Canyons Scenic Tour. Each tour is 55 minutes long and departs from the uptown section on the hour. You can take either of the tours, or you can take both tours back to back or at different times during the day. The tours are $12 each or $22 for both. We decided to take both. We happened to arrive about 20 minutes before the Seven Canyons Tour, so that's the one we started with.
Seven Canyons is a group of box canyons northwest of Sedona in the Coconino Forest. The trolley heads out scenic Dry Creek Road.
The trolley makes a couple of stops for photos along the way. The photo below shows Margery and the trolley.
The next photo shows both of us with some of the red rock scenery in the background.
Red rocks are everywhere you look. The next photo was taken at one of our stops in one of the box canyons.
Since we were taking both tours back to back, we just stayed on the trolley for the second tour, which heads on down south of Sedona. The trolley drives through Tlaqueplaque (TLA-keh-PAH-keh), which is a high-end shopping plaza featuring arts and crafts. Tlaquepaque is styled to look like a Mexican village.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is a Catholic chapel that was commissioned by sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude, is the major stop for the Sedona Highlights Tour. Though operated by the Catholic Church there are no masses held there, but the chapel is open to the public for prayer and meditation (and sightseeing). The chapel, which was built on the side of a mesa, was completed in 1956.
On the path up to the chapel there is a good view of the rock formation known as the Two Sisters and Madonna and Christ Child (left). This formation reportedly inspired Marguerite Staude to choose this site for the chapel.
Also along the path was a crevice with a prickly pear cactus and wildflowers.
There was a small, attractive garden near the chapel...
...and a container garden near the door.
The cross, said to have been inspired by main support beams of the Empire State Building, is the main theme of the architecture both outside and in. The chapel faces southwest, so if you go in the evening, the setting sun shines in through the window.
Below the chapel is a very large, 44,000 square foot house complete with observatory. There is an extensive lawn with gardens, ponds and waterfalls, as well as two indoor pools - one for people to swim in and one for koi. The indoor koi pond reportedly cost $1 million, and the entire house cost $24 million. The large formation beyond the house is Cathedral Rock.
You would think such a big, fancy house would belong to a celebrity or sports star, but it doesn't. It belongs to a man from Romania who holds numerous European and U. S. parents for medical devices. including the laser scapel.
Speaking of celebrities, many of them have had homes and vacation homes in Sedona including Walt Disney, Donald O'Connor (actor, dancer), Orson Welles (actor, producer, director) and Lucille Ball. The house in the photo below once belonged to Lucille Ball. There is a cutout of her by the railing under the arch in the center of the photo.
On the way back to town, we passed another very well-known rock formation. Snoopy is lying on his back with his nose and feet in the air.
Our trolley driver mentioned a little sandwich shop called Sedona Memories as we passed it on both tours. She said they had very good, very large sandwiches. It wasn't very far out of our way back to the car, so we stopped for something to eat.
The sandwiches were indeed very large, so we split one. It had turkey, cheese, romaine, sprouts, sunflower seeds, avocado and cranberry sauce. It was yummy, but it was hard to get your mouth around.
After lunch and after walking around and looking in several shops, we took the long way back to the motor home so we could see some more of the Red Rocks of Sedona. We drove up to Airport Mesa where there is a small, general-aviation airport and a scenic overlook. The dome to the left in the next photo is Thunder Mountain, which is also known as Capitol Butte. Walt Disney gave it the name Thunder Mountain because of all the lightening strikes there. He named roller coasters at his theme parks after the mountain. The cylindrical formation to the far right is Coffeepot. The resemblance is a little hard to see from Airport Mesa, but from ground level, it looks just like the profile of a coffeepot.
We took some back roads lined with red rock formations, and we eventually connected with highway 89A back to Camp Verde via the Walmart in Cottonwood. We have one more thing we want to see before we leave Camp Verde, and we'll tell you about it in our next post.