One thing about driving from Phoenix to Sedona is that getting out of Phoenix is roughly half of the driving time, especially in rush hour traffic which is not nearly as bad as Chicago rush hour traffic. Really! Also, Arizona is an awesome place to drive because a lot of the highways have a 75 mile/hour limit once you leave the city. However, there are no road lights, so once night falls, 75 feels pretty fast. It also means that you see nothing except what your headlights illuminate in front of you. So when I drove into Sedona at 7 p.m at night, I didn't see any mountains. Inky blackness extended beyond all the shops, galleries, hotels/motels/inns/resorts and restaurants. Sedona could have been one big valley as far as I was concerned.
Isn't it breathtaking?! The mountains seemed to form layer upon layer. You would get past one layer and find a whole new set of mountains. We got to "rock and roll on a very bad road" to see the ruins of an Native American pueblo built into an awesome cave. There are so many trails to hike that I could spend a week there and still not have explored them all. However, if I had formed my opinion based on what I had seen in the dark, I would have passed it off as merely a tourist trap (which it also is) and missed the glory and splendor that God created. It also made me wonder, however, if the residents of Sedona, the people who wake up to these views 365 days a year ever say to themselves, "Oh yeah. Another beautiful day to look at mountains (yawn). BORING!", or even "Mountains? What mountains?" I mean, really, if you had an awesome view to look at every day of your life, wouldn't it become ordinary and commonplace? Would it lose the luster? You might have to go to Detroit, Michigan (which I did visit once and was not impressed) or Rockford, Illinois (in which I lived for three rotten, no good years) to be able to renew your sense of wonder at your hometown and really appreciate it. At this point, I will leave you develop all the emotional and spiritual lessons that can be gleaned from this insightful insight.
My girlfriend and I had fun chatting about all sorts of stuff, taking a couple of hikes, and shopping, which, because I wasn't hunting for something in particular and because it didn't involve noisy malls, it didn't inspire anymore stanzas to the Malls--How do I hate thee? poem. We had lunch at a western themed restaurant with a fabulous view, too. I think it was the same one at which our family ate when we visited Sedona almost five years ago. I also had a vision for what to do to fill up the shelf high above the dry sink: buy a few, funky, tall, glass vases of different colors and shapes and put one of those rope lights behind them to turn on at night. However, I won't be buying them from the shop in Sedona which inspired my vision, considering one of them was about 1/3 of the cost of a small car.
All in all, it was a wonderful, lovely day in which not one conversation was interrupted by a child's need/scream/question/comment. Thank you, Eric. You are my knight in shining armor!