|Today the six of us took a day trip to Sedona. Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is renowned for its stunning red buttes and monoliths, as well as its surrounding lush forests. The famous red rocks are formed by a layer of rock known as the Schnebly Hill Formation, a thick layer of red to orange-colored sandstone found only in the Sedona vicinity.
Sedona began as a small, remote ranching and farming settlement in 1876 when the first permanent settler, John James Thompson, squatted in Oak Creek Canyon. By 1902, 20 families lived in the settlement and a postal station was petitioned for by Theodore Schnebly. The petition was granted and Schnebly named the new post office in honor of his wife, Sedona. The remote agricultural community was well-know for the quality of its fruit, especially the abundant apple orchards. But as the scenic wonders and sites of Sedona became known, tourism surpassed agriculture in economic importance.
In 1950, surrealist painter Max Ernst moved to Sedona, and other famous artists followed. Many artists have been attracted to Sedona and its rugged beauty which is said to enhance their creativity. Over the years, an artist colony has developed and many of the artists sell their work in local galleries and shops. It may have been more than the scenic red rocks that stimulated the creativity of artists. It is believed by many people that the region of Sedona contains a concentration of vortexes which are spots that release psychic energy or power from the Earth. The four local points which are considered to be energy vortexes are Bell Rock, Table Top Mountain, Cathedral Rock and Boynton Canyon.
Sedona played host to more than sixty Hollywood productions from the first years of movies into the 1970s. The small town, which served as a kind of microcosm of Hollywood history, sits about 120 miles north of Phoenix, nestled between thousand-foot-high walls of stone in lushly forested Oak Creek Canyon and the wide open space of the Verde Valley, and it was the diversity of this unspoiled landscape that made it such an ideal location to shoot outdoor scenes. Stretching as far back as 1923, Sedona’s signature red rocks were a fixture in major Hollywood productions—including enduring favorites such as Johnny Guitar, Angel and the Badman, Desert Fury, Blood on the Moon, and 3:10 to Yuma—but typically were identified to audiences as the terrain of Texas, California, Nevada, and even Canadian border territory. For fifty years, this picturesque desert outpost quietly played host to Hollywood legends in the making, yet the town is rarely found in standard histories of the movies.
When John Ford’s production of Stagecoach pulled into town in 1938 (a Sedona connection that has eluded historians since the film was made), it set off three solid decades of A-picture activity—forty-four features through 1973, helped along by the construction of Sedona Lodge, the only permanent boarding and production facility ever built specifically for movie crews on remote location in the United States. During those years, many of Hollywood’s biggest names were photographed in front of Sedona’s signature landscape, from Errol Flynn to Gene Tierney, John Wayne to Joan Crawford, James Stewart to Lizabeth Scott, Robert Mitchum to Elvis Presley.
Of course Sedona is of great importance to Larry & I as this is where we honeymooned in 1985! We love coming back every few years. Our first stop today was in the old downtown area. We browsed a few of the shops & found several interesting things but held back on purchasing anything. We then decided to head up to the airport where the views are amazing. We decided to enjoy lunch there & waited for an outside table for about 20 minutes. But after getting seated we decided the wind was well, windy & asked to be moved inside! LOL Our waitress thought we were all a bit strange I think. Anyway, he enjoyed a light lunch with plenty of good conversation & laughs. After lunch we decided to split up & the guys went one way while we girls went another.
Our first stop was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Completed in 1956, this pretty little chapel appears to rise 250 feet out of a 1,000-foot redrock cliff and is a popular attraction. The chapel itself is small & quaint but there are lovely views up there & it is a popular Sedona stop. There is 'a house' located below it that stirs up a lot of controversy about spoiling the view. The debate goes on about it's ownership but I believe a couple from Phoenix own it. If you Google his name you find that he is an inventor that owns patents in the medical field (something called an ESU Pencil). Of course rumors say it's Johnny Depp or Nicholas Cage, lol. I think I believe the inventor rumor. The house is large & a bit gaudy for my taste but the grounds & water features are quite lovely.
Moving on, we stopped at Bell & Cathedral Rocks before ultimately stopping for a bit of shopping. Phyllis wanted to pick up a pot for her backyard & she bought Larry a beautiful copper wind spinner for his birthday. A few pics in front of the Sedona sign & we were ready to head the 20 or so miles back home. It was a lovely day with beautiful weather & gorgeous scenery. Loved it! Tomorrow we visit King's Gold Mine in Jerome. See you there :)
PS There is a short video of the B-25 Bomber today. Hopefully you can load it. Enjoy!