Posts Tagged ‘fall vacations’


Here’s a great little trip you can take, especially to see the fall foliage in the Ozark Mountains, but also good in late spring or during the summer.  The Ozark Mountains in Arkansas beckon you.  I wrote once about Mountain View, a mountain music and crafts center mecca but this area is also great to visit.

Let me tell you a little about the Hot Springs area.  Everyone knows Bill Clinton was born in Hope but about 70 miles north nestled in the mountains is Hot Springs.  He moved there as a young man and I remember hearing stories of how his mother loved playing the ponies at the Hot Springs horse track.

But there are a lot of other things to do in this area known for its thermal springs and bath houses. The water that flows from the underground springs are believed to have healing abilities and were first discovered hundreds of years ago by Native Americans.

While here you may want to consider a sunset dinner cruise aboard the Belle of Hot Springs riverboat.   A visit through Hot Springs National Park is also a must. Then onto the opulently restored Fordyce Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row is a site to behold.  (this is also where the National Park has their Visitor Center).  Finally check out the Gangster Museum where you are transported back to the 20s, 30s and 40s when gambling and bootlegging coexisted with the warm mineral waters of this awesome little valley town.

Nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks, the quaint town of Van Buren offers a chance to step back in time by strolling through the beautifully restored Victorian Main Street.  Then you can climb aboard the Arkansas-Missouri Scenic Railroad. The turn of the century passenger cars with their elegant mahogany interior which was the norm in the golden age of rail travel, is fun to ride.

Since you are a hop skip and a jump away from Branson why not continue on to this music mecca.

An evening aboard the showboat Branson Belle with dinner and entertainment is a great end to a wonderful day.  This was the best tasting food I have ever had on a riverboat and the entertainment was good, too. Since you are in Branson, what else can you do?  Take in a show, of course.  There are morning shows, afternoon shows and evening shows.  Some of the shows you can take in are The Osmonds, The Million Dollar Quartet, Down Home Country, The Brett Family Show, the Clay Cooper Country Music Express, The Haygoods Show, and #1 Hits of the 60s and the 50s.

And if you enjoy these shows come back anytime in November and December to see their special Christmas shows.

So much to see and do in magical Arkansas.


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With Fall just around the corner here is a great place to visit during that time of the year.
I was once playing a trivia game and the question was, “What state is called The Mountain State?”  Naturally I started thinking Wyoming or Colorado, but I was wrong.  The correct answer which shocked me was…West Virginia.
The state is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains which are the oldest mountain chain in North America.  Because of that you don’t see a lot of tall mountains.  The average is probably 3,000-5,000 feet with a few over 6,000.
But what makes West Virginia “The Mountain State”?   They say they have more mountains in their state than any other state east of the Mississippi.  This state has had its share of troubles from Civil War battles, mountain feuds, and coal mining labor disputes.
But today its scenic beauty, especially in the fall, has made it a haven for skiers, white-water rafters, hikers and anyone who loves the outdoors.  There are covered bridges, caves, and an extensive railway system that was once used for transporting lumber and now carries passengers who want to enjoy the state’s scenic wonders.
And that is the reason I am writing this article.  I wrote a previous piece on West Virginia Autumn Foliage and that is truly a wonderful time to visit the state.  But our new tour, with Mayflower Tours, runs both in the summer and fall.
The tour is called “West Virginia Mountain Rails and Trails” and you are treated to four different train rides in the state on this seven day adventure.  You fly into Pittsburgh which is another Eastern city that has made a turn around and is quite beautiful.
From there you transfer to your hotel in Morgantown.  We ride a prototype people mover around Don Knott’s hometown and see all the sights where he grew up.
Later that day we have dinner aboard the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad.   This excursion follows the South Branch of the Potomac River through a scenic valley and steep mountains filled with evergreens.  You may even spot a bald eagle along this journey.
The next day is on to the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area and later we board the Cass Scenic Railroad for a journey up the mountain to Whittaker Station and a logging camp.  Old steam Shay or Heisler locomotives, that once hauled the logging trains, will take us on this adventure.
The Greenbriar with the Bunker is one of my favorite places to visit.  This stop awaits us the next day.  I wrote about this place extensively in my other West Virginia article if you would like to read more about this stop.
We continue on to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine where we travel underground in authentic mining cars.  The New River Gorge, one of America’s newest National Parks, is our next stop.  We even ride a covered jetboat on the river.
Finally our last day is full of adventure.  First up we ride the steam-powered Durbin Rocket along the Greenbriar River.  A Climax 1910 steam locomotive takes us on a 10 & ½ mile 2 hour journey with both scenic mountain, as well as river views.
Next up have a hobo lunch while we climb Cheat Mountain aboard the Salamander and finish the day with dinner at the Railyard Restaurant and ending with an evening of live entertainment at the American Mountain Theater.  At the theater we are treated to a mixture of country, gospel, bluegrass, pop, and patriotic music.
There is definitely a lot of adventure on this tour as well as scenic beauty that will take your breath away.  Whether you take an escorted tour or make up your own with Fall nearly here you may want to definitely consider visiting the “The Mountain State.”

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I recently did a “food tour” of Virginia Beach, Virginia. But before we arrived we made a couple of other stops. If you visit you will find a lot of history in this area. We had so little time, we were not able to see much of the historic places. However if you visit plan to stop at the Jamestown Settlement and Williamsburg while you are there.
On Day Two we did a 3 hour whirlwind tour of DC. Since it was late Sunday afternoon the roads seemed to magically open for us. We walked by the White House, Capitol, and into the WWII monument. We then drove the tidal basin & even had time to walk into the Lincoln & Korean Memorials. On the way out of town we zipped by Arlington National Cemetery & the Iwo Jima Memorial. If you ever do the Iwo Jima Monument make sure you drive the whole circle. It’s an optical illusion but it looks like the flag is raising and lowering as you drive around.
The next morning we had 3 hours to kill so I contacted the Convention Visitor Bureau in Hampton, Virginia. The man who helped me there awesome! They have the most wonderful History Museum in that town. It covers 400 years of history in several galleries. He organized guides for us and split the group in threes for our tour. We also saw St. John’s Church before “Bruce” jumped on our coach and did a little city tour on our way to lunch and shopping. For those of you interested there is a big Bass Pro Shop on a little lake with restaurants and a Coldstone Creamery behind the store. I haven’t even touched on all the neat things to do in this town, including some great shopping areas and restaurants.
Then we headed to Virginia Beach. The population is approximately440,000 and it is the most populous city in the state. However the area is very spread out so it is not a city with big skyscraper type buildings. As we drove in we saw many hotels several stories tall facing the ocean, with the required tourist souvenir shops nearby. The way they were built most rooms had ocean views. Our hotel had every room with balconies facing the boardwalk and ocean.
The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
Naturally due to the location it is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, condos and restaurants along the oceanfront. The boardwalk is also neat. There is a separate paved bike path so you don’t run into pedestrians and the famed King Neptune Statue is a must stop.
The city is home to many state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, two universities, International headquarters and site of the television broadcast studios for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), and Edgar Cayce’s Hospital for Research and Enlightenment which was established in 1928 with 60 beds.
Cayce was a very famous psychic in his time who claimed healing abilities and made prophesies. He is known as the father of the “New Age” movement of the 1960s. He lived in Virginia Beach until he died on January 3, 1945. His followers are still very active in the area and many people all over the world still study his prophesies.
An interesting historic fact is near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown in1607.
One of our dinners was at the Chesapeake Grill, the only restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. We had wonderful Barbeque there as we gazed at the beautiful water views. I just wished we had time to stay long enough to see the sunset. I am sure it would have been spectacular. But even if you don’t stop you need to drive over the bridge. It is four lanes and has two tunnels. The entire bridge and tunnels span twenty miles!
 Naturally seafood was the highlight of our tour. We had She Crab soup, fish sandwiches, crab cake, BBQ shrimp, grilled shrimp, oysters Rockafellar, clams provencal, and fish tacos. And homemade desserts–little chocolate cookies, key lime pie, piled high strawberry shortcake and famous Bundt cakes from Rowena’s in Norfolk. Did I mention cheese and sausage at our wine tasting?

And I have to tell you as I tell my travelers–when you are on vacation there is no calories in the food you eat!

The third day of our stay was a lot about peanuts and ham. We went to Smithville and had Brunswick stew, a ham sandwich on a sweet potato roll, and a Virginian reuben, which is actually made of turkey. After all this food we visited a famous Ham Country Store where we learned about curing and how hams are stored and preserved. The only problem we had was when everyone got off the bus at the end of the day they smelled like they had been in a fire!

There was a little time late that afternoon and evening to enjoy the beach and our hotel. The next day sadly we left for our overnight stay in Pittsburgh before heading back to Chicago.

There are so many great towns in the area like Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth and Hampton that when you think about your next vacation, put the Eastern shore of Virginia high on your list. I know you won’t be sorry. However if you want to escape the hoards of beachgoers I would suggest a visit in the spring or fall.

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Summer is fast approaching and that means many people are thinking about their summer vacations.  Traveling by train can be a very fun experience if you have the proper expectations.

Riding trains can be an awesome experience.  There is a definite romance with riding the rails. And, you encounter many train buffs along the way who have fascinating stories of vintage trains and travel in the olden days as well as today.

In the U.S., Amtrak is the major means of cross country travel.  When dealing with Amtrak you have to sit back and enjoy the ride and scenery, but expect issues can happen. I believe if your expectations are not too high, you can much more appreciate the journey.

Amtrak is a government owned corporation with the rails primarily owned by freight companies. Passenger trains must yield to freighters and if they become delayed for any reason, they have to pull over and let the freight trains go by. Sometimes this can cause delays so if you are in a hurry, don’t take the train.

You meet very nice people when traveling by rail. The dining car contains booths that seat four. If there is only one or two of you, expect to be seated with others. The conversation can be very stimulating as you wait for your meal to arrive.  On the long distance trains, the food is prepared on board and it is usually enjoyable.

If you can afford it, a sleeper (with bathroom) or even a roomette (bathroom down the hall) is the way to go. You have all your meals included since this is considered 1st class and coffee, water, juice and ice are available all day. A morning newspaper is delivered after the first morning stop each day.

Sitting up can be a little tiresome and there is no privacy. Nevertheless, if you cannot afford a room, this type of travel is an option. If you need to use the bathroom, you have to go downstairs. Small pillows are provided but no blankets. The seats however are roomy and recline so if you know ahead of time what to expect, it is not quite so bad.  This is especially true if have experienced a long overnight flight. You have much more room in coach on a train then on a plane.  It is all about the spirit of adventure and going to new and sometimes, remote places.
The 1st class passengers get the initial choice of dinner times so if you are in coach expect a later meal, especially in the summer when popular trains have several sleeping cars that have to be accommodated first. I know many seniors tend to dislike eating late but there is a snack bar to hold you over while you wait for dinner or as a substitute for the dining room. And, another option is to have your coach attendant bring your meal to your seat if you prefer not to wait for a late dinner time.

A lot of us have a misconception of train travel as displayed in the old movies, like North by Northwest, which showed traveling on trains as a glamorous experience.   It is important to get past these old images of leather seats and meals with fine china as portrayed in the movies. No longer is there a club car with waiters bringing your drinks.  Now you go downstairs in the lounge car to purchase your beverage and either sit in the observation car or go back to your room or seat to drink it.   But it is still fun to watch the scenery unfold as the train sways and clickety clacks along the rails while you are sipping an evening cocktail or glass of wine.

There are many who travel all over the US by Amtrak. Just remember to make reservations in advance, especially for summer travel.  This is the busiest season for Amtrak and trains can be full with people.

I think sometimes we can get spoiled by our fast paced world. At one time, train travel was a luxurious way to travel. It still can be lots of fun, if taken with a spirit of adventure.  Sitting back and letting the scenery unfold in front of you is a great way to relax and unwind from a hectic life.  Remember it is the journey, not the destination.

Next month we’ll look at some different train routes you may enjoy.

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This last February my brother and I took the train to Yosemite National Park (well sort of…).  We got on the Pacific Surfliner
at 8:00 a.m. from Oceanside, California to L.A.   The ride from Oceanside to San Juan Capistrano was awesome.  We followed the Pacific Ocean sometimes high up on bluffs and other times right down next to the beach.  We saw a lot of surfers with pelicans circling around them

San Juan Capistrano was a mission established in 1776 and the swallows used to come back every year on March 19th on their migration from Argentina.   Unfortunately since 2009 the swallows now migrate a little further north.

After the train stopped at Capistrano, we headed inland towards L.A.   There we boarded our thruway bus to Bakersfield.  Then it was another train, the San Joaquin, up to Merced, the gateway to Yosemite.   We arrived at 4:30 p.m. and picked up our rent a car before going to our hotel for the next two nights.

The next morning we were up early because we had a lot of miles to cover.   The area we stayed in is referred to as the Valley and many of
California’s fruits and vegetables are raised in this area.  The land is very flat and we drove the long way south to Madera before cutting over towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Yosemite is located.

Our plan, in order to see as much of the park as possible, was to drive in the south entrance and drive out the west entrance.  Yosemite’s elevations start at just under 3,000 feet and are as high as 13,000 feet so we had a steep climb from the valley floor to get there.

First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, beautiful meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and a vast wilderness area.   Over 95% of the park is wilderness with the main part of the action in Yosemite Valley where hotels and campsites are located.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is known for its geographic and biological diversity.  Most of the trees are the Western Red Cedars (the Sequoias) and Ponderosa Pines.  The Ponderosas were so round and tall I thought they were 200 years old (since they tend to grow a foot a year in most areas) but a ranger told me they were 300 hundred years old.  There are not many places left in the U.S. today that you can see old growth forests like we saw in Yosemite.  There are also two rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, that begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley.

For tens of thousands of years humans have lived in this area. The Ahwahneechee lived here for generations, followed by the arrival of Europeans in the mid-1800s. The rugged terrain challenged many of these early travelers who came by horseback or stagecoach.   By 1907, construction of the Yosemite Valley Railroad from Merced to El Portal eased the journey, thereby, increasing visitation.  Historic mining sites remain from miners who came to the Sierra to seek their fortune in gold.  And, today 3.5 million people enter the park every year to explore.

John Muir helped spark the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890.  He was also instrumental in getting Sequoia and the Grand Canyon named as National Parks.   In 1869, Muir landed a job as a shepherd which gave him the opportunity to study the flora and fauna.  When he saw that the grazing sheep were destroying the area, he lobbied for a National Park.

Yosemite was also a favorite place for photos by Ansel Adams and you may want to read more about both Adams and Muir since space here is limited.  A third person important to the area if you would like to read more is Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service. He used his wealth and political connections to take the national park idea in important new directions when he saw how poorly the parks looked in 1914.  He even hired staff to help him and paid them out of his own pocket.

When you arrive in the valley area you see El Capitan, the 3,000 foot monolith and it is one of the world’s favorite challenges for rock climbers.   You can only climb up because it is way too dangerous to go back down so the trail must be taken.  And right by El Capitan you can gaze upon the 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America.  Across from El Capitan there are some other granite monolith rocks, like Half Dome.  These rocks were carved out by the glaciers that came through the area.   But I am getting a little ahead of myself.

We drove for almost an hour after we entered the south entrance and it truly was wilderness.  The only bad thing was it was February and we were over 5,000 feet and there was no snow!  That does not bode well for this summer’s fire season.  Finally we entered a tunnel.  The tunnel was constructed by the WPA in 1933 but as people came out of the tunnel there were so many accidents and the Overlook was a very dangerous place to pull over.  So the Tunnel View Overlook was renovated and re-dedicated in 2008.

The Tunnel View scenic overlook is a historic site, and has beautiful views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome. Both the Wawona Tunnel and Tunnel View were determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 because of their exemplary designs.  The overlook is such a popular site that there is an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people who visit every day during the
height of the tourist season.  But even more special to us when we pulled off onto the Overlook was the sun was positioned in such a way it created a huge rainbow on the distant Bridalveil Falls that was an incredible site to behold.

If you ever get to a National Park there is a book about the great lodges of the West.  I have written about the lodges at both Yellowstone and Glacier.  Whenever I get to a new Park, I always try to visit the famous lodge built there.

The lodge in Yosemite is called the Ahwahnee and is quite unique since it was Mather who lobbied for it to be developed.  Many of the
other famous lodges were built with materials found in their areas.  But all natural resources in National Parks are protected now and building materials cannot be used from the parks any more.  Since the lodge was not built until 1926, trucks had to haul all the building materials in over primitive roads seven days a week.  The lodges in Glacier and Yellowstone used existing timber and stone but that can no longer happen.  The primary building materials were steel, granite and concrete and then the outside of the granite and concrete was stained to look like redwood.

There is a central tower several stories tall and three separate wings with huge fireplaces.  The west wing has a dining room that seats 350 people.  The room is 130 feet long, over 51 feet wide and the ceiling reaches 34 feet.    It is a massive room and very beautiful.   During World War II, the Ahwahnee was a rest and relaxation hospital for the Navy.  Over 90,000 troops rested there and almost 7,000 patients were treated at the lodge.

Not too far from the Ahwahnee is Curry Village where you can rents tents and Yosemite Lodge where you can also stay.  There are also little towns just outside the park with lots of hotels and motels so you have a lot of choices when visiting the park.

As the sun was setting we drove down out of the park and back to our hotel in the Valley.  The next day we headed home and that also turned into an adventure.  Our Amtrak train was late; almost an hour by the time we got to Bakersfield.  We were rushed onto out thruway bus to LA.  Our driver was excellent and took several back roads in LA to avoid rush hour.  We actually made our train back to Oceanside with ten minutes to spare!


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Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall–anytime is a good time to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

My company has a bus tour out of Chicago to Myrtle Beach in the spring and fall.  Did you know that Myrtle Beach is referred to as the “Branson of the East Coast”?    Although the population is low at under 30,000, because of the way it is situated on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, the area known as “The Grand Strand” tends to not get direct hits from hurricanes.  It also helps that the Gulf Stream is about 40 miles offshore which contributes to the temperate climate.

The Grand Strand runs along the ocean in a crescent shape for over 60 miles.  To say it is a major tourist area is an understatement.  The German word for Strand means beach and that is why the area is called that.  Myrtle Beach is the biggest city along the Grand Strand area.    The city began as a year round golfing resort in 1927 and by the 1970’s it had become a premier golfing destination.  And they are also known to have more minature golf courses than anywhere else.

There are many resort hotels and high rise condos along the beach with a Boardwalk and Promenade that runs a little over a mile.  This has truly become a family destination (or you may want to take the grandkids) with many restaurants serving a smorgasbord of buffets with lots of fish, including crab legs and shrimp and everything in between.  For breakfast or lunch you can try the food at one of the many pancake houses in the area.

Also right downtown is the Family Kingdom Amusement Park which is reminiscent of old time amusement parks with a wooden roller coaster, ferris wheel and carousel.

And, the shopping…. There are 2 Tanger outlets very close to each other as well as my favorite place, Broadway at the Beach.  This is a fun place to stroll around with over 100 shops and 30 restaurants.  You can follow the Boardwalk through several different themed villages and
there are 3 bridges you can use to walk across the man made lake.   Besides shopping for the adults, there is plenty for the kids to do, too, including the Ripley’s Aquarium.  We took our travelers there and you walk through a tube with sharks swimming all around you.  Truly awesome.  And if you get tired out from all the walking, there is an IMAX theater so you can sit and recharge while watching a movie.

And, did I mention theaters?   There is a variety theater called, The Carolina Opry, Legends in Concert, featuring Elvis, of course, Medevial Theater, Good Vibrations, Big Laughs Theater, Alabama Theater, The House of Blues, Pirates Voyage Dinner Attraction, and The Palace Theater where you can see anything from magicians to Irish dancers.  I heard a couple of years ago that Pat Boone was looking at building a theater in the area, but then I guess that is still on the back burner   However there is certainly no scarcity of shows and music for you to choose from.

If you want to take in some other attractions outside the city, to the north is another shopping area called Barefoot Landing.  To the south is Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark with a large outside collection of fugurative sculptures by American artists.  Not far from Brookgreen Gardens is Pawley’s Island, one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast.  The rice plantation owners brought their familes here to escape inland heat in the summer. You can still buy the rope hammocks hand made by the locals.  The island has been termed “arrogantly shabby” with its shoeless laid back lifestyle.

On our tour we also took a day trip up to Wilmington, North Carolina.  This town along the Cape Fear River was the last Atlantic port opened to blockade runners during the Civil War.  It has one of the largest historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was founded more than 250 years ago.  Great pine plantations lined the river and produced rice, indigo and cotton which contributed to its wealth.  The battleship North Carolina resides here and the city has been refered to as Hollywood East for the many movies made as well as the television shows, “Dawson Creek” and “Matlock”.

If you do nothing more than take advantage of the beaches it is worth the trip.  And if you come from the Midwest, you get to travel through the Smoky Mountains–one of my favorite drives in the U.S.   Meanwhile back in Myrtle Beach, I hear “Crabby Mike’s” calling me for dinner and after that a little rock n roll at the Legends Theater!!!!!!!

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Every time we have a tour that goes west anywhere near Flagstaff, whether to Tucson or Palm Springs, I try and find a way to take my travelers to Sedona.
The red rock country of Sedona lives up to all its hype. If you are coming from Flagstaff, for scenery rather than driving the interstate, you should take Oak Creek Canyon Drive to get there.
The journey along Oak Creek Canyon road is half the fun! It is one of Rand McNally’s Top Five Scenic Drives in America and the road truly beckons with its immense beauty and incredible landscapes. At the top are large Ponderosa Pine trees (and if you sniff the bark of these trees you can get into an argument with others whether you smell vanilla or butterscotch–I definitely go for vanilla!).  As you begin your descent, you will wind around curves in the canyon that are only 15 or 20 mph. On your way down you lose the Ponderosa Pines and begin to see Pinon Pine and Juniper trees. The canyon road is about fourteen miles long and sometimes Oak Creek is on your right and sometimes on your left as you make your way down to the Red Rock country.
However, before you descend on your journey down through the canyon, there is a rest area up top. Native Americans sell their authentic jewelry there or you can simply stroll the walkway to incredible sites overlooking the canyon to take photos. (Remember if you are coming from Phoenix area, you can drive this road in reverse from Sedona up to Flagstaff).
As you get closer to the town, you will begin to marvel at the giant monoliths–a single rock shaped like a pillar or statue. These rocks have been created in this dusty, semi-arid topography and take on shades of color from bright red to pale sand depending how the clouds pass or the sun shines on them. Since most of the rock is sedimentary, like sandstone, they are constantly eroding and changing shape.
Some of the buttes and pinnacles have names like Bell Rock, Steamship Rock, Chimney Rock and Coffeepot Rock. There is even a Snoopy Rock and there is a café in the center of town with a balcony out back where you can sit and have a drink and watch Woodstock on Snoopy’s nose.
There are 4-wheel jeep rides you can take out into the Red Rock country. I have never done this because I am usually only in town for a few hours, but they tell me the shapes are even more noticeable if you are riding out among the rocks and can see them from all four sides.
Also on the south side of town is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a stunning church that emerges right out of the red rocks and sits on top of a sandstone ridge.  Originally the chapel was going to be built in Budapest but because of World War II it was built and opened in Sedona in April of 1956.
And, guess what you see nearby? Some Red Rocks that look like two nuns praying.
There is a long history of humans living in the area. The first residents were the ancient cliff dwellers probably around 1130-1300 AD. There are still two cliff dwellings you can visit with a number of pictographs in the shape of animals, people and designs.
The miners came next but did not find much of value and moved on. One of the first settlers to the area, T. Carl Schnebly, helped to give the town its name. In 1902 he wanted to create a post office and submitted several names, including his own. But the names were all turned down. Finally his brother suggested Carl’s wife’s name and it stuck.
There are a lot of movies that have been made here and because of the natural beauty of the scenery, the town is a haven for artists, sculptors, pottery and jewelry makers. Also many spiritualist live here and you see many shops that specialize in New Age Medicine and spiritual tours.
The area is supposed to be the home of several vortexes—specific fields that emit energy upward from the earth. These energies are thought to energize and inspire. I don’t know whether it is true or not but one time I was staying overnight and one of my passengers had cancer in the final stages. He told me he felt so much better while in the area and he was thinking about coming back that winter for a month.
I often wondered if he did do that. If that is something that interests you, I have been told there are two other areas in the U.S. that have vortexes. One is Alamosa, CO and the other Mount Shasta, CA.
So whether you go for the vortexes or natural beauty of the Red Rocks, put Sedona on your bucket list.


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