Friday, August 12, 2016

Sedona Red Rocks, Sedona, Arizona

We drove into Sedona the other day because we have heard so much about the red rocks it is famous for.  Our first stop was the Chamber of Commerce where we picked up a map and other information about where to take the best shots of the rocks. Sedona is a small tourist town with lots of shops and restaurants. This city hosts up to 3 million annual visitors. The center provides information about sightseeing, hiking, recreational and cultural activities, special events, etc.

There is virtually no humidity or mosquitos (that means dogs do not need Heartguard), but it is darn HOT.

Cathedral Rock is one of  the iconic rock formations in the Sedona area. The rock is comprised of Schnebly Hill formation dating back to the Permian period, around 300 million years ago. The vortex of Cathedral Rock is located on the northeast side of the formation, generally reached by the steep but relatively short Cathedral Rock Trail. Needless to say, we did not hike that trail.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Most of the pictures I took were taken from the area around the Chapel. The Chapel was built into the red rocks in 1953 after Marguerite Bunswig Staude obtained a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Visitors from all over the world make it a stop on their tour of the area. The Chapel was chosen in 2010 as one of the Seven Wonders of Arizona. Ms. Staude envisioned the design of the Chapel after seeing the image of a cross on a building in New York City. She sketched her vision and, with architect Lloyd Wright, son of famous Arizona architect Frank Lloyd Wright, they planned to build the church as a skyscraper cathedral in Europe. Those plans were extinguished when WWII started, but her dreams of someday building the chapel never fated.

Years later, she contracted an architectural team and altered her design to create a chapel in Sedona's red roks, with a cross supported by the land as the main pillar. The Chapel opened its doors in 1955, and has welcomed millions of people fro all religions. 

The Twin Nums from the Chapel

The Twin Nuns

The area has been inhabited since 11,500 BC by Paleo-Indian nomadic culture, which adopted a more sedentary life around 8,000 BC entering Archaic stage, proven by numerous projectile weapon points and petroglyphs and pictographs found on several sites.

Evidence suggests that from 600 AD to 1400 AD Red Rock Country was home to the Southern Sinagua culture (coined from the Spanish words sin meaning "without" and agua meaning "water") represented by Anasazi and Hohokam tribes. 

Around 1400 AD, without apparent reason, almost the entire Sinagua population left the area. This mass exodus still represents a historic mystery, although several explanations have been offered. One of them suggests that newly arrived tribes of Yavapai people were to blame, which were first encountered by the Spanish expedition looking for Indian gold mines.

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