The Mystery of Sedona

Sedona

Sedona

We took a family trip to Scottsdale, Arizona and wanted to venture out a bit. We decided to visit the Grand Canyon and stop off in Sedona on our way back to Scottsdale.  It is an easy, short drive through the picturesque Oak Creek Canyon. Sedona is located in the northern Verde Valley region of Arizona. Sedona is fairly small in size, approximately a population size of 10,000. Our kids tend to remember the fascinating sightseeing in each location. For Sedona that would be the famous, red sandstone formations which light up vibrantly in the sun and give the illusion of changing color as the sun sets. The mystical formations array from reddish-orange to bright yellow at times! Sedona is an amazing place for photography- stop and take pictures of the rocks or pose as a family in front of the formations. To get up close to the formation, try booking activities that take place around the formations such as hiking, off-road Jeep & Hummer excursions and biking trails.

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Sedona is commonly referred to as the Red Rock Country. The kids asked,  “What makes the rocks red?” They are created by a layer of rock known as the Schnebly Hill Formation, which is a thick layer of sandstone which is unique to the area of Sedona. Sandstone is a chunk of sedimentary rock made of minerals and rock grains. Over millions of years the receding ocean left layers of sandstone and limestone. Iron oxide covered the sandstone and rust was formed leaving the beautiful shade of red.

Sedona is a great place to explore history, culture, archaeology, & art. The city itself is amidst red-rock monoliths (single large piece of rock) such as Coffeepot, Cathedral and Thunder Mountain. We visited Sedona for the day and would love to go back and spend more time there. Sedona offers an array of five-star hotels, spas, resorts, and bed & breakfast. Sedona Pines is an upscale, family friendly resort offering individual, modular cottages nestled on 19 acres. Sedona is a great place to explore with the family and has been referred to as “a red rock playground for families”.  If you are interested in picking up a souvenir while visiting, there are over 80 galleries to choose from. Looking for something uniquely from Sedona? Choose from Native American crafts, healing gemstones, wind sculptures, hand-carved walking stick, wooden flute, blown-glass items, and even a healthy treat for your pet.

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Spiritual and Metaphysical~ Sedona tends to attract visitors of all ages who are in search of themselves via metaphysical mystery. What exactly does that mean? If you are uncertain of the meaning, chances are you are not seeking such things. Metaphysical seekers go to Sedona in search of Spiritual Centers, New Age Gatherings, Readings, Massage, Healing’s, and oftentimes, Mediation.  Sedona is named after a female pioneer, Sedona Schnebly, in the 19th century. Some people feel that Sedona offers nourishment for the body, mind and spirit. There are an abundance of businesses related to spiritual healing in the local area.

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What are the vortexes about? Here’s where it gets real interesting – science! Typically, a vortex is a spiraling motion of air or liquid around a rotation.

Therapy on the Rocks!

Therapy on the Rocks!

When we lived in Nevada, the wind used to kick up and cause sand and dirt to spin, thus creating a vortex. It is a little different in Sedona, where the vortexes are not caused by wind or water- they are caused from energy. Some believe that Sedona vortexes are caused by spiritual energy. Visitors are drawn to these locations to pray, mediate and heal. There are four vortex locations in Sedona: Boynton CanyonCathedral RockBell Rock, and Airport Mesa. The vortexes draw more visitors to Sedona than any other attraction.

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

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Rawhide

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Gunslinger

Gunslinger

What child doesn’t love the wild, wild west??

Put 'em up!

Put ’em up!

Cowboys and Indians, chuck wagons with smoked beans, panning for gold, gunslingers, shooting gallery, stagecoach rides, pony rides, peppermint candy sticks, and arrests leading to a lock up in jail. This is the Wild West, make no mistake about it ~ Rawhide located in Chandler, Arizona. Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse has been open for 41 years. It is located on the Wild Horse Pass along the Gila River Indian Community. Surprisingly, admission is free!!! Parking is $5.00 and tickets must be purchased for attractions.

Step back into time as you enter Rawhide. Dusty roads, Southern Belles with large hats crossing the gravel streets, gunslingers roam about and be sure to watch out for the Town Deputy! The Town Deputy means business. The first time our son saw a gunslinger spin a gun, he was both mesmerized and speechless! But it doesn’t stop there – watch a gunslinger show off in Belle’s Saloon and they may just pull your kids up on stage!! Don’t forget to purchase a sarsaparilla in a glass bottle for the kids!!! Sarsaparilla is a soft drink, similar to root beer,  which was popular in the 19th century.

Six Gun Theater and the Arizona Roughriders

Arizona Roughriders

Arizona Roughriders

DSC03035A gun fires off in the middle of the street and everyone is suddenly warned that the cowboy stunt show is about to begin!!! Rush over to the Six Gun Theater to witness the wild west. The theater is in an outdoor setting which gives a realistic feel. As we watched the stunt show, the wind picked up and the sky suddenly turned real dark and gray.

Burro Ride

Burro Ride

Explosions, cowboys falling from the rooftop, gun shots and smoke will fill the air as spectators watch from the edge of their seats. Our son’s eyes were wide open assuming this was the real deal.

Now it wouldn’t be the wild, wild west without horses running around. Little ones will love riding through dusty Rawhide on their very own burro (small donkey)!! While the kids ride around on the burros, adults can try their luck at the widowmaker (mechanical bull). Of course the widowmaker looks much easier than it really is. Be sure to hold on tight as you get tossed all around.

Widowmaker

Widowmaker

Keri Rawhide

Rawhide Mercantile

There is shopping galore at Rawhide- from clothes to candy, there’s something for everyone.

Sweet Sally's Confections

Sweet Sally’s Confections

Check out the Silver Spur Smoke Shop for leather and tobacco products. Watch a fifth generation blacksmith bend iron.

Kids will love the nostalgic candy at Sweet Sally’s Confections including gigantic Pez dispensers and lollipops, candy sticks, taffy, rock candy and homemade fudge. The smell alone will draw you in.

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Desert Train Ride

Rawhide Jail

Rawhide Jail

The whole family can ride around the dusty, cowboy town of Rawhide.

Deadman's Drop

Deadman’s Drop

Our kids took the front seat and then we were off. The train ride is bumpy, rugged and squeaky because it is……the wild, wild west. The train ride allows visitors to sit back, put their feet up and enjoy the grounds of Rawhide.

Visitors can have a loved one arrested in the town and locked up for a fee of $10.00. The Town Deputy will come find you, arrest you with handcuffs (yes, in front of everyone) and escort you right to the jail house! Our kids were locked up and looking quite lonely in the jail.

Off to rock climbing!! The 30 foot rock climbing wall offers three levels of challenge. Which one is right for you? Not sure, than try them all! If you breeze through the first level, move on the next level. We made it a fun, family competition. Who could conquer all three levels?

Gold panning

Gold panning

Probably the most memorable activity for our kids – gold panning. After learning all

Shootin Range

Shootin Range

about the Gold Rush of California in 1849 in school, the kids were ready to start panning for themselves. Sift, sift away and see what is left. They were able to take home the gold flakes (fool’s gold) in a souvenir bottle.

It would not be the wild west without a shooting range. Wander on over to the Rawhide Shootin Range and test your shot.

Rawhide is a great place to go and spend the whole day. Eat lunch, wander around and try all the activities and then stay for dinner. Be sure to visit the world-renowned steakhouse. Rawhide is the perfect place to take the whole family!!!

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Rawhide

5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine