Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

If Sedona has a kindred spirit it’s the Grand Canyon.

The two geological marvels are both “bucket list” destinations for people all over the world. Millions of visitors come for scenery that’s dazzlingly unique. See a photo of either the Grand Canyon or Sedona and you can’t mistake it for anywhere else. Yet photos don’t begin to do these Arizona icons justice. They must be experienced in person.The fin

It’s hard to imagine traveling to the Southwest and not visiting Grand Canyon or Sedona. So why not do both? We believe when you have one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in your backyard, take advantage of it. By making Sedona your base camp for a Grand Canyon expedition, you’ll enjoy a much wider array of creature comforts. In Sedona you’ll find more places to stay and eat, not to mention spas, shops, galleries and more.

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Sedona sits approximately 100 miles south of the Grand Canyon and it’s a spectacular journey. If you prefer to let someone else do the driving so you can relax and take in the sights, several companies launch guided Grand Canyon tours from Sedona.

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At Grand Canyon National Park designated overlooks provide visitors with aw-inspiring views. Walk along the rim in Grand Canyon Village. Snap a photo of mule riders moseying towards the river and peer into the abyss to hear what secrets are echoed there.

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Then it’s time to come back home to Sedona, where all the incredible sights are just outside your door. Blessed with a beauty that’s epic yet intimate, grandiose yet personal, people seem to make a very special connection to Sedona. No overlooks or mule rides are required.

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To the love of my life, my dearest Sedona,

After that first introduction, I knew I would never be the same again. I must say that when our eyes met, I was speechless.  Your colors are so rich and vivid that you took my breath away.  The closeness of your stone monuments creates an excitement within me that is hard to describe.

Allow me to contrast our encounter with others I have experienced. After a short visit with you, we went to the infamous Grand Canyon.  I must tell you, what was before my eyes was dim and washed out in comparison with your exquisite beauty. I have traveled to other locations that tout their appeal (including the Hawaiian islands that have many pristine beaches and is the home to Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), but in my eyes no one holds a candle to your resplendence.

The day I climbed the beautiful rocks in your parks was transforming. I felt as if I left a world of limitation and disappointment and arrived where inspiration and limitless possibility abound. I am elevated to new heights and able to tap in to the creative universe to which you belong. When I am with you I know I can be and do anything. I am no longer satisfied with the gray that surrounds me in the sky above or the pavement below, nor the rain that runs down my windowpanes and holds me listless.

Now that we are apart, I long to hear the soft tread of my feet connecting with your earth and feel the gentle breeze on my face and fluttering through my hair.  Your rich, deep colors of red, orange, green, and brown are both comforting and invigorating even in thought. The time I spend with you is unforgettable.

You are truly an artist, for the red rock sculptures that are a part of you are truly some of the most spectacular, natural masterpieces I have ever witnessed. My favorite by far is Bell Rock.  It is not the most substantial of monuments, but it provides all that I desire: accessibility, adventure, appeal, exertion, vista and warmth. Our family has had many adventures there over the years and always proves the best and most satiating experience. Thunder Mountain and Airport Ridge provide a panorama of all that you possess. They are the perfect spots to take in a sunset.  Devils Bridge brings, in spite of its name, heavenliness and awe of the natural architecture that decorate your landscape so creatively.

I am nourished by the delicious, wholesome food in your restaurants that not only satisfy, but also elevate, enrich and refine me. My favorite, as you well know, is the Chocolate Tree where all of their food is organic, vegetarian, pure and fresh.  I can’t help but feel healthy when I eat “gently massaged” kale, sprouts, avocado, cucumber, dulse, spirulina and sprouted seeds. Dessert adds to the thriving experience and includes delicacies prepared with avocado, cacao, honey, macadamia nuts, carrot juice and coconut. Dining there is truly as the menu describes, “vibrant and divine.”

You have become a part of my soul, my being. There is nothing that I want more than to be close to you. For now, I am here, subsisting as a partial being until I can be made whole by your beauty, your warmth and your tranquility.

My heart belongs to you always,

Shari


Exploring the Grand Canyon will have to wait.  But you won’t want to miss Sedona as part of your Arizona adventure.

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Sedona and all of the splendid Arizona State Parks are open, including Slide Rock State Park and Red Rock State Park. Just a short drive south through scenic Oak Creek Canyon. Sedona offers inspiring overlooks, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, and beautiful red rock vistas. And, did you know that Sedona is considered one of the 7 Best Outdoor Destinations in the America?

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Visitors will enjoy Sedona’s vivid fall colors in a red rock playground where families can escape, romantic adventures begin and photographers dreams come true. Sedona offers healing & restorative therapies, adrenaline inducing off-road tours including Jeep and Hummer excursions, and a shopper’s paradise. Experience the cool mountain waters of Oak Creek and be mesmerized by the glowing red rock formations.

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Pack your camera and go to www.VisitSedona.com for travel tips!