Moving to Arizona, we worried that we might not get to see our old friends as much – but we’ve been surprisingly lucky to see a few already, including someone very dear to me who I hadn’t seen in over three years. Sonja is one of my Seoul sisters (forgive the pun, it’s true) who made Korea feel like home while I was there, and I’ve really missed her since I moved back to the States. Since she just returned to the U.S., too, we knew a reunion was in order. Sonja met James and me in Phoenix, and we took a daytrip to Sedona for lunch, weird stoner-y art, and hiking.
We donned our best dad hats (a must when hiking in the desert) and took the Fay Canyon Trail for an easy, two-mile walk. Along the way we saw huge yellow butterflies, black beetles scrambling up the stones, and lush greenery. The best part of the hike, though, was when we reached the end of the maintained path and climbed up the rocks to get some elevation. When we got just a little higher, we could look out over the trees and through the ridges to the blue mountains and canyons beyond.
There are so many hikes in Sedona, and the Fay Canyon Trail got us pumped to get back up there and explore more of them throughout the year. It’s cooler up there than where we live, so it’s a good place to go when the valley’s scorching and we need some outdoor time.
It’s a scenic drive, too. Watching the landscape and the light change as we traveled to and from Sedona was wonderful, and Sonja and I kept freaking out about the golden rays of sun and the postcard-perfect bluffs that seemed to magically appear around every turn. With the sound of the Beach Boys and the smell of Panama Jack in the air, we were feeling good.
The other Sedona must-see is the aforementioned art. We spent some time walking through the cobblestone alleys of Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, a local landmark since the 70s.
We also wanted to get a feel for Sedona’s mystical vibes, as the city is known for its “vortex” sites that some believe possess huge amounts of healing energy. There’s a crystal shop on every corner, and most of them have a schedule of rotating psychics on hand to read your cards (or sell you a $2,000 chunk of petrified wood). Sonja and I thought we’d give aura portraits a try, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a photographer available to take our money and give us pictures of our faces in wispy colored clouds. Next time.