I left Moab last Friday, after a wonderful 3-week stay.  Moab is a magical place and I’m so glad I got to share part of it with my sister.  After she left, I moved to a location called “Seven Mile Parking Lot,” which is situated just off of Highway 191 (that takes you into Moab) and 313 (that takes you out to Canyonlands National Park).

My site at Seven Mile lot

The lot was about 9 miles outside of town, which was kind of nice, as Moab has become a really busy little town during October.  Seven Mile was a perfect location for me because the Moab Canyon Pathway, a beautiful paved bike path, ran right in front of the lot and went all the way into Moab.  Because the path was separated from traffic, I was able to teach Lola to run with me on the leash.  The pathway offers a quick, fast descent as you head into Moab, so a short 20-mile out and back bike ride offers up about 1300 feet of climbing.  Here are some pics of the trail I captured the last evening I was there.  I will most certainly be back.

You could see Arches from the pathway – I didn’t even realize this until the last night I was there.
Moab Canyon Pathway just in front of Seven Mile
Tunnel that goes under 191

I drove to Sedona in one day, which was about 380 miles.  I find that 200 or so miles is the sweet spot in terms of distance when I’m towing the trailer.  More than that becomes a little tiring, but I also sort of like to get where I want to be quickly.  I don’t lollygag when I’m driving to my next spot – I prefer to save the lollygagging for when I get there.  Because Moab was SO busy, and it was really challenging to find a camp spot when I rolled into town, I wised up for Sedona.  I made reservations at Lo Lo Mai RV Park for Friday through Sunday, which gave me the weekend to scout nearby camp spots without having to bring the trailer with me.  I think this is a really great strategy because it guarantees me a spot when I get a destination (instead of just hoping a spot is available at walk-up sites), and it prevents me from ending up down a road that I don’t know, with a trailer behind me, searching for places to turnaround if the location doesn’t pan out.

The drive to Sedona was beautiful.  Much of it was through Navajo Nation – total desert land until I got to Flagstaff.  I remember driving though Flagstaff on my way to southern California couple years ago.  It’s really cool to be driving through the desert for what feels like forever, and then climb up a couple thousand feet in elevation and find yourself in this heavily-treed oasis. I took Highway 89A to descend into Sedona from Flagstaff, and I can’t recommend that for anyone towing a load.  It was steep, with LOT of blind curves and switchbacks.  I wasn’t able to enjoy the beauty of the drive because I had to be so alert while towing (I did, however, get to enjoy that drive today… more on that shortly).

I got to Lo Lo Mai by late afternoon, set up, and relaxed the rest of the night.  Over the next two days, I checked out Sedona, scouted some camping spots, and hiked Bell Rock, a beautiful vortex site.  The vortex experience deserves more attention, which I am going to try to explain next.

What is a vortex?

I had never heard of vortexes before I came to Sedona, but they are a big attraction.  The claim is that vortexes are centers of energy (either coming into or out of the planet).  Some claim that vortexes heighten psychic awareness or help bring about spiritual awakenings.  I visited Bell Rock with an open mind, before I had read anything about vortexes.  I wanted to experience whatever there was to experience without the influence of anyone else’s perspectives or experiences.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock is a giant bell-shaped rock monument.  Lola and I climbed out to the area where the vortex is said to be.  I found it really interesting that as you get closer to the alleged vortex site, you notice that many of the trees have grown in spiral patterns.

Twisted trees near the vortex site on Bell Rock.
I really loved this one.

Interesting, huh?  I sat at the site for about 30 minutes and I’m not entirely sure how to explain what I felt.  It was a feeling of fullness in my chest, similar to the feeling of love.  It was very peaceful and fulfilling.  I didn’t have any psychic experiences or sudden awakenings, but there was something palpable to the energy.  The whole of Sedona seems to have this subtle energy, but I felt it most on Bell Rock.  I think that Sedona is worth a visit for anyone who is curious about spirituality or energy, as there is a lot to take in here.

View from a ledge on Bell Rock.

New site, and a new friend

After checking out a couple of locations in the Sedona vicinity last weekend, I found a great spot on national forest land.  It was just a few miles south of Sedona, and the road to the site wasn’t bad (nor was it WAY back in the boonies).  When I scouted it Sunday night, there were several spots available.  The next morning, I ran out there again before hitching up to make sure space was still available – several people had come in that night and only one site was empty.  So I did what I learned in Moab and plopped a camp chair in the middle of the site and scurried back to Lo Lo Mai to hitch up.  I was back to the site within an hour, pulled in, and had to work some magic with my leveling blocks to make the trailer reasonably level.  As I was working said magic (that is, hammering some blocks under one of the tires), my new neighbor (Chris) walked over to introduce himself.  As wonderful as Moab was, the last couple of weeks there were a little lonely.  I didn’t connect with anyone as I did in Colorado, and I was really hoping I’d meet some great people in Sedona.

I believe I have.

Doe Mountain Road

Chris and I decided to hike Doe Mountain Road yesterday.  I’d read the hike up leads up to a breathtaking vista… and it did not disappoint.  We could literally see all of Sedona and it’s famous rock formations, from this lookout.

Right in the center, you can see Bell Rock.

After that hike, we drove up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which provides another beautiful view of Sedona:

Secret Mountain Trail

Today, Chris, Lola, and I headed toward Flagstaff to check out the Secret Mountain trail off of Highway 89A.  The drive up this winding road was MUCH better without towing a trailer.  It’s amazing how the scenery changes as you move up just 1,000 feet in elevation.  This was about a 6-mile out and back hike.  There were a lot of stream crossings, but it was pretty easy and very beautiful.

Tall trees and drastically different rock colors just north of Sedona.


The fallen leaves were so colorful still – in the sunlight, it was particularly beautiful.

View from the overlook where we stopped.

When we got to the end of the hike, Chris pointed out this pretty Christmas tree, growing so perfectly in a field by itself… seemed like an interesting metaphor for life.

I’ve got a few more days to soak up Sedona.  There are some other things I want to write about before I leave – stay tuned. Love you guys.