Way back when I had a desk, I had a file drawer. In it I had a folder filled with clippings and articles about many places that I wanted to see (yes, this was before Jim digitized me). High on that list was Boulder. Check. Also high on that list was Sedona.
Our original plan was to spend the month of October in Sedona, but that was before we decided to take our “little detour” through Florida. As luck would have it, a house sitting opportunity came up so currently we’re enjoying sort of an unhoneymoon stay in Sedona with two very friendly cats.
It rained hard yesterday (and hailed!) which gave us a good excuse to rest up. Today we chose Bell Rock as our first taste of this beautiful red rock country. I’ve spent most of my life in southern Minnesota and the Gulf coast of Florida; Jim spent a big chunk of his youth in the Southern California desert (with his family, not in a “raised by wolves” sort of way). So it’s understandable that these sights are much more jaw-dropping to me. Magnificent red rock formations surrounded miles and miles of cactus, scrub brush, and various trees.
Bell Rock reminded me of a lumpy misshapen birthday cake, like a young baker’s first attempt at a layer cake. The deep blue sky creates a terrific contrast against the layers of red rock and lush green trees. One thick layer on top was rounded like a beveled countertop, including a thin layer of white rock underneath. Other areas looked like Mother Nature’s Mount Rushmore – I swear I can see faces in the shadows of the cake.
Like most of the bright red and orange formations in Sedona, Bell Rock is made up of sandstone and limestone deposited at the bottom of an inland sea hundreds of millions of years ago. The “youngest” rock on Bell Rock is the limestone at the top, a mere 272 million years old, give or take a few million. The shape of the rock is the work of wind and water over the course of several millions of years after the sea receded.
After our morning hike, we took a drive up to Jerome, a ghost town once labeled by the New York Sun to be the “wickedest town in the west”. Wicked no more, we found it to be little more than an tourist trap filled with local artists and aimlessly wandering visitors, but there are some interesting buildings still standing and some good photo opportunities to be had.
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