Sedona – land of the orange rocks

Such an amazing orange place! After driving a couple of hours through the desert from Scottsdale where we were staying, orange rocks and canyons start to appear – and they really are orange. A high concentration of somethingorotheroxide … whatever rust is! I was on a bus tour for the wives while husbands were at JSConf and the bus driver took us to a few different view points below and above the rocks and for lunch and a spot of shopping in Sedona.

Orange rocks in Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

Sedona

Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

Orange rocks in Sedona

So the rocks were amazing but the bus trip had its moments. Way more people than the wives’ bus trip last year had kids and they yahooed and screamed on the bus for 2 hours, one woman got motion sickness and kept throwing up in the bathroom at back of the bus right near where I was sitting. It was basically the nightmare trifecta for me – bad cellphone reception (it was the desert after all), screaming kids licking the windows and wanting to play peek-a-boo with me (I maintained a stare and pretended I was European and didn’t speak English so didn’t understand what they were saying … although I’m sure “hello. hello! Hello!! HELLO!! HELLOHELLOHELLOHELLO!! translates in any language) and someone vomiting after we all ate lunch at the same place. As soon as I got off the bus I jumped in the shower to scrub myself clean then drank a liter of bottled water. I survived. But didn’t go on the wife activities the next day. I worked in the coffee shop and beside the pool :)

A few days in Scottsdale Arizona

My first trip to the desert came and went without me melting from the heat – a great time of year to go with temperatures in the high 20′s (C) during the day and around 10 at night. The Mister was attending JSConf (the same conference that was in Portland last year that we went to) so I went along for a change of scenery.

Scottsdale is very near the much larger, well known Phoenix (where the airport is) and it was a great town/city! In the middle of the desert these towns just sprawl with patches of irrigated green.

Phoenix from the air

I didn’t realize I would be so excited to see a cactus growing in it’s natural habitat – I practically squealed the first time I saw one. Didn’t see one with the perfect 2 arms like this one:

RGILF00Z_cactusflickr

They just grow on the side of road, in traffic islands, people’s front lawns and beside the canal in town – so cool!

Cactuses!

Cactuses!

Cactus!

A very chatty taxi driver told us all about them and I was fascinated!

  • they live for about 300 years
  • the ‘arms’ don’t grow out until 75 years
  • they only grown in that fairly concentrated area in Arizona, and in fact they stopped about an hour out of town when we traveled north to Sedona
  • some of the smaller ones look very cute and soft to touch but aren’t – very hard and spiky and one bit The Mister!
  • there’s a law against molesting them (yes that’s the official term) that carries a $10,000 fine – only Native American Indians are allowed to – I actually think this means cut bits off for medicinal purposes etc

Scottsdale was quite different in that no-one was around, everyone drives, no pedestrians, except us walking to town and on the way we saw no mail boxes (quite a feat to find somewhere to mail Father’s birthday card), no trash cans, and a huge shopping mall with underground parking or valet so you only have to take 3 steps in the heat from the door of the car to the door of the store.

Scottsdale

Scottsdale shopping

When I wasn’t visiting the orange rocks in Sedona I worked in a fantastic coffee shop we found, Coffee Cartel, and beside the pool eating pineapple and strawberries. Might be worth an annual visit – only a couple of hours away by plane.

Working poolside

Coffee with some orange rocks

Bad sound quality but I was rather embarrassed sitting on the cafe’s patio recording myself … I was the strangest girl on the bus tour I’m sure so talking to oneself probably acceptable, but still, I was muttering and not projecting. Sedona is COOL – more photos later.