I recently drove 9 hours across the desert from San Diego to Sedona, Arizona. The drive was the long, boring and hot. (not sure how else to describe the Arizona desert). The average outside temperature was 104 degrees. Driving across the Arizona desert in a 10 year old Jetta after the engine light comes on is not exactly intelligent – but we made it.
We made it after several stops to cool down and to make sure the engine did not overheat. Over the years I have heard about Sedona being a place for New Age types and a great place to visit.
We met up with my parents in Sedona for the weekend. I have head all about how the spa treatments in Sedona are a must do. I did not book in advance so the best I could do was a chair massage, 20 minutes for $30.00 plus tip. I signed my mom and I up for our mini chair massage. An older woman was the masseuse and during our short session to tried to explain how energy forces around the body work etc. Its all about the Vortex. I was lost after she tried to explain to me about the energy field around my head. First of all, I needed to define “Vortex.”
What is the definition of “vortex”?
The term vortex refers to its less common definition: “A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.” In other words, a vortex is a site where the energy of an area is concentrated. Because Sedona as a whole is known to be a spiritual power spot, a vortex site in Sedona is a place where one can feel Sedona’s spiritual energy most strongly.
After our short chair massages, the only vortex I found was in my wallet.
Next, our visit was to some of the tourist places. Maybe I could find inner peace by visiting some of the famous Sedona spiritual centers. (not likely with whiny 9 year old in tow) But first, lets identify them.
|Chapel of the Holy Cross|
|Chapel of the Holy Cross. Are you there God?|
What are the commonly identified vortexes in Sedona?
The commonly identified vortex areas are:
Airport Mesa. Closest to the Uptown area of Sedona, it offers panoramic views. Bell Rock. Adjoining the Village of Oak Creek, it has an easily identifiable bell- shape formation.Boynton Canyon. Still a site for annual Native American ceremonies, this vortex is off Dry Creek Road in West Sedona and offers the longest hike of the four main vortex sites–up to three hours round trip.Cathedral Rock. Located on Lower Red Rock Loop Road, it is the most photographed site in Sedona. The cathedral-like structure rises above Oak Creek. Other special places to connect with the sacred energy of Sedona include The Chapel of the Holy Cross, Bell Rock Schnebly Hill, West Fork and the Amitabha Stupa.
I did not bring my hiking boots and our group consisted of my retired parents and a 9 year old kid so a 3 mile hike in 100 degree weather was not likely. We took a drive up to “The Chapel of the Holy Cross” which is a church built into the rock. It was very amazing architecture but with all the overweight tourists and people taking photos it was hard to find inner peace.
Next we drove out to Bell Rock, this area is supposed to be a Vortex area. The wind was hot and dry. After walking around near the base of the rock and taking a few photos, I just wanted to get a cold diet coke on ice. I did not feel any inner zen.
|Finding our inner peace at Bell Rock, Sedona|
|Was too hot to be Mystic.|
Each Vortex area I visited was amazing scenery and great for photo ops, but unfortunately I did not have the time to find inner peace. I am not saying it is not possible, maybe leaving the family at home and going on a solo spiritual trek would do the trick. I also might sign up for one of those “Pink Jeep Tours” and a 90 minute massage and skip the energy healer.
After 3 nights and many junk shops, art gallery visits and Vortex stops we headed home back across the desert. It was the stop in Gila Bend, Arizona where I finally found a Vortex of a different kind.
Gila Bend is a half dead ghost town on the side of the highway in between Phoenix and San Diego. There is not much there except for a few shabby looking mid century style hotels and a few decrepit boarded up commercial buildings. It is really nothing to look at. We stopped to eat at the Space Age restaurant. It was something out of the twilight zone. Once inside, the Vortex was even stranger. The sign on the side of the highway boasted about their salad bar. The salad bar consisted of old lettuce, Green Jello, and Garbanzo beans for $3.95. The green jello matched the 1960’s feel of the place. Everyone in the restaurant was odd and it was the weirdest place I have been in a long time. It took them 45 minutes to make toasted cheese sandwiches and fries. Not sure what alien was working in the kitchen but who serves green jello and cottage cheese as a side in 2014? I did not find my vortex in Sedona, but I found it in Gila Bend, Arizona. (Sorry I did not get any photos of the salad bar for your viewing pleasure).
|The real Vortex. Gila Bend, Arizona|
|The only Vortex here was found in the green jello at the salad bar!|
I will get on the road again, hopefully not in the old Jetta, like the old saying goes…..
|Photo taken by Tara Sauvage. Highway 8, Arizona|