The Yoga Therapy training program that I did was full of amazing ladies from all over the country. Toward the end of my training program, I was really looking forward to Rob and my trip out to California for our friends wedding. I started asking people in my training program, where to stop on our way West. Kathy, from Arizona told me about Sedona. I put it at the top of our list.
Now, if you read my blog, you know what a harrowing drive it was to get to Sedona. In this blog, finally, Part II of “The Corner Pieces”, I will tell you why it was so worth it!
The first and most obvious thing to say about Sedona is that it is beautiful, gorgeous, picturesque and breath taking in fact! Those words all feel trite and plain as I attempt to describe the spectacular majesty of this place.
Sedona sits in the Verde Valley between the Mingus Mountains to the Southwest and the Colorado Plateau to the northeast. These formations and the geology there are really old, ancient in fact. If you are a geology buff, you probably already know about Sedona, if you want more information, you might enjoy this site: http://www.arizonaruins.com/sedona/sedona_geology.html
The obvious activity to do here is go hiking! We were still exhausted from our hellacious drive, but we were determined to power through and enjoy all that Sedona had to offer (for free) to its fullest. YEAH! We were going to hike the shit out of that place!!! Only, secretly, neither one of us was really up for it. We pressed on because we didn’t want to disappoint each other or regret having not done it. Our day of hiking was starting to resemble our previous day of driving.
Despite getting explicit instructions from the front office on how to walk to the five mile hike trailhead from the RV park, we couldn’t find it. We were wandering in circles, retracing our steps and becoming frustrated and cranky. Again we began to doubt the existence of said hiking trail. After walking around for about an hour in the hot sun and never finding the trail, we gave up.
It was the right thing to do. Sometimes, you just have to surrender your plans to actually have an enjoyable time. Forcing your agenda rarely turns out to be pleasurable. Later we decided to drive to the trailhead just to see if we could find it. It turned out we had been been milling about and searching approximately one hundred yards away from it. Oh well, next time.
We decided that instead of the long hike, we would go check out one of the vortices or rather “vortexes” (that is how they say it there) that Sedona is so well known for. When people say that Sedona is magical, they are being quite literal. What is an “energy vortex?” My short definition is that it is a subtle swirling of spiritual energy that can be detected in the physical world; as it does leave a small, though measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is the strongest. It is a geo-physiological anomaly. – I just made that up, but is sounds right doesn’t it?
Though I tend to be sensitive to subtle spiritual energy, I am also skeptical and struggle with trusting myself. Rob is sensitive too, but he trusts himself more. Like many people who live in Sedona, we could definitely feel the energy of it all over town. Somehow this swirling energy brings a sense of clarity and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning more about these Energy Vortexes in Sedona, there are a ton of web sites about them. I think this site does a great job of getting into some of the specifics: http://www.lovesedona.com/01.htm
Many people swear by the healing properties of these vortexes. They have been in use for healing and spiritual purposes for centuries and very specifically by the early Native American populations.
Somewhat blindly and uninformed we drove to the Airport Vortex trailhead and started hiking around… We were there for the views and the vortex – though we still were not really sure what that meant. We climbed to the highest peak and we were in awe! You can see a spectacular 360 panorama of truly awesome vistas from this vantage point.
Eventually, we respectfully made our way to the Vortex to meditate (the juniper trees in the area are spiraled and twisted, they say, from the energy of the vortex). – You don’t want to disturb others who are there to meditate. This is what our bodies and brains really needed after our long days of intense driving! We sat there and soaked it all in. We felt the the vibrations of the earth, we felt the history of the ancient people who knew that this was a holy, healing and magical place. It was magnetic and we could have stayed there for many hours! We were kind of hogging the vortex. This is when we hilariously came up with, “Quit hogging the vortex!” We respectfully stepped away from the vortex to give others the opportunity to experience it.
Following that bit of recharging, we went to a grocery store to get items for dinner – this is really a great way to save some money while traveling. The rest of the day unfolded beautifully. We strolled around Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village stopped and had an appetizer and margaritas at a little cafe, walked back to our RV, put our bathing suits on and went swimming in the gorgeous little creek behind our RV park. It was cold and refreshing. There was even a rope swing!
On our jaunt to the creek, we met one of our neighbors, Pat, who would prove to be crucial to the rest of our journey! He was a fellow RVr who was staying at Rancho Sedona with his family for a few days. He was very familiar with the drive between L.A. and Sedona, both on I10 and I40. He also happened to be a fire and rescue worker in the L.A. area (read, he has scraped a lot of bodies off of the freeway). He gave us some invaluable tips on how to drive a camper through L.A. without killing ourselves. We traded some stories about I40. He also gave us his contact info incase we needed anything. What a great person to meet!
The weather was so beautiful we decided to cook dinner and eat outside at the campground. We took Sunny outside on her leash as well. We were finally relaxing! “Lets not leave here, ever!” In all seriousness, Sedona is now at the top of our list places to buy property and build a sustainable tiny house.
Cocktails in hand we talked and reminisced about the day. Met a few more campground neighbors strolling by and talked about what we were going to do the next day before we left for our final destination, Malibu. Our playlist for the evening was Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream, Led Zeppelin, IV, and Pink Floyd, Momentary Lapse of Reason.
Earlier in the day, when we were at the top of the Airport Vortex Trail, we remarked that it looked like something from a yoga video. I had been wanting to make some RV traveler yoga videos, so we decided to go film one the next morning before embarking on what would be a 13 hour drive to Malibu.
We went to bed early and woke up early. We woke ourselves up by going for a swim in the chilly creek. We then headed back to the Airport Vortex Trail for some yoga on top of a mountain! It was interesting and quite challenging doing balancing poses on top of a mountain with no immediate or close points of visual focus. – So if you decide to do my yoga video, bear with me through that part… (Coming soon)
When we got back to the campground we had some breakfast and took our time packing up the camper. Our strategy, as per Pat’s instructions, was to hit L.A. after 9pm and just avoid the traffic altogether. This proved to be a pretty good strategy. Don’t get me wrong, the drive was still long and exhausting and driving the trailer at night comes with its own set of challenges, but at least we avoided the heavy traffic.
It was really HOT in the Mojave and really windy in Hot Springs. At one point, up hill in a head wind with the pedal to the metal we couldn’t go faster than 45. There were dust storms and dust tornados everywhere! At this point however, we were so much more seasoned and experienced from our day on I40, that we were ready for this difficult day of travel. We were mentally prepared for a long day on the road after our lovely break in Sedona.
Driving through downtown L.A. towing a travel trailer in the dark was insanity. We felt like we were in a spaceship. It felt like we were flying at light speed. We eventually reached Malibuat about 10:30pm. I finally unclenched my jaw, took a breath and released my fingernails from the upholstery. We set up in the dark again and looked forward waking up on the Pacific where we would spend the next beautiful week of our lives!
Here are some driving tips from Rob:
– Don’t use overdrive when towing
– Speed up before you hit hills
– Make sure your vehicle and trailer tires are inflated to the reccomended PSI listed on the tire sidewall, you will waste a lot of gas if they are not!
– Don’t drive faster than 55 unless you want to burn through tons of fuel. You are allowed to drive 55, legally, so don’t feel bad about going slow, if people have a problem, they can go around you. Don’t let other drivers bully you.
– In general, your trip is going to be much longer than you think. When towing, driving more than 6 to 8 hours a day is just too much, plan accordingly. If Google Maps says it will take you 8 hours to reach your destination, it could take you 12 to 13.
– If you are going into unfamiliar territory, especially out West, check out the elevations on your route before you leave. What may seem like a faster route could actually take you up and down very steep grades. You want to avoid that if at all possible.
– When getting gas or in other situations when you may be close to objects, get out and check your distance if you have any doubts about your clearance. It is so much easier to check and make sure you have clearance than it is to go through the hassle and cost of a repair.
Stay tuned for Part III of The Corner Pieces (our decision to become full-timers), The Houles go to Malibu! We are only very slightly more sophisticated than the Beverly Hillbilly’s. The Beverly Houlebilly’s!