Lots of time spent in a car yesterday and not by choice. Don't plan your day trip to Sedona if it's a weekend holiday. It might take a while to see the town.
For Sandpoint locals who've spent a few hours sitting in their car going nowhere when there's an accident on the Bridge, there would be a clear understanding of our trip to Sedona.
When the volunteer at the Forest Service office south of town suggested that the five miles ahead leading into town would take 25 minutes, I kinda mocked her OVERestimation of ETA when we went out the door.
An hour later and after attempts to get into one hiking trailhead failed and one moment of temptation toward parking-lot rage, thanks to the "idiot" who kept backing up toward my hood just so he could get the spot where the people were pulling out, I suggested to my sisters that the lady at the Forest Service had sorely UNDERestimatd the time it would take for us to get into town.
At one roundabout we saw a sign leading us to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a magnificent church built into the mountain red rock. So, we turned and did a side trip which will not soon be forgotten.
No road rage here, just quiet reflection, awe and a wistful moment spent lighting a candle in our mother's memory. After all, Barbara announced that Mom would be proud of us because we went to church.
Maybe that traffic jam had a divine purpose.
Anyway, the chapel is a very moving and beautiful. Ironically, we stood on the walkway near the church opening, looking down on a rather luxurious estate owned by a Romanian citizen who made his money with some sort of medical concept.
People in the know told us he lives in Scottsdale and that the estate is a second home. The same lady mentioned the homeless while sharing her information.
By the time----at least two-three hours from our visit to the Forest Service office, we finally pulled into Sedona. For some reason seeing the town crawling with tourists, our desire to check out the town had taken a hit.
We did walk around for a few short blocks and we visited briefly with Kelvin Mockingbird, who once was nominated for a Grammy in the Native American music category. The hauntingly beautiful and pure sound of his flute in the midst of all that humanity provided a nice diversion.
Soon after our visit with him, we found our way back to the car, headed out of town where we found a Native American art store and stopped long enough for Laurie to purchase a beautiful sand painting.
Then it was on through the Ponderosa groves almost to Flagstaff and then back south on HWY 17.
Although the day didn't go quite as expected, we still made the most of it, and we collectively have a nice assortment of red rock photos.
This morning before heading to the airport we'll visit the Heard Museum of Native American Culture.
It's been a grand experience from start to finish, and I'm sure we'll have lots of tales to tell and retell for quite some time.