Into The Vortex.

The very first time I heard my friend Morgan talk about Sedona & the vortexes, I have wanted to visit it. Devon has been there once before and hiked around two of the vortexes back in April of 2008. We didn’t have a set plan on this particular adventure so we all agreed to check it out. Paul & Lisa had been there before and had planned to spend an entire week there.

Moving on from Monument Valley, we continued deeper into Arizona along highway 160. We stopped in Yuba City for some gas and cold drinks, looked at a map and started up again toward Flagstaff. We pulled into Flagstaff around dinner time and started to look for places to stay. The two spots that Paul had found were decent enough, in road trip terms. The first place completely lied about their fees on their website, and when Lisa went in to deal with them, Devon & Paul looked around and pulled the plug on staying there. It was right in the middle of downtown Flagstaff. Sitting there like a giant tan brick. Not appealing at all. We drove back up the road some and found a Travelodge, not to dive-y. There was literally only one other vehicle in the parking lot. Lisa checked us in; we unpacked the cars and went out in search of some food. After spending innumerable hours in our vehicles, it was high time for some chow.

We walked along the famous Route 66 and along the way we saw a motel that could very well have substituted for the Bates Motel. It was mucho sketchy, and very misleading. It had an ‘open’ sign right next to a ‘no trespassing’ sign. How the heck are you to book a room if you can’t step foot on the ghetto property? Also, it was during this initial walk through Flagstaff that we noticed a pungent odor all around.

We walked into Kachina Restaurant not sure of either the food or the service. We were thankful that they had air conditioning. This place serves Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine, and we were pleased to find out they make corn tortillas rather than flour. Our two friends have food sensitivities like Devon has allergies. It’s actually nice travelling with people who not only appreciate food but also appreciate what kind of food they’re putting into their bodies. You would think travelling with vegan foodies would prove difficult… you’d be wrong. It’s amazing what phenomenal food you can come up with when you order off the menu. It just goes to show, it never hurts to ask. But I digress… back to the story. The restaurant was largely empty and the service was shockingly slow given the lack of customers. Paul asked for some minor changes in his order and Lisa followed suit. Devon decided that what they were having sounded pretty good and I ordered a burrito. The food arrived and the portions were of a typical American size, large. We consumed our food and adjourned to the bar where Lisa enjoyed several shots of tequila. After eating we walked back toward our hotel when Devon realized she needed a hair brush, so her & Lisa stopped off at a shop to pick one up. I wasn’t aware that this would include Q-Tips and Jack Daniels as well. As the girls were off on their own adventure to the store, Paul & I went back to our room to shower and clean up. Walking back with Paul he remarked about the unhappy odor that enveloped the town. We didn’t know then, but we were a few feet away from the Purina factory and man, what a stench. I’m glad my dog eats raw food!

After showering and settling in, we fought with the WiFi a bit before retiring for the night. I ended up watching a little TV before finally falling asleep.

The next day we were back on the road, happy to be done with Flagstaff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s a lovely place to live but the section we were in left us all with the thought that if we ever returned, it would be too soon.

The drive down from Flagstaff to our camp ground in Oak Creek just outside of Sedona was quite short. I was surprised to get there so fast and I quietly wondered why we hadn’t just gone the whole way down to the camp site and skipped Flagstaff altogether.

Oak Creek Canyon is a stunning area adjacent to Sedona as is every bit as scenic as it sounds. The camp site is immaculately kept up and the bathrooms are spotless. Each site has access to the creek where rainbow trout shimmer and nibble at your toes, should you dare to dangle them into the cold, fresh water. After setting up camp, Devon & I decided to take a drive into Sedona and check out the town. It’s an incredible tourist attraction and it seemed to be brimming with people from all over. The sidewalks were crowded and you wanted to either hide in the shade or duck into one of the many kitschy shops in a vain attempt to beat the heat. After stopping and asking for directions, we took off for the first vortex we could find, Airport. Aptly, it’s located on airport road. Pulling in to a spot we noticed signs warning of break ins. So we locked everything up tight and made the trek up the hill into the vortex.

I wish I could regale you with fascinating tales of energies and a sense of enlightenment. But alas, I cannot. I wanted so badly to feel something, anything… but it just didn’t happen. At one point, along the walk around the vortex I thought I felt something, and heard something but it turned out to be a few people just around the corner. Devon did manage to hear something pretty cool. After staring at a twisted Juniper for a while, she began to hear small noises. A cracking sound. She could literally hear the tree twisting from the energies. They say in places with energies with such high concentration the trees and vegetation twist and bend with the natural forces. This is apparent with the surrounding twisted trees. They are truly a marvel to take in.

After walking about the vortex and checking out the town, we headed back to the camp site to find that Lisa wasn’t feeling well. We asked if there was anything we could do, and she asked for some non sugary Gatorade type drink. We drove back into town and found the big hippy store, Native Foods. Wow, what a store! After seeing numerous towns with small general stores, Native Foods is massive in comparison. And man, are there options. This is the place for vegans, let me tell you. They have everything under the sun. We found the type of drink Lisa was looking for and we headed back down the road to the camp site. When we arrived, Lisa was curled up in a ball in the back seat of her car. I didn’t know what to do for her. We weren’t sure if it was the food from the restaurant in Flagstaff or from when she swam in the Colorado River, which contains e-coli. We went back into town for dinner and to wander about the shops. When we got back to the site we found a note and one of the neighbour campers came over to tell us that they had left and went to a hotel because Lisa wasn’t getting any better. Her symptoms were worsening. They had survived not even 12 hours in Oak Creek. Devon and I set up the car and relaxed a bit. We watched a movie and sat up in the car when we saw cop cars trolling the camp grounds. I’m not sure who or what they were looking for, but something tells me that if you don’t pay your fees, you get bounced pretty fast around here. They don’t mess around in Sedona.

We woke up the next morning and decided to head into town to locate Paul & Lisa’s hotel to see how she was doing. We found it at the other end of town. It was a super nice room. Huge, king size bed, two TVs… a spacious suite. Lisa still wasn’t feeling herself and they decided to stay a week there. We visited for about an hour then we decided it was time to part ways and start our own adventure. But where to go?

After some consideration, we were off to Vegas!! One of our favourite places, and such a fun city!

– Jade


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