We’re here. Arizona part uno.

As I wrote in my previous post, Arizona completely captivated me. It truly was and is an amazing place. I can see why people from northern climes head there during the winter months. It’s warm and dry, maybe a little too dry at first, but I imagine you’d get used to it. I definitely had preconceived notions of what AZ was like and I’m so glad that I was wrong. Sorry, Arizona! The morning after our arrival, we awoke to a cool, but sunny day. (I should clarify who “we” are: myself, Marcus and Kyle. Dave and Tony would join us later in the week). We were staying with our good friends Clint and Andrea, who had rented a house in Fountain Hills for the month of January. The view from their house was absolutely gorgeous. Burnt orange layers of craggy peaks scattered with cacti faded as far as my eyes could see.

We decided to take our legs for an little run at nearby Lost Dog Trail that afternoon, an easy 4-5 mile out and back. After that we stocked up on groceries and Kyle cooked up an excellent brunch for everyone (she’s an amazing cook!) The rest of the day we just sat around and relaxed. Wednesday morning, Marcus and I headed north a few hours to explore the Grand Canyon. As we traveled farther north towards Flagstaff, the terrain changed rapidly and suddenly we were surrounded by mountains, the air was cooler and there was snow! Who knew I had to travel to AZ to find snow in January?! I was mesmerized and immediately fell in love with northern Arizona. We reached the Grand Canyon in time to watch the sunset. My first steps to the edge of the canyon were met with shaking hands and vertigo. I can’t even describe it. The colors at sunset were ridiculous, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

The following day found us again at the Grand Canyon, this time driving along the South Rim and stopping every so often to take in the views. Per usual, I was blown away. I wondered how many pictures someone could actually take of the Grand Canyon. Every stop left me in awe and taking more and more pictures.

On the drive south after leaving the GC, we stopped to take in the sunset at a place called Bonito Park. This park has been visiting me in my dreams almost every night since. I can’t shake the image and the feeling of this place (and I don’t want to). It’s absolutely peaceful and perfect. On one side there is a volcano crater that glows red as the sun sets, the other side is filled with snow-capped mountains. In between the two sat a glowing, golden brushy field soaking in the sun. No wonder they named it Bonito Park.

We continued our drive south and eventually found our way to Sedona in the dark. I had looked up some stuff about Sedona the week before and read about vortexes. A vortex is an area of energy that swirls out of the surface of the earth. The energy is subtle at times and stronger at others and some people are more sensitive to the energy. I was intrigued and knew I had to check one out for sure. We drove to Bell Rock, just south of Sedona. One of more easily accessible vortexes in the area, it’s located just off the highway and a short hike will bring you to the base of the rock. I ventured out alone and wound my way around to the other side of Bell Rock. I had forgotten that this was a vortex as I found my way onto the rock and started scrambling towards the top. I felt a buzzing or fluttering sensation in the center of my chest not long after and I couldn’t stop myself from moving. I wanted to jump, run and climb, so I did. I was giddy like a child as I zig-zagged up and down the rock. When I decided to head back to the car and got away from the rock, the buzzing sensation in my chest went away. It was so strange, I’ve never felt anything like that before. I left still feeling intrigued as to what goes on at those vortexes.

Stay tuned for the race recap of the Coldwater Rumble 50k! It was a doozie.

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