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Musical vortex, quick beautiful sunset, steak send off: Girls trip to AZ Day five by Ann Treacy
October 20, 2021, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Arizona

On our final full day we hiked around Boynton Canyon Vortex. When we got there we heard the music coming from the vortex. Someone was playing a flute sitting on top of a rock formation. Or it was an apparition – who can say? (You can watch the video and decide for yourself!)

We hiked around for 7 miles. The terrain went from red rock to forest to beach and back again. Getting to the top felt like an accomplishment. (It was up but not steep, so even I could do it.) After the long hike, we trekked the quick trip to the vortex.

The vortex is a spiritual center; the Boynton Vortex is a balance of masculine and feminine energies stemming from the energy of a rock formation called Kachina Woman and the nearby knoll, which has masculine energy. I bravely walked to the outside of the formation, not to be confused with the top.

I’m trying to be open to the mystical nature, although that’s not always a good fit for me. I did make a wish like it was a birthday cake or 4-leaf clover; two things I feel I do understand.

We also caught a gorgeous sunset by the Mesa airport. And heading for a lovely steak dinner while we listened to someone play popular tunes on a guitar harp. We had a very lovely last night!



Super windy walking around the Grand Canyon: Girls trip to AZ Day Four by Ann Treacy
October 19, 2021, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Arizona

Turns out the Grand Canyon is just two hours (and change) from Sedona – so we went to visit yesterday. I say that like it wasn’t planned but it was. Most of the group went down toward the bottom on the Angel Bright trail. One of us walked around the Canyon because the trails down are too steep for me, especially as people pass.

But being honest, I had a super lovely day. It was chilly and windy but very sunny. I walked 10 miles from the Visitor Center to the Pima Point on the south rim. I think I was walking about three hours. Plenty of time to stop and take pictures and of course one video to show how windy it was. Then when the others were done with their hike, I just shuttled back.

I think it would be fun to spend a whole day walking the entire south side. I’m not sure if it’s the same set up on the north rim but I’d add that in too. It’s amazing to see how the shadows and sun impact the views. The walk is pretty easy and yet, I didn’t see very many people. There are places where you stomach drops if you’re afraid of heights but those are easily avoided. Honestly I was more afraid of being swept away that slipping!

Monica did most of the driving there and back. She has done most of the driving – and for that I’m thankful. Also I think the spirits around us rewarded her with caribou and elk on our drive out of the park!



Cathedral Rock climb and art in Tlaquepaque: Girls’ trip to AZ Day three by Ann Treacy
October 18, 2021, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Arizona

We started out a hike to the top of Cathedral Rock today – we quickly ended up with a hike around Cathedral Rock. A hike straight up will never be a good hike for me. I pulled the rip cord about 20 percent of the way up. And we decided to take a longer hike around the mountain (or rock or whatever we’re calling big hills here).

It was a nice 6-7 mile walk up and down. We found a river and a fun place for a photo shoot. It wasn’t as crowded and we dipped into and out of the shade, which was easy temperature control.

In the afternoon we checked out Tlaquepaque Village. It has tons of fancy shopping and lots of art. Some folks went shopping and got wonderful treasures; one person hiked all around and took pictures of art and got another 4 miles under her belt. It is a fun area – very touristy but not unpleasantly so.

For dinner we found a fun Mexican restaurant with a Flamenco band right outside. We even got in a little dancing!



Church on Hill in Sedona: Girls trip to Arizona Day Two by Ann Treacy
October 17, 2021, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Arizona

It’s a gorgeous day in Arizona. Sunny, as promised. Hot during the day, a little chilly at night. We drove from Phoenix from Sedona, which is a little bit of a haul. But worth it. We stopped by the Church on the Hill (Chapel of Holy Cross),which is the only thing I knew yet still a super favorite.

The Chapel is built into the side of the hill in Sedona. It was built in 1956. Marguerite Brunswig Staude got an idea in 1932 to build a church in Budapest inspired by the Empire State Building. It is gorgeous to look at it’s gorgeous to look from – it’s surrounded by the red rocks.

The crucifix in the church is spectacular too; it’s newer than the church itself. The whites of the eyes are stark and yet so imploring and pained.

After the church we hiked around. It was an easy hike – but from our hike we could see serious rock climbers traversing a huge rock or mountain or whatever we call them here. It made my palms sweat but they seemed to know what they were doing and we never heard any sirens so I’m assuming the best.

We also stopped at an art fair – where some folks made little purchases, someone is thinking about a major purchase (all beautiful) and one of us made a skeletal friend. And we had a very lovely dinner at Cucina Rustica.



Girls trip to Arizona Day One: Willie Nelson and the Outlaw Tour by Ann Treacy
October 16, 2021, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Arizona

Know what makes a few crazy busy weeks at work easier? Finishing the week with a vacation with friends. I’m in Arizona with Monica, Anne and Jennifer. They have planned almost all of it, which is definitely a gift to me. I just follow along. Except for the first night, but I’ll get to that.

We landed, dealt with all of the hassles of flying and getting a car and then headed to a lovely late lunch at Taco Guild. It is a gorgeous restaurant inside a Methodist Church built in 1893. The stained glass is amazing –  although it’s difficult to see in the picture because our heavenly hue got in the way. The altar bar would make any Catholic crazy jealous. And the food was delicious!

The we booked into the hotel and rested a bit because … and this was my *only* contribution to the planning … we had tickets to Willie Nelson and the Outlaw tour at AK- Chin at night! The lineup was great we saw the tail end of Gov’t Mule (pun intended), The Avett Brothers and Willie. It was an outdoor amphitheater that seats up to 20,000. We were definitely in the nose bleed section but it felt close – not front row close but definitely in the mix. The sound was great.

Turns out everyone knew more Avett Brothers than they thought and Willie was amazing. It’s pretty stripped down – Willie on stage with a guitar and some folks backing him up. (Sadly his older sister who often plays with him was missing.) His voice wasn’t as strong a first time I saw in at the MN State Fair probably frightening close to 40 years ago – but the guitar playing is still amazing and he never missed a beat.

First day of vacation – big win!!




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