Today is Joanie’s birthday and we had planned a scenic balloon ride at dawn. Although we got in late last night, we were prepared for a 4:45 wake-up to make our designated 5:30 am pickup time.
Unfortunately, we were notified that the flight was canceled due to unfavorable wind speeds and direction. Although the day couldn’t have been more perfect, the winds were apparently too fast and were forecasted to increase at our planned sunrise launch time, which would take the balloon to unsafe areas and make the landing treacherous.
So, although disappointed, we rescheduled our balloon ride for Friday and worked on a contingency plan for the day. Since we had spent a lot of time in the car the past two days, we decided to remain in the Sedona area and take in some of the local sites.
Our first stop was the The Chapel of the Holy Cross, a unique Catholic chapel built directly into the side of one of the many red rock buttes in Sedona. The chapel features a beautiful crucifix inspired by the tree of life. The visit was the perfect way to begin the day. Interestingly, on our way back to our car, we even got a brief glimpse of a road runner skittering across the road, but still no sightings of Wile E. Coyote.
Now let me take a moment to comment on the title of this blog entry… as mentioned yesterday, there is a local phenomenon called the “Sedona Vortex.” According to local lore, there are several areas of concentrated energy rising from the earth near Sedona where visitors may experience palpable physical sensations, or heightened spiritual and metaphysical clarity. Admittedly our group of four included three skeptics, so in the interest of scientific curiosity we sought out one of these vortexes… the not-so-cleverly-named “Airport Mesa Vortex.”
To get there, we drove to a parking area near the Sedona Airport that served as the trailhead of a short hike to a rocky outcropping, paid the requisite $3 parking fee, and commenced our hike. Based on the number of people already there, we were clearly in the vicinity of this mystical vortex. After a 0.6 mile hike on the rocky trail at 4,700 ft above sea level, we reached our destination and were immediately aware of a physical sensation emanating from deep in our bodies… but alas, it was only the slightly elevated beating of our own hearts, having just completed the climb to the top of this rocky outcropping.
In the end, our conclusion was mixed… our one believer remained convinced that the vortex exists, but it’s energy must have been dissipated by the 50 people who were there. As for the other three, our conclusion was a resounding, “Vortex, Schmortex!”