We spent the past weekend in Sedona...I'd call it Arizona's well-kept secret. Just before we left home, a friend mentioned that we should be sure to visit Sedona. I got her to point it out on a map, since I'd never heard of the place. Sedona lies about mid-way between the grand Canyon and Phoenix, in the middle of Red Rock Country--a small town with about as many tourists as residents. We took in a local theatre production the night we arrived, which followed the lives of two of the Sedona pioneer families (the Purdyman's and the Schnebly's). The town was named after Sedona Schnebly; we stayed at a campsite on Schnebly Hill. Sedona Schnebly was a woman of solid character and strong in her faith. She started a local Sunday School mission, which later became the first organized church and is now known as Wayside Chapel (a community church). We left the theatre feeling like we knew the people who first eked out a living in this place about one hundred years ago.
We decided to take in the Sunday worship service at Wayside Chapel & what a wonderful experience that was! We joined with a group of believers as they sang (the same worship songs we would have been singing back home), prayed, listened to an inspiring message, and took communion. We were so blessed on Sunday morning...it felt like being home away from home! And the pastor of that little church is a great-grandson of the original Purdyman pioneers...it just seemed like such a link to the past.
We explored the red rock cliffs in a hummer, wondered about the shops of Sedona, hiked in Red Rock State Park and camped along Oak Creek in a grove of sycamores. We may never make it back to this enchanting little town, but I'll always have warm memories of this place and the people we met there.
We left Sedona yesterday and are now in Phoenix (enroute to Tuscon) and still enjoying the journey!!!