Red Rock Country

 Posted by at 12:03 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 062011

We spent the day yesterday exploring one of the most scenic places in the American Southwest; the red rock country around Sedona, Arizona. If you haven’t explored this wonderland of colorful rock formations and high desert, you really should put it on your bucket list.

Located between Cottonwood and Flagstaff, and east of Interstate 17, the steep sandstone cliffs and dramatic rock formations get their deep red color from hematite (iron oxide), and people come from all over the world to marvel at their beauty.

Spires 2

If the place looks familiar to you, it may be because dozens of movies have been filmed here, including Angel and the Badman, Blood on the Moon, Broken Arrow, Devil’s Canyon, Harry and Tonto, Karate Kid, National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Quick and the Dead, Riders of the Purple Sage, and 3:10 to Yuma, to name just a few. Not to mention the countless television shows and commercials filmed in the region.

Everywhere you turn, there is a view that is even more breathtaking then the one before, and it is constantly changing, as the sun and clouds create shadows and patterns in the rocks.

Great spire view

Red Rock formations

Driving into Sedona from the south, on State Route 89A, we detoured to take the Red Rock Loop Road, which offered plenty of impressive views, and lots of places to pull over to take pictures. Greg took a picture of Miss Terry and me, with some the rock formations in the background, and I took one of Greg and Jan, to remember our visit.

Nick Terry Sedona

Greg Jan Sedona

The closer we got to town, the heavier the traffic got, but the views were just as dramatic. I wonder how many accidents happen here because drivers are busy gawking instead of watching the road?

Drive into Sedona 2

Sedona traffic

We stopped for lunch at the Red Planet Diner, which had a science fiction outer space theme, including spaceships and aliens hanging from the ceiling. The service wasn’t all that great, but the food was really good.


We spent some time wandering around Sedona, poking our heads into some of the shops, where you can by anything from authentic Indian jewelry (which may be made in China), to T-shirts, crystals, boots, and whatever else your heart desires.

You can also take one of the famous Pink Jeep tours up through the red rocks, or ride the trolley through town.



Greg, Jan, and Terry really liked Sedona, but to be honest, as beautiful as it is, it doesn’t take me long to get tired of all of the New Age flakes selling the tourists psychic readings, palm readings, aura readings, healings, secret potions, and magic crystals. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help it when a lady standing in the door of one of the psychic shops asked me how I was today, and I replied “You’re the psychic, you tell me.” 🙂 How come these folks are always reincarnated Indian princesses with names like Redbird or White Dove? Someday I want to meet just one psychic named something like Ramona Swartz, who was a waitress in a diner in her past life! Her I might believe!


We had planned to go up through Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona, to show Greg and Jan some more remarkable landscape, but unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well, and as the day wore on, it got worse. I’m very allergic to onions, and I don’t know if something I ate had onion powder on it, or what, but whatever it was, it really started to hit me hard, so we called it a day and went back to the Thousand Trails campground, where I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling yucky. Finally, I fell asleep for a couple of hours, and when I woke up, the worst of it was behind me. I really felt bad for cutting our trip short, but Greg and Jan were very gracious about it. We’re going to try to get back up that way while we’re still in the area.

That’s the great thing about the fulltime RV lifestyle, we can always go back to those great places we discover in every corner of America, and stay as long as we want to!

Thought For The Day – Evolution stops when stupidity is no longer fatal!

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Red Rock Country”

  1. Sorry you had to miss the Oak Canyon, just wondering if you have been to the Old Mine outside Jerome. Pick and I had a great time wandering around the many collections of the owner. He is a unique character. We had quite a political discussion ( from both sides ). It was fun “arguing” with someone who has a different view but listens and rebuts. We are looking forward to returning sometime. The varied display interespersed with chickens and donkeys is not for everyone but I think you would enjoy it. Hope to see you at the Fall rally. Pat Byron

  2. Beautiful photos. My friend was just out there, it will be interesting to see if her photos are as good. I love that area.

  3. You must have been feeling bad or standing on your head reading your GPS, but I beleive that Cottonwood and Sedona are WEST of I-17 not east. Love reading the Blog every day. Thanks Nick. Lanny

  4. You’re right on both counts, Lanny, they are WEST of Interstate 17.

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