Five Lessons to Learn at an Ancient Sinagua Indian Ruins

The Mystery People of Sedona

#adventure #hiking Which Way Challenge  Monday Walks with Jo

Mystery describes the Sinagua Indians.  They lived in the Sedona area for hundreds of years, then in 1420, one hundred years before the white man arrived, they left.

Five thousand of them, gone without a trace.

Some scholars thought they migrated then intermingled with the Hopi Indian.

Nonetheless, they left a rich heritage for you to enjoy when you visit Sedona.

The Most Popular Pink Jeep Tour

You can’t help notice the shiny pink jeeps all over Sedona and the surrounding area.

The company is brilliant. they took one of the men’s favorite sports, bouncing around in the backcountry, and painted it pink. Then they market all the attire and everything else Pink Jeep.

Women love it. Men love that women love it.

This slightly bumpy tour to the Sinagua ruins is a favorite of the Pink Jeep Tour company. It’s an easy drive through West Sedona on AZ Highway 89A, then a short trip on a public unpaved road into the protected ruins.

At the end of the road, we entered a fenced in area, and our tour guide, Chip Roberge, led six of us on an easy path back to the Sinaguan homes dug into the cliff.

A Quick Pit Stop then Off to the Path

“I used to be a banker,” Chip Roberge told us as we started up the path to the Ancient Sinagua ruins just outside of West Sedona, “but I started doing Pink Jeep tours years ago and I’d never go back.”Ancient Sedona Ruins

Lesson One –  Trees

About an hour before sunset on a warm September evening, our party of six entered the ruins through a half-mile long, lightly forested, rocky footpath.

“This wasn’t the land flowing with milk and honey. There is no river near. In the desert, you can spot the water where you see a clump of trees. In fact, this area here would have been bare when the Sinagua Indians lived here. They would have used them all.”

Normally found in only the highest areas of Sedona, this interesting specimen, an Alligator Juniper definitely reminded you of an old alligator. Don’t get too close!

SNAP!

No worries, it was just a branch, but be careful. You might see a rattlesnake.

Lesson Two – Fruits

Chip pointed out several plants along the way. We passed a withering vine. The poisonous effects of the prickly melon fruit on the Sacred Datura could kill a human.  If you were lucky it could put you into a four-day hallucinogenic spell. I saw one of these in the Woodlake Botanical Gardens and dug it out.

Another prickly fruit, the prickly pear, you can pay about $10 for a permit to pick them. Since I’m not fond of pears, I passed. Beware, they will stain your mouth red. To pick them, stick a finger in the center indentation and wiggle it off the cactus. It seems like a lot of work to peel and eat each prickly bite.

Lesson Three Buildings

It didn’t take us long to meander the half mile up to the ruins once we stopped taking pictures of the plants along the way.

In spite of the relative luxuriant of the meadow today, I thought of being exiled here. I wondered if maybe these were the outcasts from the more robust societies along the river banks. Nonetheless, their homes showed creative similarities to Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle.Chip said they used lumber to prop open the rows of windows. It looks like rocks to me.

With the scarcity of water, creating this much mud mortar must have been difficult. They used urine instead of fresh water. Since the last Sinaguans left in the 1400s, you can assume that it worked well. Scholars think that the Hopi Indians might have used these homes. It was unclear to me whether the tribes ever lived together, however.

Here you can see the windows more closely.

Lesson Four – Art

As you look up, high on the side of the hill you could see several markings on the different buildings. This distinctive seal marked their home much like a family crest identified families in Europe.

These pictographs displayed horses and people, but Chip suggested that horses had not come to the area at the time of these paintings. Can you see the ghost on the right side of the next picture? Some people could not spot it at first. Apparently, it is fluorescent and can be seen under a different light.

Lesson Five – The Rock Formations

Rock formations near the Sedona Ancient Ruins include Thunder Mountain and Chimney Rock and Lizard Head Rock.

Here’s the secret.

None of them are mountains. You can’t go to the Sedona Mountains because, according to our guide, they are not mountains, they are sedimentary rocks. Just rocks.

I’d like some of these rocks in my backyard, wouldn’t you?

Almost Sunset on Chimney Rocks.

In the next picture, you see Thunder Mountain (not a mountain) looming to the left of the pink jeep.

The driver took some sunset pictures using our cameras. Even though we were in the jeep with no windows to hold us back from the views, we couldn’t see as well from the right side.

The tour hour had expired but the views were so spectacular that the driver slowed down to allow us to take more pictures. (I’m sure he tells everyone that but we felt special nonetheless.) He did drive fast the rest of the way back.

If you are unable to walk for a mile or stand for 45 minutes to an hour there are three National Parks nearby Sedon you might enjoy more.

  1. Montezuma Castle has an easy walkway, but you don’t get close to the ruins.
  2. Montezuma Well is also on Highway 17. If the Castle is a #1 walk, then the Well is a #2.
  3. Tuzigoot is my favorite. Not only can you walk amid the ruins there is a museum with a Junior Ranger Guidebook that children can complete as they walk the park and the museum.

If you haven’t read your 19 minutes yet today and want to consider a further investigation, here are three references I used to prepare this post.

For Further Reading

https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/05/03/sacred-datura-pretty-poisonous-and-hallucinogenic/

https://www.verdevalleyarchaeology.org/EarlyInhabitants

https://www.gatewaytosedona.com/chimney-rock-andante-and-thunder-mountain-trails-easy-to-challenging-sedona-hiking-trail-network

https://www.pinkjeeptourssedona.com/honanki/

How to Get an Easy 10,000 Steps in Sedona, AZ

Do You Sit Too Much?

#Which Way Challenge #Monday Walks with Jo

It’s not easy to squeeze in 10,000 steps after spending hours getting to your destination?

Here’s one way we solved our sitting dilemma in Sedona.

10,000 steps in SedonaDaily

It might easiest be to get up in the morning and walk in the neighborhood before starting the day. Try a walk down to the nearest shopping center. Grab your cup of coffee and continue back to your hotel.

Sedona 10,000 steps
Castle Rock on the left, Bell Rock in the middle.

Added to a one or two-mile walk at the start of the day, you will get in your anticipated steps even if you sit a bit along the way.

Sedona 10,000 stepsSit Happens

The data is everywhere. The Mayo Clinic states that walking 10,000 steps a day helps you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination

The Ten Thousand Steps Program was first popularized by Japanese pedometers in the 1960s according to UC Davis Integrative Medicine.

How to Measure Your Steps or Mileage

You may have a Fitbit, but if you don’t, you can buy a simple pedometer. If I remember, I stick my iPhone in my pocket. When I’m photographing and forgot to put my phone back into my pocket, there goes my step count. But I get a good idea of how far I’m going each day.

If you don’t have a device to measure your steps, measure time. Most people can walk one mile in at least twenty minutes. At that rate, one hour will earn you three miles, and you’re three-fifths to your goal. The remaining 40 minutes is easy just walking around from chore to chore.

But the point is to start moving.

Sedona 10,000 stepsHead Out of the Bell Rock Inn Parking Lot

If you’re looking for a great vacation spot where getting in your 10,000 steps is a pleasure, you can’t find a better place than Sedona, AZ. This walk measured about 7,400 steps. I ended the day with nearly 12,000 steps.

Sedona has two main highways, 179 and 89A and a million roundabouts. This trip we stayed at Bell Rock Inn Diamond Resort on Highway 179 across from one of the most beautiful rock legends in Sedona.

“In 2006, The US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration awarded State Route 179 its highest designation within the National Scenic Byways Program: the All American Road designation. … It is a tourist attraction onto itself.” The Premier Gateway

For views, Bell Rock Inn ranks a 5 even though it’s probably the smallest of the four resorts we’ve stayed in Sedona. The neighborhood walk ranks about 5 as well.

Bell Rock Diamond

Just outside the door of our suite the sidewalk that lines the highway spans about 4 feet wide and runs for miles. So this morning I headed up the road. I walked past Famous Pizza. At 7:30 no one but the crow wanted pizza. He did not pose as I approached him to take a portrait shot.

The shopping center next door

Along the way were two more hotels, a Holiday Express and one other as well as a strip mall. I watched early morning tourists pose next to the mural which spans the restaurant. It was about 70 degrees at 7:30 this morning, perfect for a walk.

Sedona 10,000 steps
Castle Rock

As you head north on Highway 179 back towards Sedona, you can see Castle Rock to the left and Bell Rock near the middle. Low maintenance plants and red rocks line the sidewalks adding interest.

Sedona 10,000 steps
Bell Rock predominant in the background

Even though the traffic can be heavy, especially in the spring, the sidewalk provides a beautiful safe place to walk. I took this picture of the Jack’s Canyon sign for our friend Jack, who did not know he had a Canyon named after him.

Highway 179 has scenic turnouts at the rocks so that you can park and walk. Like our son did, you can take a trail almost to the peak of Bell Rock without having to rock climb.

Sedona 10,000 stepsAlong the way, you meet a few passersby. Most of them are doing what you are exercising, not chatting.  Headed away from Sedona, the view is not as spectacular, but there’s more shade. I stayed on the shady side going both directions.

Sedona 10,000 steps
Shops in the Sedona suburb of Oak Creek

I passed at least four strip malls like this one during the 1.5  or 2-mile morning walk. This is the Village of Oak Creek. We ate at Cucina Rustica, a beautiful Italian restaurant behind the white arch on our last night. More sitting and eating, so I was glad for the morning walks.

In the spring there might be two miles of traffic caught up on the 6-mile strip from Highway 17 to Sedona. You may be able to see yourself in this link to the live webcam.

Sedona 10,000 steps
Golf Course next to Bell Rock Inn

Another walking option is to golf and weave your way around among the beautiful shade trees. The beautifully maintained Country Club golf course is open to the public, one block from Bell Rock Inn.

The gardeners don’t appreciate the public walking on the path during golfing hours but you may walk undetected and undisturbed early in the morning and after 5:00 at night.

Sedona 10,000 Steps
Wildflowers

These wildflowers with their bulbs and tiny flowers borrowed my camera/pedometer for a few seconds.  These look like Penstemon, Golden beards. Any flower experts out there to back me up?

Sedona 10,000 steps

These juicy cacti fruits, prickly pears, bloomed ubiquitously in September. You can pay $10 to harvest them. Our Pink Jeep tour guide suggested that nobody would notice if you just picked one. You needed to pick with great care, though. The fruit has to be peeled, and it will stain you bright red.

Sedona 10,000 steps

Heading back to the resort you can see Bell Rock on the left and Courthouse Butte on the right. Courthouse Butte has also been known as Cathedral Rock, which makes it confusing to visitors who hear both names used interchangeably.

These formations are all sedimentary rocks, sandstones, limestones, and shales. Guides don’t recommend them for rock climbing as they are very soft.

Some believe that Bell Rock is a spiritual place with special energy called a vortex. Everyone I’ve known to hike up there, including me, has come back from the hike at a level five – tired to level ten – exhausted and not a number one level – energetic, though.

Sedona 10,000 stepsYou can see that even the small rock formations provide a lot of shade. Building this highway caused some controversy as it tore up some of the beautiful rock formations.

Sedona 10,000 stepsWalking away from the resort seemed like the path would end at any time. Each time I thought I would walk to the end and turn around, the road curved around some vegetation, and disappeared from sight. So like a woman hypnotized, I kept walking and walking. Finally, I accepted that the sidewalk might not go all the way to heaven, but it could easily go on for many miles.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed Scenic AZ Highway 179. It reminds me of the Arizona Highways magazines my grandfather loved in the 1950s and 1960s. There I was, living his dream, walking along one of the most beautiful Arizona Highways.

Call to Action

If this post brightened your day, please leave me a comment either here or on social media. If you want to make my day, reblog or share this on social media. I’d love to return the favor. 🙂 If you have a related post link, feel free to leave it in your comment section.

For more walking and hiking posts, check out #Which Way Challenge #Monday Walks with Jo.

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Sedona Oddballs at Sun Silver West Gallery

Sedona Oddball Whimsical Garden Art

Want a friendly pig?

Sedona Odballs
Sun Silver West Cop on Duty

A new wagon to carry your load?

How about a dancing frog?

Sedona Oddballs
Dancing frogs show no inhibitions

Do you have an insect problem at your house? It’s nothing compared to this!

Sedona oddballs
Ant Invasion

Someone even created a look-alike for Puppy Girl

Sedona Oddballs
Puppy Girl’s metal twin.

Do you need to practice being charming?

Sedona oddballs
“May I help you, misssssss?”

Sun Silver West Gallery looks a little funky, but there’s plenty to like in this shop. They even warn you before you enter the store.

Sedona oddballsWatch your pocket-book, the sign should say! 🙂

sedona oddballs

I think these guys got bored golfing. Or maybe they would rather be golfing. What do you think?

Visit Cee’s Oddball Challenge for more oddball pictures.

Sedona Oddballs

Sun Silver West Gallery

Address: 1476 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86336-6540
Phone Number:
+1 928-282-3580
Accepts Credit Cards
Yes
Parking
Private Lot
Bike Parking
Yes
Wheelchair Accessible
Yes
Good for Kids
Yes
By Appointment Only
No

Related Sedona Posts

Resort Walk Reveals 15 Top Things to Love

Monday Walks with JoWhich Way Challenge

Resort WalkBefore I tell about this wonderful resort in Sedona, you should know this. Although Diamond Resorts is a timeshare, anyone can book this vacation extravaganza through Expedia or other online booking sites. Sometimes booking a timeshare is less expensive than booking a regular hotel room.

One more important fact. I’m not selling timeshares! We own a Diamond Resorts timeshare but have been many places, and this is one of our favorites.

A Perfect Day for a Walk

resort walk

Vince and I ambled out of our spacious suite at Los Abrigados Resort in Sedona for a morning walk around the grounds.

Originally, T.C. and Sedona Schnebly built the first hotel on this site in Sedona in 1901. He and his brother settled here, planted an apple orchard and vegetable garden. The 1986 resort retains the flavor and charm of an earlier time.

resort walk

We Found So Many Things to Love

View We left our room in too much of a hurry to take this picture this morning, so this evening I snapped the picture so you could see the red rocks from our patio.

resort walk

Sedona’s red rocks vistas enthrall visitors wherever they turn.

resort walk

Surrounded in three directions by the red rocks you can’t walk any path without your mouth ajar at the beauty.

resort walk

Architecture Structures reflect the beauty of Sedona’s backdrop. Spanish and Pueblo-style buildings and fountains reflect the past, but the although it looks antique, the resort was dedicated in 1986.

resort walkThis was the site of the first hotel, Sedona Post Office, and store. Today Suite 110 is the largest most elegant facility we saw on our resort walk. It would be a perfect place for an executive council meeting for CCSS, but I’m not on that council anymore.

resort walk
The first hotel in Sedona built by T.C. and Sedona Schnebly.

On the left side of the building is a shady porch. Even in the summer, I think you would be cool here. The original Schnebly Hotel included 10 rooms, a rock chimney, and a shake roof. Tents and a bunkhouse outside housed some of the guests. The Schneblys sold their bunkhouse hotel, post office, and store in 1908, and it burned down in 1918.resort walk

Another beautiful suite is the Morris House. Of course, since that is my maiden name, I would love to stay there, but it is being remodeled. Phil Morris got the contract to build the new Abrigados Resort that opened in 1986. He has now been in business over 45 years with an unparalleled reputation as a builder.

resort walk
The Morris family owned the property that became Los Abrigados from 1916 to 1984.
resort walk
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resort walk
Vince leads the way checking out the path around the miniature golf course.

Miniature Golf Course Vince and I haven’t played yet, but we had to check out each of the 18 holes. We heard the gentle waterfall at hole 11. However beautiful it is, par 3 was not a fair number to set for par. Can you see that narrow bridge in the center? Hmmm Trust me, take extra golf balls. There’s real water in the stream underneath it.

resort walk

One piece of advice I have for you is not to get discouraged and lose your confidence because of hole 11 like I did the first time I played with my friend Jean.

resort walk

Basketball, Tennis & Pickleball Courts For more activity, you can enjoy tennis, basketball, or pickleball. I hate to admit it, but I thought the holes in the shade screens were windows. I wondered why they were so high and so low. Vince explained patiently that they are to keep the cloth in place when it’s windy. DUH!

resort walkPathways Along Oak Creek

resort walk
Oak Creek trail oops, wrong way!

We started down one path, but it ran out. Huge rocks line the smooth walking path.

resort walk
I don’t know if they brought all these rocks here.

The shallow creek meanders quietly right now, but at some point, the water has eroded the soil around the roots.

resort walk

Seating Areas along Oak Creek

cottonwood snow
22 acres of Los Abrigados Resort in Sedona, AZ

If you wanted you could play checkers or chess outside. You could choose between walking, chess or checkers, or sitting. Nobody played at 9:00. Usually, the pieces are sitting upright in their assigned spots. Someone enjoyed playing  – until they didn’t, or the wind came up last night.

resort walk
Nobody played games at 9:30.

Bocce Ball Court Vince lost to me at this Italian game. We only played once. Hmmm. Maybe it did not challenge him enough.

resort walk
Our second game never went anywhere.

Too many options for Vince. He led the way.

resort walk

The Labyrinth You start at one end and follow the yellow brick road. Just when you think you’ve reached the Wizard of Oz, the blocks take a sharp turn and turns in the opposite direction.

The Bird Sanctuary The birds were shy this morning. Maybe Vince and I did not emit bird-loving vibes. We saw a crow fly in front of our noses on the road back to the suite. But by then my camera was sheathed in my pocket, and it was time for lunch. So birds, we’ll catch you later.

The Zen Garden Vince and I have too much Type A personality to sit down and zen in the garden.

“We need a rake. I’ll be they have a rake. Next time we’ll get a rake. Jason would spend hours here. Let’s go now.”

And as quickly as we walked in and I sat down to zen, we left.

Spoke N Wheel Restaurant Walking past the Morris House and the tennis courts we stopped to take pictures of the Spoke N Wheel Restaurant.

resort walkThe group of women I went to Sedona with last fall all enjoyed this restaurant. Vince and I booked a reservation for Easter dinner just to make sure.

resort walkLast year Darlene and I decided we did not want to pay the price. Instead, we spent five dollars less apiece and had a lousy meal from the store, most of which we threw away. Vince and I did not make that mistake.

resort walkNew Friends On the way to Schnebly pond from the Office we ran into friends we met at the pool the night before, Dave and Karen. We invited them to join us for brunch. Our one-hour luncheon turned into two and a half hours as we got better acquainted with this couple previously from Pennsylvania, but now from Arizona.

resort walk

Heated Pool and Jacuzzi No resort is complete without a pool, so as we headed back over to the place we met our new friends the night before in the jacuzzi.

resort walk
Mexican type tiled stairs

Vince stays out of the sun, although he would rather lie next to the pool all day in weather like Sedona this week. He had to be content to look over the pools from the patio above.

resort walk

Tomorrow I’ll seek out the spa again. It relaxed me, and you never know what new friend you will meet next.

resort walk

Schnebly Pond This pond was harder to find than we expected. Named after Sedona’s first family, it is buried between some of the units. After looking at the map, we figured it out.

resort walk

At first, I thought ducks had found a nice shallow pond. Closer inspection taught me otherwise.

resort walkNext to Tlaquepaque Sedona’s Art and Shopping Destination

Though separated by a concrete overflow, Tlaquepaque seems like part of the Abrigados dream resort. Drawn by a beautiful rendition of “Sounds of Silence,” we crossed the pedestrian path to the mall. Michael Kollwitz recorded one of his CDs under the banyan tree in LaHina on Maui.

Vince loves to shop. OK, honestly, I do too on occasion. We had fun strolling through the cobblestone and brick roads ducking in and out of specialty shops.

resort walk
Bennali’s clothing store

After living in rodeo country for sixteen years, I found my first cowgirl hat in Arizona at Bennali’s.

resort walk

While we picked from passion fruit, blueberry, pomegranate, cranberry, strawberry, apple and many other fruity kinds of vinegar, General Manager, Allison Wilson briefly explained the history of the Voss Fass Company.

Summary

All told, our resort walk lasted about an hour and a half or so trying out some of the fun things to do at Los Abrigados.

All day long, my husband who hates to leave home said, “I love it here.”

What’s not to love? This is a Diamond Resort membership resort, but you do not have to belong to stay here. You can book through Expedia or other online sites. If you come to Sedona, it’s the most beautiful of all the wonderful places we have stayed.

If you love to travel, sign up for my newsletter for tips and travel news and opportunities.

resort walk

Celebrate Spring in Sedona with a Layer of Cottonwood “Snow”

#Sedona in the Spring May Dream Gardens

cottonwood snow
22 acres of Los Abrigados Resort in Sedona, AZ

Cottonwood Snow

It looks like snow but it’s 76 degrees, sunny with only a light spring breeze. The weather in Sedona on Easter weekend is about as beautiful as it gets anywhere in the world.

cottonwood snow
Gentle breezes nudged the wind statues in mesmerizing motions.

But we humans need some complaint, so for that, we turn to the cottonwood trees. As we admired the wind statues, one merchant launched her campaign against the trees complaining that they are maliciously firing thousands of sticky flakes into their store.

cottonwood snow
cacti with a layer of cottonwood snow

Once landed, the cottonwood snow sits quietly in bushes, spider webs and on the stems of the cacti like fuzzy socks.

cotttonwood snow
Time to flower

Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of cacti, but they are showing off this weekend for Easter. Statues guard Los Abrigados Resort where we stay in Sedona. Basket Lady Elder adorns herself for spring as well.

cottonwood snow
Basket Lady Elder remembers the gifts of our elders: wisdom, experience, history and insight. She has walked the long path of life gathering seeds of wisdom and collecting answers to life’s mysteries. She keeps these treasures in her basket. All that she has gathered will be shared with the children during the storytelling ritual. Native cultures deeply revere their elders as sacred members of the tribe.

Next door to the resort is a bed and breakfast call the Portal. Even the roof sports wild purple flowers and is draped with hanging planters along the edge. Rose bushes brighten the corner of this award-winning vacation spot.

cottonwood snow
La Portal Bed and Breakfast

Los Abrigados furbished itself elegantly for the spring holiday. Happy Easter, my friends. 🙂

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