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By Simon J. Lau
Arriving in Sedona filled me with a great sense of satisfaction. Satisfaction that after a thousand miles on the road, a dozen gas breaks, and countless McCafes, that I finally found myself here. For those who have never visited, Sedona is an incredibly charming city. It is unlike any other place that I have seen in America. It was made famous by its many red sandstone formations. These sandstone formations, or what are formally known as Schnebly Hill Formations, can only be found here. These unique features also made Sedona a popular backdrop for many Hollywood films including Johnny Guitar and 3:10 to Yuma. The rich hues come from both the bright red rock formations as well as the changing colors of the sky. With each sunrise and sunset, these formation emit a soft glow that blanket the desert floor. As one can imagine, it provides a unique setting in which to enjoy the great outdoors.
In addition to these natural beauties, I also discovered the 1930’s New Deal-era project, Midgley Bridge, which connected Sedona to Flagstaff. This arched bridge spanned Wilson Canyon and ran along Oak Creek. For more than 80 years, Midgley Bridge has remained a notable local landmark and has become a popular tourist destination. In fact, during my visit to Sedona, I backtracked from my campsite, and my itinerary, just to visit here. There are several hiking trails that run in and around the bridge that lead down to Oak Creek. However, the best views can be had just above the bridge’s pillars. From here, one can gain beautiful views of the canyon, the creek, and the vast mountainous terrain that surround Sedona. As a history junkie, I also appreciated the thought, care, and craftsmanship that were applied to creating this gem. The Great Depression may have been a struggling period for America, but it was also a notable period for American design, manufacturing, and in this case, architecture.
That said, I took this as an opportunity to dabble in some outdoor activities through my unorthodox camping technique, what I generally refer to as car camping. Rather than setting up a tent, I used my crossover as my bed and shelter. As you can tell from the pictures above, Benny was the largest beneficiary. Not only did he have the creature comforts he has grown so accustomed to at home, but he also had me cooking and slaving for him over an open fire. Kidding aside, car camping is not as glamorous as one would think (or as I had hoped). My car is barely large enough for me to sleep comfortably with the back row laid flat, and despite my best efforts to keep the bugs out, I woke to many bug bites in the morning. Still, I would do it again, especially here in Sedona.