Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Sedona

Williams, Seligman, Kingman (AZ) and Barstow, California

sedonawilliamsseligman-026Today’s journey took us from Sedona (AZ) through a tiny corner of Nevada (Loughlin) on into California. Along the way, we stopped in Williams (AZ), Seligman and Kingman (AZ), and are now in Barstow, California.

Williams was the last town to capitulate when Route 66 was officially decommissioned. They fought in the courts, but finally lost the battle. Now, Williams has some downtown displays, a purportedly haunted bar called “The Black Cat,” and, according to the woman who assisted me at a roadside gas station, her own house is haunted. (Mainly by a cat belonging to the previous owner who built it.)

sedonawilliamsseligman-026Seligman had a Polar Express train display, but little else.

Kingman has a haunted motel called the Beale Hotel on Main Street, and another place where a local doctor took his victims to murder them.

It took from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. to reach Barstown, California, where we are now.

Sedona, Arizona: Red Rock Vortexes and Great Restaurants

sedona-0041Here in Sedona, we lunched at Bistro Bella Tierra at 101 North Hwy 89

A, F29 in Sedona, Arizona, a lovely place with a great view that is nestled amongst other shops in a shopping center. We strolled through the shopping center afterwards and took part in a wine tasting (5 Arizona wines for $10; try the white merlot.) The onion soup was just the way you always hope it will be, with cheesy goodness, and the view was spectacular, featuring (from where we sat) the red rocks of three formations: Cathedral Rock, Snoopy, and the Coffee Pot.

sedona-0011As we have dinner reservations at L’Auberge de Sedona, a truly class act amongst the hotels and motels that dominate this town of 14,000, we ferreted it out down L’Auberge Lane (or Little Lane) and were given the guided tour by Graham, the concierge, whose wife was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

L’Auberge rooms start at $225, move up to $325 for the cabins with a garden view, and top out closer to $500 in the cabins with a creek view. There is extensive remodeling going on at the hotel, which is nestled amongst the trees and bushes of Oak Creek, and the concierge mentioned something about “an outside shower” under construction. We could see that a shower-sized extension to the cabin was being added, and we wondered if one would be able to be viewed au naturel.

sedona-0061A British couple (last name Craig) with whom I spoke in the lobby was off on a hike and chatted with me prior to leaving. Hiking seems to be a big thing to do here, as are hot air balloon rides and helicopter rides over the splendor of the canyons.

About 300 million years ago, the oceans that covered Sedona retreated, exposing layers of sandstone and limestone. [I seem to remember something about “upthrusting” and “downthrusting” from my years in Earth Science with Dr. Sherwood Tuttle (at which I was very bad).]  There are also formations with names like Thumb, Steamboat and Bell Rock that surround the Sedona area.

sedona-0051There are numerous fine restaurants, one of the best of which was Dahl and Diluca’s at 2321 W. Hwy 89A. This is a freestanding place across from the Safeway Shopping Center with a romantic décor and wonderful Italian food. It is very fancy, which we did not know, as we entered in our jeans and tee shirts. Others dining this night were attired just as casually. The waitress, who was from Pittsburgh, was very efficient and friendly. We wanted fettuccini with shrimp, but we craved Alfredo sauce, not the red sauce mentioned with it on the menu. Only fettuccini with chicken had Alfredo sauce, the chef obligingly used prawns and Alfredo sauce, instead.

So far, we have not encountered anyone who was actually born here. The concierge in our hotel is from Chicago, originally. Graham, the concierge at L’Auberge de Sedona, is British. The woman at the gift shop where I bought candles, May, was originally from the Sacramento area. Her husband’s retirement brought them here, but she “misses the ocean.”

We learned about “vortex circles,”  rock formations representing  places where electromagnetic field energy naturally collects, creating energy whirlpools that can flow clockwise or counter-clockwise. Because the human body is made up of electromagnetic energy, students of the phenomenon such as Page Bryant of Sedona, claim that the rock vortex circles can have a range of effects on the human body.

Some believe that, if the vortex is too strong, it can weaken the human immune system. They maintain that compasses and electronic devices like cell phones and watches won’t work properly around such energy vortices. I can testify that this is the first hotel on our trip where the promised network connection in the room doesn’t work (although it works in the hotel lobby).

Other vortex believers say that the effects on the human body will be a form of healing and spiritual growth. They believe it can realign the energy in one’s body, increasing health and vitality. Terms like “upflow” and “inflow” and other meditation techniques are common in Sedona. Valleys, canyons and caves are inflow sites, while mountains and mesa tops are outflow sites.

sedona-0031Meanwhile, on the “Good Evening, Arizona” Channel 3 news, Patty Kirkpatrick tells me that Attorney General Michael Mulkasey fainted onstage during a speech at the Marriott. Mayor Gordon of Phoenix failed to come to a complete halt at a red light for the second time and was picked up by a traffic camera. A high of 78 in the valley today and it will dip into the fifties tonight. There will be a high of 80 tomorrow.

An erratic freeway chase came to a halt in Columbia as the arresting officer pounded Stephen Zombra, the driver, who was charged with drug possession, among other things. A traffic stop in Oklahoma City also led to 130 mph chase photographed by KWTV in Oklahoma City. One thing is for sure: there are wide-open spaces out here in the wild, wild west and it is easy to do 100 mph with nobody around for miles (not that WE would ever do such a thing).

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