Tips for Enjoying your stay in Sedona

From Valarie Prince, Ramsey Yunan, & Stephen Watson

Sedona is renowned for its desert beauty and magic. However, just like in any other natural environment, following a few basic rules can go a long way in protecting yourself against the hazards you may encounter on your journeys.

The desert is hot and dry:

• Drink plenty of water – before you feel thirsty. The dry air causes faster dehydration. A bottle carrier could be handy during an outing.
• Wear sun block, lip balm, shades and a wide-brimmed hat to shield your skin from the strong sun.
• Wear light colored, comfortable clothes. Layers help to slow moisture loss and block UV rays. T-shirts and shorts are good for workshops and relaxing. Bathing suits are handy for swimming (in the pool, hot tub or Oak Creek). And of course, casual clothes would be nice for the Sunday night dinner.

The desert is wild:

• Animals live in the desert. It is their home and we are the visitors. So it is very important to be mindful and respectful, just as in anyone else’s home.
• It’s a good idea to refrain from using excessive perfumes or scents. This may attract the unwanted attention of bees and flies (to them, cologne smells like either a flower or a carcass). There are few mosquitoes, so there is no need for bug repellent (you’d likely do better with Ivory Soap anyway).
• There are bugs and critters around all the time, so keep window screens closed and check your shoes if they’ve been left out overnight.
• Be prepared for some optional (but worthwhile) hiking. Some trails can be uneven and rocky, with obstructions like thorny bushes and stream beds. Long pants, socks and closed toe shoes are useful for protecting against scratches, etc. Hiking shoes are strongly recommended. Assume all surfaces have cacti needles, otherwise all of your fleshy surfaces will have needlepoint souvenirs to take home.
• At night it gets very, very dark. Bring a flashlight or two.
• On occasion, it does rain in the desert, so a light jacket could prove useful.

Sedona is a sacred place:

• Be extra respectful, because you will be in the ‘Temple of the Earth’. It might sound strange, but many people’s personal experiences support this idea. If you ask it to, the desert will gladly teach you some humility!
• Be open-minded. Sedona is a place where all kinds of lessons can be learned. Just be receptive, and who knows what could happen?
• Allow yourself to be invited, or not invited along a path, into a ravine, over a rock, past a shrub. Just because someone in our group went that way is not an invitation to you. Trust. Wait. Listen.

Sedona is a tourist hotspot:

• There are many beautiful vistas, shops and art galleries.
• It is good to have binoculars, a camera, a notebook or a sketchpad to capture your experience.
• You might want to save room for a few T-shirts and souvenirs in your luggage.

• • It’s also not a bad idea to shake your shoes out before putting them on…..you just never know who might be sleeping there.

• • Close-toed shoes are a must at night. And if you must pick up that decent sized rock, please use something other than your hand to turn it over first. Keep your hands out of holes in the desert floor that is. Even desert critters can get a little miffed when their privacy is invaded!

• • On the subject of ‘earth souvenirs’…please do not assume you know better. Do not treat the trails and surroundings as a gift shop with a clerk who’s just run to the bathroom. Shoplifting is never a good idea. Again, if a particular pebble, leaf absolutely and unequivocally calls to you…then you may decide to heed the call. Otherwise, do not look for things to take. The desert has been kind enough to remain for us for each of the last ten years, let’s be sure it remains for the next ten (thousand) years too.

• • Not only bring sunscreen, use it……. an extra nutrition bar or piece of fruit thrown in your pack is not a bad idea either. Due to recent world events, homeland security is now on all of our minds… Don Miller will surely use this as an excuse to ‘frisk’ you. Deny him at every turn.

• • In the summer (September is still summer in the desert- 70- 100 degrees, “but it’s a dry heat”).

• • If you must explore always tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Our ‘party’ would be spoiled without you.

• • A good adage to remember is: be in nature but leave it as you found it (if not cleaner). Apply your tai chi awareness to the desert and all will be well.

***Also to bring:

Musical instruments (flutes/drums/etc.) – optional
Poetry to read or have read on Sunday night. Nothing famous, we want your own
The willingness to work with others…meet new people…make new friends. Code phrase : ‘Keep from your clique’
Tai Chi Spirit!!

Enjoy!

Val, Ramsey, & Stephe

P.S.: Much of this was stolen from Ramsey’s original work by Stephe.
P.P.S.: Much of Ramsey’s ‘original’ was stolen from the actual point of Genesis in Valarie Prince’s work.