Day 15 - Saturday 30 July 2016

Enchanting Vortex no. 4 in Boynton Canyon

Boynton Canyon vortex

I woke up at 5.40, 5 minutes before the alarm was scheduled to go off. I got myself ready, ate some yogurt and a banana and was out the door by 6.30. Hassan and I were off to pick up Thomas from the Village of Oak Creek and take a walk on the Boynton Canyon trail. (Thomas is an artist (painter from South Carolina) still around in Sedona like me following the Artists’ Colony) I got a little lost trying to find his house due to a gated community not showing up on the map that I downloaded the day before so when we eventually got there it was just after 7. Boynton Canyon was the opposite direction from where Thomas was staying so we had to backtrack for a while, before turning into West Sedona, down 89, right into Dry Creek Road, a few more turns and we were in the carpark to Boynton Canyon.

Vortex at Boynton Canyon The end of Boynton Canyon - 1000 feet cliffs The bark of this tree smells like vanilla Boynton Canyon

The canyon is known to be one of 5 vortexes of Sedona but the vortex is about a 15-20 minute detour off the beginning of the Boynton Canyon track, so this was the first part of walk we made. Like the other 3 vortexes I have visited, this rock formation had similarities in shape and colour as the others; each seem to be smooth, bulbous, very rich red in colour, and even quite phallic, and each has fantastic views in many directions. Each also has a sense of awe about them in their own unique way. It would be hard not to find some sort of intensity whilst being at either one of these vortexes and of course it depends also on your mood at the time. So we spent about 10 minutes wandering around this vortex, otherwise known as Kachina Woman (a lone rock) and Boynton Spires (a pair of spires just up the hill a bit). I climbed up Kachina as much as I could and it felt great, well I felt great. There was no clear spiritual feeling for me around it just a nice sense of being somewhere awesome with great people.

Looking back down the path we took into the canyon

From the vortex we took a right turn up onto the Boynton Canyon trail. Before long we were walking along the boundary of Enchantment, a gated resort and community for the wealthy. Within Enchantment are enormous houses oozing wealth, large patches of green grass, and the whir of air conditioners. After about 15 minutes left Enchantment behind, the sound of birds replaced air conditions, butterflies were fluttering by and the odour of pine was soon apparent. As each step progressed the canyon seemed to get a little thinner and our path shadier from the pine and oak trees providing beautiful shade for us as we trekked along.

The walk seemed to go on and on, at times we were stomping through sand, whilst at others over rocks. It was only near the very end of the walk that the environment started to change. The forest trees cleared as the trail slowly climbed with a sharp incline in which we had to clamber over rocks until we came across a sign that said ‘end of trail’. From here the dead end of Boynton Canyon showed itself in front of us as dramatic vertical 1000 feet cliffs looming above. It was quite a sight and once again a very different type of landscape revealed itself. We found a shaded area, sat down, drank some water, and ate an apple and a muesli bar.

The vista that is Boynton Canyon Myself and Thomas (another artist from the colony) Spectacular Boynton Canyon Red rock with beautiful lines

Once I had cooled down sufficiently I wandered further around from our position and after 5 minutes found the most epic view in all directions including up and down and the canyon. We were on the side of a rock face, perhaps about one fifth of the way up. To the right there was the end of the canyon with cliff faces heading straight up. To our left was the canyon that we had just walked through in full few with numerous tall rock formations jutting out of the forest and showing themselves in full glory. Further to the left was cave like indentation in the rock face that showed evidence of severe erosion. There were wave like patterns and linear formations of various sizes visible in the rock. The sight was epic to say the least. We spent much time looking out in awe. Feeling small, thinking that long before we were here and long after we leave this part of the world will still be standing here in all its monumentality.

Thomas Crouch and I at Boynton

After 30 minutes looking around, with the time now at about 10.30 and temperature heating up, we decided to make tracks and head back. As with all of the other walks the way back seemed much easier. And it only took us an hour and a quarter, much faster than going in. The drive back to Hassan’s was made followed by yet another magnificent Charlotte breakfast with a Persian twist (particularly the divine white garlic sauce). After breakfast I took Thomas back to his home stay, he had accidentally pocketed a key from the Verde Valley School so I said I would take it back for him as it wasn’t too far from where he was staying, by car I mean. I was hoping to see Carol but she wasn’t around. It was nice to be back at Verde Valley School, even though instead of artists there were many Korean kids running around. I reminisced slightly as I dropped the key off, but soon I was back in car, a quick stop to fill up the car with gas (petrol) at the nearby Oak Creek Caltex before next stop Safeway in West Sedona for supplies for my upcoming trip north.

I was back at the casita by about 3.30-4. I packed up my stuff, had some dinner and lazed around. Its an early start tomorrow so I was in bed pretty soon after, however it took me a little while to get to sleep as the heavens opened and massive thunder storm hit. I hadn’t heard it rain so hard since being here. Surely there had been a bit of flash flooding going on somewhere in Sedona.

The leafy forest walk in and out of Boynton Canyon Some of the rocks that flanked our trek The bark of the Manzanita tree The Boynton vortex, from a different angle

I thoroughly enjoyed trekking with Hassan and Thomas today. Again I walked over 20,000 steps, my body was sore but happy, the heat was somewhat irritating but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Boynton Canyon produced more spectacles, as each walk every day seems to be doing.