This week's travelogue feature takes us to one of my favorite places on earth, Sedona, Arizona. Located just south of Flagstaff at the end of the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, the red rock views are spectacular.
It is one of the few inland places where I am content to stay a full week due to the number of things there are to do and see in the immediate area. There are an unlimited number of hiking trails that vary from easy to strenuous. Two of my favorites are Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock as both provide spectacular views along the way.
Sedona is also a well known spiritual hang out for the new age crowd. There are numerous places that are known as "vortexes" where there is said to be special energy given off by the earth that is supposed to be uplifting and places the visitor in a peaceful condition. I don't completely buy into the hype but I do always seem to be at peace at the vortex sites.
In 1987, 5000 folks showed up at Bell Rock for the "Harmonic Convergence" that was supposed to be the beginning of the era of peace and tranquility. It was thought at the time that a large spaceship would emerge from the rock and take everyone to the Andromeda Galaxy.
There are also tons of family friendly activities includes a visit to Slide Rock State Park where there is a natural water slide for kids and adults to enjoy if you can stand the cold temperature of the water.
From an historical standpoint, for those interested in Native American remnants, there are numerous ruins and petroglyph sites in the area that are really interesting. A side trip to the former ghost town of Jerome is also a treat.
There is also the architecturally significant, Chapel of the Holy Cross built on a hillside on an alleged vortex site. It is open daily and one of the most popular spots in town.
There are plenty of opportunities to shop ranging from trinkets and T-shirt shops to high dollar places like Tiaquepaque and Exposures Fine Art Gallery. A trip to both is required whether you are prepared to spend big bucks or just look at what the rich and famous would buy.
At the end of the day, the sunsets are spectacular. Airport mesa and the smaller airport mesa vortex site (on the left going to the top of the airport road) are good places to enjoy the end of the day. I like the vortex site the best. If you go there, say hello to Steven, the Native American, trinket huckster, and tell him Buddy from Tennessee said hey. You might get a special discount.
There are also no shortages of restaurants of all types in Sedona. Our old stand-by for the family has been Canyon Breeze. There is a huge deck overlooking a hillside of red rocks that gives a great "reverse sunset" and the prices are reasonable.
For more upscale dining Dahl and Di Luca is great for Italian, Heartline Cafe is unreal for eclectic foods, and the Cowboy Club is the best for steaks. Those are our favorites but there are plenty of other restaurants that are also good.
If you ever go to Sedona, it will become one of your favorite spots to visit. It is highly captivating and will almost guarantee that you will want to return.
In Pred Nation...
Last night's Tweet-Up at Otters on Music Row was a great success. Thanks to Tom Callahan and Jay Levin for getting it organized and bringing a few prizes. About 25-30 fans attended and I was pleased to meet several new folks and hang out with old friends that I don't see much away from the rink.
If you missed last night's Tweet-Up or didn't get enough, join us at the Sounds game next Thursday for an unofficial Tweet-Up of Preds fans.
Again, Mark at the View from 111 has some scary stuff in his weekly "My View" column.
If you missed it yesterday, Forchecker has an update on the Patric Hornqvist contract negotiations. Seth Lake takes a look at the defensemen in the Preds camp that must clear waivers before being sent to Milwaukee. Something will have to give in this group.
Chris Burton has higher hopes for Jonas Anderson in the coming year than I do.
Jeremy at Section 303 wants the NHL to quit messing around with the rules. He also evaluates the rule changes after the lock out.
Nathan at Predlines sets up a few rules with explanations for the coming season.
From Kevin Wilson with the Preds, "Though the Flames and Oilers will be putting out official releases on these changes, we wanted to inform you that there have been time changes to a pair of Predators road games. The games were pushed back due to TSN’s exclusivity window for national broadcasts in Canada." 1/24 Calgary and 3/1 Edmonton both used back to 7:30 local time.
Alan Bass has a post about Pred's prospect Taylor Beck.
Rachel at What The Puck has part one of her summer recap.
The silence is deafening. Fire and Ice reports that the status remains quo.
The Hockey Writers brings all the Devils news to a head in this post.
Around the NHL...
While the second day of the Research and Development camp ended, The Hockey News took a look at 10 rule changes through history that changed the game. Don't expect major changes to come anytime soon but a few tweeks are possible in the future. Hybrid Icing may be the most well liked option.
One by-product of the camp was a good look at the top 17 year-olds that will be in next summer's draft. California may be another hotbed of talent.
Chris Wassel comes up with his own Mt Puckmore for the Devils.
Ryan at the RLD knows what he would do if he were the NHL commissioner for a day. Today, he will has an interview with Ryan Kessler at the site.
Puck Daddy has his own set of player inspired rules that probably were not a part of the NHL R and D Camp. He also has news of a "yellow line" addition to the goal line to help the TV review in the war room.
Brian Burke has a good article on what makes hockey different from every other sport and a suggestion on how to grow the game.
Tapeleg has a new post featuring a game worn Ivan Tkachenko jersey.
The AHL and the CBc have agreed to a ten game TV package on Sunday afternoon. No word if the NHL network will air them in the US.
Odds and Ends...
Now we are talking. If you are going to KFC you obviously want a good dose of fat and grease, So why mess around. Check out the new concoction they are testing, the skinwich.
From @LetThereBeLH: Warning to FB friends: If you check me into a place as a joke on FB Places, I will check you into every strip club and bong shop in town. The ability to tag someone when you check in is a big problem to me...it completely removes the discretion I think is at the heart of LBS. Good point.
Science takes another hit as the entire black hole theory may be proven invalid by a new mega-star.
Finally, someone has developed a "Can We Date" flowchart. It seems about right.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass