There is an old saying,

"God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."

One trip to Sedona and you know it has to be true.

Sedona Blog Home

Sedona Coyotes

Close your eyes and imagine sitting under a starry Sedona night sky and listening to the howls of a Coyote. It's call to the wild seems to be able to take you back in time.

The image of a wild Coyote is synonymous with the west. Yet they are not just exclusive to the west any longer. It used to be exclusive to the west but now they can be found all over Northern American including as far south as Mexico and Panama. Coyotes have even been spotted in New York City’s Central Park!

They are a member of the dog family and they are just about the size of a small Siberian Husky. It's tail is bushy like a fox and is carried straight out below the level of it's back.

The coyote, like a Husky has 2 coats. One coat has guard hairs to protect him from the weather and a thick, soft undercoat for insulation.

Coyotes are extremely adaptable and will change it's breeding, hunting, eating and social habits to survive. This has allowed them to flourish while the Grey wolf is almost eradicated.

Coyotes are the most vocal of all of the North American mammals. They will use a wide variety of sounds to communicate with one another. Howls, yelps, and high-pitched cries are best known, but they also bark, growl, wail, and squeal. If there are just two coyotes howling in at the same time it can create the illusion of a dozen or more performing in concert. Usually, the coyotes are most often heard around dawn and dusk.

Some people say the sounds is eerie, but to others it is a rare and almost spiritual thing to witness.

Coyotes are omnivores. Like humans, that means they eat both meat and plants. They will eat mice or other rodents, fruit, seeds, berries, or grasshoppers when available.

They are amongst the fasts animals in North America and can run as fast as 45 mph for hours without tiring.

Coyote pairs are monogamous and devoted to each other. They will live as a couple that lasts a lifetime. Most coyote packs are family units consisting of a mated pair (alpha pair) and its current offspring and possibly a few of last year’s offspring (beta coyotes). Usually, the alpha pair are the only breeders with the betas helping to raise pups, gather food and defend their home territory. Only rarely are beta pairs allowed to mate.

The coyote comes from the Aztec word "coyotl", which can be translated into the "trickster." In Native American stories coyotes are clever and tricky. This reputation is based on fact. Coyotes may scan the sky for ravens flying in circles. Coyotes know that the birds often hover over a dead animal, so finding the birds frequently leads to finding a free meal.

Coyotes have even been known to hunt with the badger; with the coyote scenting out burrowing rodents and the badger digging them out, and then both animals will share the feast.

Click Here For More Sedona Wildlife Info

Click Here For A Great Video On Coyotes

Click Here For Great Coyote Information

Sedona Timeshare Presentation 101

Go to any resort town and you will see salesmen hanging out of doorways offering you a map, asking if you want discounts on tours, where are you from,etc. Beware my friend. They are not just friendly people, they are going to lure you in and get you to agree to a "short 90 minute presentation" in exchange for discounts, dinners,etc.

I can tell you I have attended many "short presentations" and they are never 90 minutes. Most of the time they come and pick you up with a bus and drive you to their location. Serve you some water or coffee and have you sit in a holding room until the presentation begins. Then you will be taken in a room (usually) for a video to show you how wonderful the resort is and how you really need this. After you will be escorted out and you will meet your assigned sales man/woman.

He will go over all the reasons why you and your family can't live without this. Then if you say no, off he goes and will come back with the big dog boss who will offer you a better deal, more perks,etc. Naturally this "great offer" is only for today and "no" you can't go home and think about it. You have to decide NOW.
That in itself should be a good enough reason why you need to just collect your free dinner certificate and head out the door.

There are many, many other places you can buy discounted timeshares from. Ebay has many, many reputable dealers that you can buy them at about 1-10% of the price. I know the one we were suckered into at Los Abrigados I could have bought a week every year instead of every other year for under $1,000 and we paid over 10K for a studio, every other year! On Ebay we could get a 1 bedroom, every year for under $1,000.

The other place is from Licensed Timeshare Resale Companies. You can pick them up there for 50-80% off the original price. We sold a Princeville, Kauai (Hawaii) 5 star resort that we had paid $25,000 for (every other year) for $10,000 and we were thrilled to get rid of it for that much.

Also, never buy a timeshare from anyone that deals with points (RCI) You will buy a set amount of points and they will promise you the world and as soon as YOU own it, you will discover that you need to buy more and more points. They keep raising the amount of points you need. So my personal opinion is stay away from points (RCI) and look for one that deals with Interval International.

Los Abrigados uses Interval International which is the better company to deal with. Now Los Abrigados tells you they give you "passport weeks" with your unit each year as a special bonus. Which is supposedly a discounted rate at world class reports. Let me tell you, the minute we got back from our Sedona vacation we called to book a few passport weeks. Now mind you this was off season.

Nothing was available, and they were trying to get us to change the dates, change the destination and the places they had available in other areas they were pushing on us were 2 star at best. It's just another"perk" that they make you think you are getting and they are not a deal and not world class. When we finally were able to talk to the girl (after numerous attempts) and said OK to a different time then we wanted, and a different location the prices we were quoted were higher than what I could have gotten it on my own.

Plus with Los Abrigados, once you sign on that dotted line. They are horrible about returning calls, or you call and they are at lunch, out of the office,etc. There is one person is in change of the "passport weeks" and she must just spend a lot of time out of the office. It took us days to get in touch with her.

I would never suggest buying a timeshare directly from them. BUT you can pick up a Los Abrigados timeshare, annual and floating weeks, for under $1,000 on eBay or probably for a couple thousand from a Timeshare Resale company.

What does annual/floating mean? Well, you can buy a floating week or a fixed week. Floating means you can use it anytime of the year based on availability. Fixed means you can only use it for that particular week. If you can't use it, you either lose it or need to deposit it with Interval International and they will find someone to use it. In exchange for your deposited week, you will be able to select another resort to use. But that will cost you an additional fee of around $140.

Now your salesman will tell you that you can go anywhere in the world, well I am here to tell you it is not that easy. Year after year I would try to book somewhere else and get nothing. Remember someone has to deposit a week for you to be able to you one. I would be depositing a Hawaii week and asking for a Florida week and couldn't get anything. The only thing they had was Orlando. Well I didn't want to go to Orlando!

It works like this, if you want to go stay at Silver Springs Resort in Texas, someone who owns a weeks at that resort has to deposit a week so that you can get it. Or say you want to go to Hawaii? An owner of that resort needs to deposit that exact week and you have to just be lucky and on the phone with an agent and then you would get it. Chances? Well, let's just say this, if you had a Timeshare in Hawaii, wouldn't you want to be going to it yourself?

We used to own one in Hawaii and our maintenance fees were $750 a year for a one bedroom, every other year. We paid $25,000 for it and after the fees kept going up and up we decided to sell and it took us 2 years and we jumped at the chance to dump it for $10,000. So that should tell you how cheap you can get them for.

Now we have one at Los Abrigados because we travel to Sedona frequently and they have a great gym/pool/spa so while the rooms are about a 3 star, the gym is worth it.

How did we sell it? Well first we were scammed again. We owned that the Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai. They asked us to go to another presentation for $150 gift certificate. So we went. The catch was they were trying to get us to upgrade from a 1bedroom to a 2 bedroom. Naturally we weren't interested. We told the sales man how unhappy we were with Time Shares and he told us he could help us sell it. A " friend" of his sold them and for only $350 they would advertise it and sell it. Once we sold, we would pay them an additional commission. We were so anxious to get out of it that we paid the $350 and never heard from them again.

We finally sold it by contacting a timeshare resale company in the area and they sold it for us. But like I said we $25,000 for it and were happy to get $10,000 back. But this is probably your best option to sell one if you have one to sell.

You can look on ebay and see what they are going for there, but they go so cheap that you won't even get a portion of what you paid. A legitimate timeshare resale place is best but don't be taken again like we were. You do NOT pay anything up front.

Well, with all that said, you probably know by now it is best to rent someone else's timeshare and steer clear from all the snake oil sales men.

If you are still brave enough and know you can say " NO" there you might want to check out this Wyndham deal. Here is a great package for a cheap vacation! Wyndham Resorts is offering to you if you attend their presentation a weekend for $89 and more gifts. I would ask them before you book it if there are any additional fees if you do not buy. Once again, check eBay or the Timeshare Resale Companies first!

Click Here For Wyndham Discount Package Available

This video is about a couple who was trying to sell their timeshare and ended up giving it to a company that will then take over the obligations of that property. I'm showing you this because this should tell you that owning a timeshare is not what the sales people want you to believe. AND most importantly, if you insist on owning one, buy from either a reputable dealer on eBay first or at least a licensed Timeshare Resale company. You will save from 50-80% and have the same benefits.

Click Here For TimeShare Consumer Group Forum

Click Here To Read About The Sunterra Scam Warning

* Note: There are other articles I have written on Timeshares in the archives. Please read them because they have more information about places to go to rent them instead of buying, and places to buy them cheaper.

Here Is A Tieshare Rental In Sedona

Sedona's HUGE House By The Chapel~Who really owns it?

I've posted information about this before but I recently found more pictures of the house as it was being built so I thought I would post them.

Anyone who has gone to Sedona, Chapel of the Holy Cross has seen "the house". You can't take a picture of the view at the chapel without seeing "the house" in the way of the view.

The house is located at 503 Chapel Dr. and is a whopping 8,148 square feet. It also appears the land was first sold on 3/23/2001 for $286,000. I tried to get additional information by calling the City of Sedona Community Development Department and left a message that I was trying to locate the public records for that house and no one returned my call. If you want to try, call them at 928.282.1154 and ask for planning and zoning and permits. Let me know if you find out anything!

The first time we went to Sedona was Dec. 2003 and the house was already being built. I have no idea when they actually started to build it but they were putting the shell up when we were first there. With as slow as they are moving, they probably started when the land sale closed in 3/01. I am sure not only were the neighbors crying but probably so was the earth.

We asked many people who owned the home and at first we were told it was Johnny Depp. That I thought was odd since he is really the reclusive type. Why would he pick a spot right in front of a Chapel that millions visit each year. It's not exactly a good spot for privacy, you know?

Next we were told that it was Nick Cage. One lady at Robert Shields Studio (since has close up) said that he was in there picking out things to be delivered and insisted it was his home. He too is reclusive so it also didn' t make sense.

We later found out that he actually does love Sedona and often came to Sedona to vacation when he was married to Lisa Marie Presley. He wanted to have a home in Sedona and was even in escrow for a home in an exclusive area near the airport but we were told that at the last minute he dropped out of escrow. He wanted to own the airspace above his home and that can't be sold. But it was not this home.

Finally we were at an art gallery and spoke to an older gentleman for quite some time. He told us that the other stories were all fabricated and it was actually being built by the Dr. who invented the laser for Lasik eye surgery and he is from Romania.

Now as of just a few months ago, it was still being built (4 yrs later) but it has been for sale for over a year. Evidently he isn't even going to move in. He has it listed for a cool 29 million in case you are interested in having millions of visitors stare at your home all day.

Also it was reported that since they built " the house", the houses below it are now having water problems.So not only did he destroy a mesa, ruined the view from the chapel, and leaves this eye sore breathing down the necks of his neighbors, but he also is causing flooding problems.

This house proves that money talks. Why else would the city have approved this eye sore to be built? I'm not saying it isn't a beautiful house. I am saying it is not in a appropriate location.

Here is the Google map of the big house by the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Below are the pictures of the build process over the years it took to build it.

December 2003

May 2004

February 2005

February 2006

September 2007

Google's Satellite view of Sedona's big house and the Chapel of Holy Cross 

Sedona Average Weather Temperatures

High Low Av. Precip. Record High Record Low

Jan 56°F 30°F 44°F 2.10 in. 77°F (2003) 0°F (1962)
Feb 61°F 33°F 47°F 2.16 in. 88°F (1963) 10°F (1989)
Mar 65°F 37°F 51°F 2.47 in. 89°F (2004) 9°F (1971)
Apr 73°F 42°F 58°F 1.16 in. 93°F (1996) 18°F (1972)
May 82°F 49°F 66°F 0.71 in. 104°F (2002) 24°F (1975)
Jun 93°F 58°F 76°F 0.36 in. 110°F (1990) 36°F (1971)
Jul 97°F 64°F 80°F 1.65 in. 110°F (2003) 43°F (1968)
Aug 94°F 63°F 79°F 1.90 in. 110°F (1993) 45°F (1968)
Sep 88°F 58°F 73°F 1.94 in. 104°F (1950) 28°F (1968)
Oct 77°F 48°F 63°F 1.67 in. 100°F (1980) 23°F (1997)
Nov 64°F 36°F 50°F 1.38 in. 88°F (1965) 11°F (1970)
Dec 57°F 31°F 44°F 1.51 in. 77°F (1950) 0°F (1968

Sedona Weather~ Flooding

Ever wonder what happens when Sedona gets too much rain at one time? Several years ago, the Oak Creek found out exactly what happens. The waters raced through Sedona and the evidence of it's power left scars on the land that would be visible for years to come.

News crews sat perched on the bridge recording the news journalist's reports and filming the events. The logs, fallen trees and boulders that normally would be immovable, raced by destroying everything in it's path. The trees hung on to the earth with their exposed roots as the raging river eroded what little soil they had to cling to.

We stood and watched as the river rose to the point it was just a few feet under a crystal store that normally sat over looking the creek. This time was much different as the store owners probably held their breath in hopes of the now raging river receeding.

The rain in the Sedona area caused slides to cover Highway 89A in Oak Creek Canyon. Many people along the Oak Creek lost their homes to the waters while hundreds of others were evacuated.

Slide Rock Park Before The Rain: Note The Building On The Right

Slide Rock Park After The Rain: Note The Same Building In This Picture!

This video is of the Village of Oak Creek, a couple locations in Oak Creek Canyon, Wet Beaver Creek, Dry Creek, and in the Red Rock Crossing areas.

My Hot Air Balloon Ride In Sedona

By David Lee

We had always said that we wanted to go on a hot air balloon adventure but at almost $400 for the two of us, it just seemed way too expensive for us. Even on my first trip to Sedona, a friend of ours went ballooning and while it was tempting, I still couldn't get myself to spend $190 a person for just a balloon trip.

He went and loved it and kept reminding me how I had missed my "once in a life time" opportunity. Little did he know, we were already planning our return trip to Sedona!

On my second trip, I was ready for the adventure. I asked several locals and they assured me it was a wonderful experience and I would not regret a penny. So the last full day of the trip, we booked a flight with Red Rock Balloons.

At 5:30 Am, we were picked up along with the other passengers from various resorts.

We drove quietly in the darkness to a canyon where, once we arrived, they began filling the balloon. A couple of coyotes scampered around as the morning was just beginning to open it's eyes to the new day. Several bunnies sat about a hundred
yards away watching us and this great, colorful balloon grew to it's huge size.

Our balloon was carrying seventeen passengers and our pilot! I bit much for my comfort level. But it ended up being OK. We were climbed into the basket after a brief explanation. Young and old, no one had a problem getting in.

As the sun peaked over the eastern peaks, we rose above the canyon floor and surrounding crimson rock walls and watched the animals below still playing and javelina's scrounging for food. They were not even interested in this huge balloon that was rising above their heads.

Below us, we could see fantastic rock formations rising from the golden valley floor, looking even more vibrant in color than usual from the glistening sunrise.

Above us was an azure blue sky on this cloudless morning. Then to my right, I could see a flock of birds flying by, not seeming to care that they were sharing their space with this colorful giant.

We sailed quietly since there is no engine but there was an occasional sounds of the firing the burner to keep our balloon filled up with hot air.

The only way I knew we were moving was by watching the passing scenery. But in the balloon you can't feel any movement as you drift silently.

The people hardly spoke, only the wind whispered to us. Everyone was somewhere else. We were each on our own adventure. The pilot might point out something now and then and we were lucky to not have the 1 who won't stop with the endless chattering and even the little kids that were on our flight quietly gazed out at the heavens.

We could see deer and javelina, coyotes, rabbits, and birds. You could see the traffic start to appear as the town began awaken. It was simply a magical time for all.

A couple of hours later our basket lightly touched the ground and we were all helped out of the basket. We were treated to yummy muffins, fruit juice, and/or champagne and each of us what given a "graduation" certificates.

It was the best money I have spent on an adventure and even now, years later I can still close my eyes and dream of floating with the birds and seeing the beautiful landscape in Sedona. They say that God created the earth in 6 days, I am sure he spent the last entire day creating just Sedona.

Sedona Hot Air Balloon Rides

Sedona is such a beautiful landscape of red rocks, lush green forests, wilderness areas with high canyon crimson walls and the glistening Oak Creek which meanders through the Oak Creek Canyon.

But there is only so much we can see from the ground or even hiking to the top of the buttes. One of the other ways to view the spectacular area is from a Hot Air Balloon. There are several hot air balloon companies to choose from to help you with a journey of a lifetime.

This is an adventure for everyone and no one will be disappointed. We have gone and there have been passengers in our basket that were 7 to 80 yrs old. So as you can see that as long as you are adventurous and ready for a trip of a lifetime, then you will be thrilled with your adventure. I can tell you that the views are beyond spectacular.

There are only 2 companies that have permits from the Red Rock Ranger District (which are required)they are Red Rock Balloons and Northern Lights. Sky High Balloons is a sister company to Red Rock Balloons so I am sure they have a permit too. Before you go on a flight, make sure they are certified and to check on permits, you can verify it by calling the Red Rock Ranger District at 928-282-4119.

I have gone with both companies and both Red Rock Balloons and Northern Lights are very professional, friendly and have various trips and packages to fit your needs. Most trips are $195 per person and they are about 1-1.5 hrs long (flight time. Red Rock Balloons gave us Champagne the last time we flew with them and we got a little flight certificate.

Check with all of them and you can compare. Some give DVD's of the trips which is also a nice keepsake.

There is a company named Arizona Balloon Works and I have read many complaints about them and they do not have a permit so you might want to steer clear of them.

I think getting the view from above gives you a great perspective of the area rock formations. If you really don't want to spend any money you could see Sedona from this view, check out Google Earth.At least it gives you an idea of what it is like from the comfort of your desk.

If you are wondering what to wear, ask when you make reservation since it will differ according to the time of year. But I can tell you that the trips start out early in the AM. Sunrise over the red rocks will be spectacular but it is always cold in the am. I found that it is best to wear sturdy shoes ( No sandals, flip flops,etc), pants and then layer your other clothes. That way you can remove a jacket if you get too warm. Also were a hat as the heat from the flame cans get warm on your head. But is not as windy as you would expect. But to be on the safe said, ask when you call for reservations. They can better guide you based on the time of year you are going.

Ballooning is such a wonderful, magical experience that I can't even begin to tell you what it feels like. It's just one of those things you have to live it to feel the freedom. If you can afford the price of the fare, then it is worth it for this once in a life time experience. I've been 2 times and each flight was different and yet I still feel like a kid each time I go. I am sure you will too.

Click Here For Northern Light Balloon

Click Here For Red Rock Balloon

and Red Rock's sister company
Click Here For Red Rock Balloon

Sedona's 2 Stupas~ Sacred Monuments


“Here in America there are so few places to expect the miraculous.”
Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo,
Spiritual Director of Kunzang Palyul Chöling

Like jewels hidden in the desert, these sacred monuments offer us a source for enlightenment in Sedona.

A stupa is a symbol of enlightenment and is one of the most ancient symbols of Buddhist art and achitecture. These holy & sacred monuments and were designed with deep symbolism and sacred geometry. Each Stupa is Filled with Buddhist relics, and other holy objects, stupas emanate blessings and peace. They create incredible power to those who even look upon it. It has the potential to transcend the limitations of language to activate enlightened knowledge.

It is said that "The main purpose of building stupas is to make the lives of all beings, young and old, meaningful. Building a stupa is a way to benefit sentient beings without using words. They are very powerful objects for purifying negative states of the mind. To have such a holy object existing in a country makes that country very rich and very lucky. Wherever a stupa is built, it will become a powerful place for healing and a cause of whatever success visitors are seeking. By coming and seeing such holy objects, each person can have the potential to transform their mind. These benefits apply to all sentient beings that come to the stupa, even dogs that are taken for a walk around it."

The 2 Stupas are places of great blessings. They offer a radiating presence that transmits blessings to both humans and animals, the surrounding area, and the world. If you chose to visit, you can walk around, circling the stupa a number of times, praying for yourself, your families, friends and the world. Prayers said at a Stupa are magnified.

There are no charges to enter the area but donations are welcomed. There are 2 Stupas to visit. Dogs on leashes are welcome.You are invited to make a pilgrimage today to visit these Stupas, located at the base of Thunder Mountain in the shadow of Chimney Rock. From Highway 89A, in Sedona, take Andante Dr. north to Pueblo, Dr. turn left. Proceed 50 yards and park. Enter the property at the gate on the right and continue by foot on the short trail to the Stupa. Please remember this is a sacred place and it should be treated as such. Please remind children of this.

Amitabha Stupa Park Project

Click Here To Read Miracles

Click Here For Stupa Info

Click Here For More Sedona Stupa Information

Click here For Arizona Projects

Click here for Amitabha Stupa Park Information

Click Here For Arizona Stupa Projects