I suppose I can see why so many people come to Sedona to catch a cosmic tan. Even flying over on the way up to the Grand Canyon one could pick up the buzz that seems to emanate from its ruddy sandstone strata.
And to some extent it is still with me. If I do return to the Southwest next year, it's one place I'd like to make the overland trip to. That and Flagstaff.
Impressive from several thousand feet up too were the San Francisco peaks, a field of perky miniature volcanoes just beyond San Francisco mountain. Up until that point in the journey I had been finding it hard to attune my senses of scale and distance, so empty of human constructions were the ponderosa pine-covered hills to the north of Phoenix.
Grand though the Grand Canyon itself undoubtedly is, it somehow doesn't seem to deliver the same out-of-history experience that you can get from smaller scale European locations. "It seems a bit dead," Gaylene observed of its eerie quietness as we wandered around its sheer edges. (Of the places I have visited in the last couple of years, the Pont Du Gard near Nîmes is the one that springs to mind as a prime example of the sort of place where the sense of deepened temporal perspective is almost immediate.)