December 8, 2012
After breakfast with my group at the Golden Goose we all gathered in a meeting room at the motel to listen to a lecture on Geology by Dr. Stan Beus of the University of Arizona. While it sounds like it would have been boring, it was actually quite interesting.
Sedona and the nearby Grand Canyon are great places to study geology because the rocks are displayed in layers on the canyon wall and on the butte walls pretty much wherever you look. I won’t go into detail about everything covered because I pretty much have forgotten most of it already. But here is what I did learn:
1) A butte is a flat top mountain that is no more than three times wider than it is high. If it is wider than that it is a mesa. If it is wider than that it is a plateau.
2) Global warming has happened 4 times in the last 1.5 million years. It will happen again. There is nothing you can do about it.
3) The continents have moved, continue to move and will continue to move. They travel at about the same speed as your fingernails grow.
After lunch we loaded into buses to take a short tour of Sedona and the surrounding area. Sedona’s airport sits on top of a mesa. They used it in WWII to train pilots to land and takeoff from an aircraft carrier.
Thunder Mountain was used as the model for a Disney attraction. Disney had considered putting a resort in Sedona way back when, but decided not to as there was no easy way for people to travel to it. Thunder Mountain was not called Thunder Mountain until after the Disney attraction was built.
Other things I learned:
1) The Super 8 motel where I am staying is the tallest building in town. It is 3 stories.
2) McDonalds does not have golden arches in Sedona. They are turquoise.
3) If you stare at your fingernails for a really long time, you still cannot see them grow.
After our bus tour we were dropped off at the Tlaquepaque shopping center. Yes it is spelled correctly. And ‘no’ I don’t know how to pronounce it. There are a lot of high end shops here but on this night it was all about opening up the Christmas season. Choirs were singing in different venues, there was free hot cider as it was getting cold, and of course Santa was present. As soon as the sun set, and it does set with some authority here, the lighting of the luminaries started. There were 6,000 of them to light and everyone chips in to light a few. I only set one paper bag on fire and then they asked me to stop.
We had a great dinner at the Steaks and Sticks and then it was off to the Arizona’s Family Light festival which was next door. This is a group of time shares that people sign up to decorate and some of them were quite well done. There is a competition to see which is the best, and the voting goes on until January.
Arizona’s Family Light Festival
After that we piled back into our buses and went back to the tallest building in Sedona.