Wordless Wednesday-Painted Desert and Petrified Forest











Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park

January 2016

Love, Michele


Wordless Wednesday-Oak Creek Canyon


I had so wanted to have my post about starting onion seeds ready for today, but, my heat pad was curled up and I had to weigh it down with books to flatten it out..

Oh well…

Instead, here’s our drive through absolutely beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, between Sedona and Flagstaff.

So happy that the road was open!

No words needed….IMG_0226IMG_0216IMG_0219IMG_0222IMG_0224

Onion seeds and some cool Winslow AZ stuff coming, I promise!

Love, Michele


First Stop-Snowy Sedona!

We “just got back” from our family trip to Arizona and as I tried to figure out what to share here on The Salem Garden I decided to talk about it one stop at a time. We were a family of seven out on the open road, just like the old days! It was fun to travel with young adult children and our baby is almost eleven so she was able to keep up with everything everyone else wanted to do.  There were views and gardens, wildlife, great food and lots and lots (and lots) of quality family time.

We landed in Phoenix at dusk, picked up our SUV and drove two hours north to Sedona in the dark, hitting some pretty slick snow and ice on the way.

We weren’t really thinking too much about encountering snow and ice in Arizona before we left Boston. Fortunately we were prepared with winter clothes but I don’t think we were truly in the winter mindset. We learned quickly that Arizona has winter too, especially northern Arizona.

After a quick night of rest we woke up in the morning to this…


…absolutely incredible, classic Arizona! The snow clouds were still lingering but it was amazing!

My New England kids thought we had landed on the moon!

IMG_0105Yes, there was snow, but it seemed different on a cactus…

IMG_0103or frosting a red mountain.

IMG_0169We couldn’t get over the beauty of this place. This is the view of the town of Sedona looking down from the Airport Mesa.

DSC04861Even the most commercial area of downtown Sedona was surrounded by mountains.

One of the things that makes Sedona special are vortexes of energy. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s believed to be a place where energy that’s released from the earth provides healing and strength. There are very specific spots called vortexes where the energy is concentrated.

DSC04868We hiked to the Cathedral Rock Vortex.

My middle daughter and I felt the energy… she and I are very open to energy of all kinds.

Even though they didn’t admit it, I think the rest of the family did too.

IMG_0163The energy radiated from the earth and we looked up at this…

IMG_0140The scenery was so stunning that it was very easy and yet difficult to capture in photographs.

IMG_0210Here’s the view from our hotel.

A note about the hotel (actually motel) … we stayed at the Wildflower Inn and found it to be simple, clean and very affordable. A continental breakfast was included and you could sit and enjoy this beautiful view. While Sedona is known for it’s spas and luxurious places to stay, we feel that we had the full Sedona experience without paying lots of money for our hotel.

At this point in the trip we were busy with things like teaching the children to look at each of us as Michael and I both took their picture simultaneously, everywhere we went…

IMG_0130Look at Dad… please…IMG_0131Now look at Mom… smile and say “Arizona”!

They’ll get it eventually, you’ll see…

To wrap up this post… the big things about Sedona are:

  1. The view is beautiful at all times. I’ve never seen anyplace quite like it.
  2. The energy is different… it’s positive and healing and strong.
  3. The vibe is incredibly positive. It’s hard to explain but we felt it everywhere we went.
  4. It’s a wonderful first stop on a tour of Arizona.

I’m ready to retire to Sedona… I think the kids are too.

We’re still working on our canoe/lake/East Coast Dad…

Next Stop, the Grand Canyon, via Oak Creek Canyon… it was a wild ride~