Sedona Pink Jeep Adventure: Not for Prissies

September 17, 2018

sedona pink jeep tour

Sedona’s Pink Jeep Adventure: Not for Prissies first published in Ladies’ Home Journal, 2011

“You simply must go – it’s so…. you,” friends would suggest.  This beach girl would always respond with the same condescendingly sweet smile.  The desert? But when I was invited to speak at a national conference in Phoenix, Arizona at the beginning of April, I decided to take a few extra days to see what all the fuss was about.

sedona pink jeep adventure

Arriving at the outskirts of Sedona at dusk, I encountered great difficulty keeping my car on the road – I simply could not take my eyes off the vista enveloping me on all sides.  “Whoa,” I automatically exclaimed out loud, even though no one was there to hear.  I was converted, to forever be a fan.  The red rock buttes in themselves are divinely breathtaking, but with the last vestiges of light dancing on them, the effect was nothing short of surreal.  I was not expecting to be so blown away.

Where to Stay in Sedona

sedona pink jeep adventure

I made it without incident to my lodgings at the Orchards Inn, a quaint, but inexpensive hotel in the most convenient location right smack in the middle of uptown.  While the front faced a myriad of bustling shops and restaurants, to my surprise, my quiet room faced the opposite direction and I was treated to an entire wall of windows which seemed to wrap their arms around a picture postcard view of the red buttes while lying in bed!

What to Do in Sedona

sedona pink jeep adventure

The next couple of days were jam-packed visiting galleries, shopping for Native American jewelry, quirky objects, a drive to the best view called Airport Mesa, and a short trip to Tlaquepaque Village, a Native American trading post where I stumbled upon my favorite find – a taxidermy rattlesnake for my son.

sedona pink jeep adventure

Airport Mesa viewpoint

I also dined at the famous Coffee Pot Restaurant, known for its 101 omelet variations.

sedona pink jeep adventure

My schedule would only permit time for only one organized tour, either the obligatory healing vortex experience or the infamous Pink Jeep Tour.  That’s easy, adrenaline junkies don’t do woo-woo.

The Pink Jeep Tour

Now don’t let the word “pink” fool you into a false sense of prissy complacency.  The “Broken Arrow” tour is no off-road version of riding side-saddle.   The only solo female traveler on the premises and somewhat of a thrill-seeker, I was hoping I’d be riding with a jeep full of testosterone – didn’t matter what age, just the prospect of a wild ride.  As luck would have it, I ended up in a group with six middle-aged women – including one particularly squeamish lady named Mary from North Carolina, and a tour driver named Susan.

sedona pink jeep adventure

My first thought was “Oh, great, just wake me up when we’re done,” but when Susan read my name from her clipboard, instead of saying “here” yelled, “I call shotgun!”  I can be immature sometimes.  As it turned out, the other women were all too happy to let me ride in front.  Susan looked at my pink sweatshirt and complimented me on matching the jeep.  “I thought if I looked official, you might let me drive.  No?”  I asked. “No,” she said.

sedona pink jeep adventure

Well, Susan was a lot more fun than I suspected.  She took on those dusty red rocks with seemingly reckless abandon, sometimes driving nearly straight up, and even better, the white-knuckle vertical descents.  “Do you want to go faster?” Susan asked the group. “Oh, yeah!” I said. “Yeee-haaw!”  It was then that I thought I heard Mary whimper in the back.

We drove to several areas with majestic panoramic views.

sedona pink jeep toursedona pink jeep tour

sedona pink jeep tour

My favorite was a place called “Mushroom Rock” which was a butte on a roundish landing that looked like it dropped sheer off on all sides.  Susan gunned the engine and skidded completely around the “mushroom” while we all looked down hundreds of feet, certain we were all going to die.  I believe I screamed too.  But it was a fun scream, not a scared scream like Mary’s.

sedona pink jeep adventure

When we got to Chicken Point, we found some flat rocks that formed a long bench.  I gave Susan my camera, sprawled out on my tummy with my arms over my head, holding onto one of the rocks, mouth set in a mock-scream while Susan snapped the shot.  Then I gathered everyone around and said, “I’m going to post this on Facebook with the title “Hanging out in Sedona.” I proceeded to rotate the photo vertically, creating an illusion that I was hanging off a cliff.

sedona pink jeep adventure

Our little lady group erupted into laughter, especially Mary, who was the first to scramble onto the rock to obtain her own hanging pose shot.

sedona pink jeep adventure

The grand finale of the Pink Tour was seeing the sun setting on the buttes, turning them a blazing, iridescent gold as the chill of evening crept into the jeep.  Words escaped, but I caught the eye of my new friend, Mary.  Even for a writer, sometimes no words are necessary.

As the evening wrapped her cold fingers around us, and the smell of dampening earth assailed our nostrils, we reached the end of the Pink Jeep Tour, all of us thoroughly seduced by Sedona’s spell.

sedona pink jeep tour

15 comments

  1. Comment by Kavleen Kaur

    Kavleen Kaur Reply October 2, 2018 at 2:04 am

    good blog!! good job..

  2. Comment by Cakemix Jones

    Cakemix Jones Reply September 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Great post, and neat photo trick too!

  3. Comment by Cathy Sweeney

    Cathy Sweeney Reply September 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    We’ve been thinking about a fall Sedona getaway and now I know that a getting a “hanging in Sedona” pic must be part of the itinerary. The pink jeep adventure looks like a lot of fun — and a little bit scary!

  4. Comment by Kemkem

    Kemkem Reply September 20, 2018 at 5:31 am

    So what you’re saying is- Sedona pink jeep adventure!. I like the post a lot, and l’m glad you didn’t edit it. Fun to look back isn’t it?

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 21, 2018 at 11:29 am

      It sure was fun!

  5. Comment by overnight Agra tour

    overnight Agra tour Reply September 19, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Good post, You shared the amazing experience of your trip. it’s really enjoyable and wonderful destination to visit.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 19, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      So glad you liked it!

  6. Comment by Carol Colborn

    Carol Colborn Reply September 18, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    What a nice account of your Pink Sedona Jeep Tour. We just tried it last August. And I wore pink, too! But I did not think of that sideways shot!!! Now, I have to go back!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      That photo op was the highlight of the day — lots of laughs!

  7. Comment by Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

    Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields Reply September 18, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    After your pitch in Boomer Travel Bloggers I had to read this post. Love it! So glad you didn’t edit it.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      I cringed a couple of times, but I let it be. I found it amusing!

  8. Comment by Irene S. Levine

    Irene S. Levine Reply September 18, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    How nice that this little journey has gotten a “second life.” I used to write for LHJ, too, in the old days of “magazines.” 🙂 I haven’t been brave enough to revisit them.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      It is fun to read some of our old stuff, isn’t it?

  9. Comment by jane

    jane Reply September 17, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Ha! I love it! Especially the sideways shot of you hanging off the cliff. Nothing to be embarrassed about at all!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply September 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      That was my favorite, too!

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