The airport in Sedona has been dubbed “America’s Most Scenic Airport” and for good reasons, but driving the steep, narrow and winding road to get there requires a calm set of nerves.
The airport boasts only one runway, one hanger, limited parking space, a restaurant, and of course, a spectacular lookoff. The 230 acres sounds like a lot of space but it sits on top of a mesa with nothing surrounding it except a steep 1000-foot embankment to the city below. Apparently, it is not uncommon for tourists or locals who are driving around downtown Sedona to see an approaching airplane flying overhead and then suddenly to have it disappear into the mountains without ever appearing to land.
When it was first built in 1955, the runway consisted of indigenous red dirt and it was a common occurrence for coyotes, elk and other animals to come out of the desert bush and wander around the strip, which was a nightmare for pilots trying to land. So in 1960 the runway was paved to eliminate that safety hazard both for man and beast. But with only 5130 feet of available runway space, many aircraft over the years have had to make second attempt at landing as they ran out of runway the first time. Other pilots were not so lucky. Because of the limited space, the airport cannot accommodate commercial jets the size of a Boeing 727 or larger. No expansion plans in the works here, but what a view.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Can’t find it? How about this one?
The hamburger fast food giant McDonald’s has restaurants in 119 countries, including places like Yemen, Gibraltar and Samoa, and serves 64 million customers daily according to their official website. McDonald’s in Sedona is the only McDonald’s restaurant in the world that has green arches. Why? The local government officials didn’t think that the color yellow blended in with the world famous massive red rocks that surround their popular tourist destination. If McDonald’s wanted to capitalize on all those year-round hungry tourists, they had to swallow their pride, break tradition and succumb to the wishes of Sedona’s municipal leaders. Who would ever imagine such a food franchise giant being brought to its knees over the color of the arches?
The first time I arrived at the Sedona Public Library, I was greeted at the front entrance by a tall metallic statue of a beautiful looking woman whose shapely figure was adorned in period clothing.
I just assumed that this woman who was named Sedona Miller Schnebly was a well-known person who made significant historical contributions to the city’s development. So I asked one of the librarians what the woman accomplished in her lifetime to warrant having a city named after her and to achieve the honour of standing guard at the entrance of the library. The clerk smiled and replied “Oh, she was just a housewife. We’re told that she was very private and rarely volunteered within the community. Her husband was the first postmaster in the village in 1902, and he had to come up with a name for the postal station so he used his wife’s name. Their granddaughter comes in here all the time and tells us that Sedona Schnebly was short, fat and not very attractive.”
What’s up with that, Sedona?