Friday, August 10, 2012

Briar Patch Inn - our Oak Creek Canyon Escape

     The welcome at the Briar Patch Inn itself puts a person at ease because as you arrive at the secluded inn nestled in Oak Creek Canyon, you will find in your cabin a small box with a card that reads…

       “There is a legend amongst the highland Indian village of Guatemala.  If you have a problem, then share it with a Worry-doll.  Before going to bed, tell one worry to each doll, then place them beneath your pillow.  Whilst you sleep the dolls will take your worries away.  Please have this small token from the Briar Patch Inn hoping you will leave your worries behind.”

Yes, the Briar Patch Inn, nestled along the banks of Oak Creek near Sedona, is truly one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots to escape in all of Arizona.
       It was in the late 1930s that a German carpenter by the name of Raacke made his way to what then was a very isolated and remote part of Arizona.  He found what he considered a paradise along the trout filled stream of Oak Creek, surrounded by red rock canyon walls.  Here, he thought, he would find solace from the rest of the world.
His Oak Creek paradise was only 3 miles up the canyon from a small settlement that provided him just enough human company.  The town’s namesake, Sedona Schnebly and her husband, Theodore, were living here too and were just a few of the local people scratching out a living in their beautiful Arizona landscape.
But Mr. Raacke’s quiet and secluded world began to change early in 1940 when the movie folks from Hollywood, California discovered that Sedona was a perfect backdrop to shoot Western movies.  Into the small town of Sedona flooded actors, producers and all the supporting Hollywood cast but with not a single hotel in which to stay.
Mr. Raacke saw an economic opportunity and decided to build a few cabins along his Oak Creek land and rent them out to those most colorful people from Hollywood.  His cabins became known as “Rocky’s Cottages” and the working folks from California filled them to capacity when in Sedona filming a new movie.
Time passed and people changed in this red rock paradise.  Into Oak Creek Canyon in the late 1960s came Ike and JoAnn Olson with their 3 sons to escape the summer heat of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Here they too discovered the paradise once found by a friendly German carpenter.
In 1983 the Olson family decided it was time to secure their piece of that paradise and purchased two pieces of Oak Creek cabin properties – one called Briar Patch and the second one known as Rocky’s Cottages.   Three other small properties were soon added resulting in the 8.6 acres and a 19 cottage resort today called the Briar Patch Inn.
Here Arizona’s paradise is still found.  Rustic cottages beautifully decorated greet every guest. Crackling fireplaces warm the rooms as well as refresh the heart and soul.
 Fresh water springs spill into Oak Creek at the site resulting in the sounds of always rushing water, creating a refreshing, clean stream.  Trout still flourish in the creek and guests can still refresh in the nearby swimming hole.  And for the very lucky, majestic Bald Eagles can be seen diving into Oak Creek competing with the fishermen for that special trout.
A creek side breakfast, afternoon hot mulled cinnamon cider, tea and coffee, home baked cookies and more are all a part of the special experience provided for guests at this old and quaint Arizona bed and breakfast inn.  Even the inn’s “ grass caretakers”, three, loveable sheep known as Wooley, Billy & Lilly, add a peaceful charm and enjoyment for all looking to refresh the body, mind and spirit.
The Briar Patch Inn along Oak Creek – an Arizona Paradise found and just waiting for you to get out, come and leave your troubles to the Worry Dolls.

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