ED Magedson – Founder
Sedona Sacred Earth Private ToursP.O. Box 4041 Sedona, Arizona USA
Sedona Sacred Earth Private Tours Lack of Preparation By Owner Produced Disappointing Tours Sedona Arizona
We scheduled 4 tours several months ago to make sure we had the reservation and to allow the owner (Clint Frakes) to work out any details/scheduling he needed to do before each tour. The Sedona tour was fine. One site we specified was missed, but we saw most everything we wanted to see. My crew was elderly and/or handicapped. He did not provide much assistance, opening doors, getting out of the vehicle etc. My crew noticed this.
The second tour was to the Grand Canyon. Miguel Montoya was the driver/guide on this tour. He was very accommodating. We had brought some snacks of our own, but he had a cooler of snacks and water for us. He opened doors and assisted family members in and out of the vehicle. He even put a passenger’s oxygen machine next to him to provide more room for other passengers. We treated him to dinner at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Grand Canyon. He seemed very conscientious and sweet. I am happy Miguel called me a few days before the tour and suggested we made reservations at the restaurant. It was a very nice day.
The 3rd tour was to Hopi Sites. It was far less than expected. Clint Frakes was the driver/guide. He brought us to buy snacks, because he had nothing for us. I bought juice, water, carrots, some crackers, but did not know that was all I would get to eat that day. I told him ahead of time, I was a vegetarian, and he assured me I would have a vegetarian plate. I got to sit and watch others eat while I had a piece of bread (Clint had several Helpings and Coffee not offered to others). Allen (the Hopi Guide), said just pick the meat out. He told me later that they did not know I was a vegetarian. Clint did not tell him.
As a Hopi guide, Allen, was marginal. He used his position as a platform to espouse his views on Christianity. I found it very interesting that he interpreted ancient Puebloan drawings in a way that included the awful Christians, since the drawings were made before Christian contact. The local rangers were surprised by his interpretations and pointed us to a book they recommended on the drawings. We tried to be polite to Allen and his views, said little when we knew he was getting things wrong, or exposing opinions not shared by all. He seemed proud of not being educated – He did not need books/education. But, guides need to provide more than made up stories.
To top the day off, I had to splint a leg, due to the back door of the vehicle being too heavy to lift by myself (popping a tendon in a leg). Help with doors from Clint would have been nice. I also got a lecture from Clint because I looked surprised because Hopis steal eagle babies from nests, raise the birds, and then sacrifice them. I did not say a word when the story was told by Allen, but later I told Clint that I was entitled to my own views which are not to kill, especially endangered or protected species. I do have my own views that I kept to myself in front of Allen. And, I did not appreciate the lecture from Clint (yelled at me).
My travel mates did not appreciate me hobbling through the day, me not eating, and me paying extra for food and a guide that was mediocre at best ($60 for food; $160 extra for Allen). The next day we learned that there was a Hopi restaurant and cultural center where we all could have eaten what we wanted. This would have helped! We also wanted to visit Hopi vendors; Clint claimed the only one he knew just left for Australia. We visited some drunk individuals who repeatedly pushed a badly stained basket and unfinished carvings. He let us put up with them for a long time w/ no intervention. This was unprofessional. A visit to the vendors at the cultural center would have been appreciated.
The 4th tour was supposed to be to the 4 corners area – Covering Three Sites: Antelope Canyon, Horse Shoe Bend, and Monument Valley. Clint was repeatedly asked to get me the details for Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley. Evidently, he had information from 3 or 4 years ago, but nothing current. I paid him to arrange this tour, not for me to call ahead for the information. I should have. The Antelope Canyon tours now run every few hours, since we were a few minutes late for one we would have a long wait for the next. That would cause us to miss the Monument Valley tour.
George (our guide/driver) felt horrible, because he was lead to believe nothing had changed from 3 or 4 years ago. He did take us to a Burger King with stuff on display and another site where most of my crew could not go, due to high winds. He tried to make up for things with charming stories and being very courteous. If he had the Antelope Canyon time schedule ahead of time, we would have made the tour. The fees for the Monument Valley Tour have also gone up in 4 years from $70 per person to $85 per person. I am happy I had extra cash. Again, I made reservations with Clint months ago for all 4 tours. I just expected more.
I feel George is a lovely person, and would have looked up the details himself, if it was his business. He works part-time for this agency and another (Safari Jeep). I just expected better for the first-class prices I paid per tour - $3230 total and an additional $700 to $800 in tips/gratuities. We will probably not get to see these places again, and it just was “not first class.” This review was removed from TripAdvisor after Clint made calls to us requesting we take it down. He then had them take it down. I will never trust this site again or use them in making my travel plans. I gave him an AVERAGE rating, since some of the tours were ok, some not. Parts good, parts bad.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/29/2014 08:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sedona-sacred-earth-private-tours/sedona-arizona-86340/sedona-sacred-earth-private-tours-lack-of-preparation-by-owner-produced-disappointing-tou-1134777. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:Search Tips
In order to assure the best results in your search:
Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.