Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Sedona, Part 1

When my wife, Mizuki (left), and Johnny (right) returned from their summer in Japan, they brought a friend, Noriko, with them. Naturally, we wanted to play tour guide and our first destination was Sedona, Arizona. For those who are not familiar with Sedona, it is about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix and surrounded by beautiful red rock hills. Also, some folks (mostly of the New Age persuasion) believe that there are psychic vortexes here. I do not know about that but it sure is pretty.

After months of cloudless skies in Arizona (with heat to match), this day we encountered partly cloudy skies — sometimes almost totally overcast, sometimes almost totally clear.

But the temperatures were reasonably comfortable as we began our exploration.

Although you can see many of the surrounding red rocks (as they are called) from the town, a number of friends have recommended taking the Pink Jeep Tour. Mizuki is prone to motion sickness so she volunteered to sit in the front seat hoping to avoid that discomfort — it worked.

They drove us to a trail head that is only for four-wheel drive vehicles or hikers. Although, the trail is open to private vehicles, Pink Jeep Tours is the only commercial operator with permission to drive there.

We were all securely belted into our seats but the trail is a bit rough, making it next to impossible to take photos except when the driver comes to a complete halt. At all other times, we would have to depend on our memories.

But when he did stop, we were richly rewarded.

Our driver stopped here for a moment while he pointed out the smooth red rock formation that is called "Submarine Rock" — so named because the center mount looks like the conning tower on a submarine.

He explained to us that the rocks get their red color from hematite, a form of iron oxide, although the amount of iron is really quite small. The aging of the rocks has brought out the color. As you can see in this photo, some rocks have more iron, some less.

Thoroughly shaken, we stopped and were in awe of the peak standing above us.

When we arrived at Submarine Rock, we disembarked to stretch our legs and get a better look at the magnificent scenery. Another tour group had already arrived — there is a steady stream of these pink beauties.

Standing at the edge of Submarine Rock, I was able to get this record shot.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com