Category Archives: Sedona

Roadside Views from HWY 89

Until our hiking trip through southern Utah a few summers ago, I disliked driving. Previous to that summer, my long distance automotive experiences had been heavy with interstate hauls through billboard jungles and carpool driving that racked up almost as many miles but with more predictable signage. Bo-oring.

Utah’s mesmerizing Highway 12 changed all that for me. And a couple of years later as we zipped up SR 17 and Highway 89 toward Flagstaff, and eventually, the Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona, time once again lost shape and substance.

As the landscape shifted from a flattened desert dotted by saguaros, prickly pear cacti and ocotillo plants into the more vegetated Verde Basin and then to the exposed sedimentary rock of the Colorado Plateau, my mind decelerated, simply absorbing the transitions.

I found my pause button.

Photo ops diminished as the landscape shifted from vast expanses to don’t blink cuts through mountain passes, but I imprinted enough beauty in my brain to make it a lasting memory -and begin savoring the simple pleasure of driving from here to there.

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook

Flagstaff Things To Do

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Don’t Look Down

While southbound to Cincinnati on I-71 a couple of years ago, Zach and I laughed over a few favorite memories from an Arizona trip the previous spring. His bold assurance as we clambered up and down the sides of mountains and canyons had given height-wary me additional amounts of courage and strength. During our car ride, he admitted to having experienced a couple of less than absolutely confident times himself.

Not surprisingly, his moments of unease coincided with a few of my own white knuckle memories: A couple of “don’t look down” spots on the side of Camelback Mountain (we both looked!) and on the side of an almost bald outcropping on Bear Mountain where sudden hail and wind gusts made hugging a scrubby bush more about survival than about any warm environmental feelings.

Anytime you get to push a shoulder into your own boundary and expand the edge line out a little further, you facilitate your own growth. When you can do that in the company of someone you care about, you have a witness with whom to frame and commemorate the change.

“What a great trip!”  Not sure which one of us said it first.  But either one of us could have stated the obvious.

More album photos at Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook and on Google+

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Red Rock Cathedral

Cathedral Rock was our parting shot, our one last hike on the way out of Sedona a couple of years ago. Zach and I both deemed it a good choice. It was a fun scramble up the sides of red rocks. A couple of chutes made some of the hike feel like a child’s playground, complete with slides. As always, it was easier to climb up than to ease one’s way back down again. These slides had no patient parent waiting at the bottom to slow a fast descent, and a couple of bounces could generate enough momentum to take you on quite the ride!

Piles of rock enmeshed in wire marked the trail, looking like the vastly upgraded contents of invisible trash cans. With red rock rolling out in every direction the markers were necessary to keeping one’s bearings. Up extended in multiple angled directions.  Not a bad thing to keep in mind wherever you happen to be hiking.

More from the trail plus the view from the top…

 

 

 

 

Updated from October 22, 2010.
 

 
*I hope to answer many of your emails this weekend.  Thanks for your patience!

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