28Nov21 photos: Sedona, AZ

The four of us spent a few nights in Sedona for Thanksgiving. The sky was clear and the afternoons were warm, and we hiked Wednesday after arriving, Thursday morning, and Friday before coming home.

It’s been two years since I was in Sedona, and I consistently forget how beautiful it is.

Of course, it’s also now very popular, very crowded, very expensive, and as a result, becoming more built out.

This was the view from our hotel room.

photo of Bell Rock

The red rock really is striking. The formations would be interesting to look at and climb on even if they were grey or brown.

People build cairns along hiking trails. Here’s a tidbit about cairns: they’re supposed to be used to help hikers find their way back; you build one and use it for return navigation. But when you pass it on the way back, you take it down. So don’t build them for fun or decoration—it could cause problems for people who actually need them. (Probably not on a well-traveled trail, but we had directions to a trail that included looking for cairns.)

photo of a cairn and its shadow, looking from above

We hiked up a pretty steep incline to the arch in the gallery above. In some of the other photos in the gallery, you can see the changes in the rock color. At the arch, the change was right there at eye level.

photo of two-tone rock

On the same hike, we passed two trees like this one, that looked like they were shedding skin. I wish I could have gotten a shot of the whole thing, but there wasn’t enough space.

photo of a tree with dark, burned-looking bark and smooth clean bark

A man sat on top of a rock formation and played his flute. It was quite lovely, and he’d call out between songs what the next one was about. The area was crowded and frequently, other people had climbed up there with him, or I might have gone up to talk to him.

photo of a man on top of a rock formation playing a flute

The thing about hiking when it’s cold is: I need layers to start but not to end, so there’s consistent clothing adjustments. In this case, I’d warm up and take my outer layer off, then we’d get back under the trees and I’d be cold despite moving and need to put my sweatshirt or jacket back on.

One of the times I stopped to adjust, I noticed this off to the side. Cactus pads on the ground are not uncommon, but I’d not seen one with a puddle in it before.

photo of a prickly pear pad on the ground with a puddle in it

On the way home, we stopped at Montezuma National Monument. It’s a pretty neat place, with many ruins visible besides the most well-known ones and is worth stopping by if you’re driving up or down that part of I-17 and have an hour to spare.

photo of a small part of Montezuma National Monument

That area is high enough elevation to have trees with leaves that turn in the fall. I don’t have a lot of opportunity to take these kinds of shots.

photo of backlit yellow leaves

Some photos required a little Photoshop, and I’ll share those with you next week.

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