Phoenix: Part II

To continue our adventures in Arizona, Becky took us to Sedona where we decided to climb up a rock.

This rock, in fact:

[[image:phx28.jpg:Cathedral Rock:center:0]]

Well, it wasn’t as straightforward as that. Before the climb, we did wander around Sedona and viewed some more art galleries and open hacienda-styled malls.

So during our mini-vacation out west, Becky drove us two hours north of Phoenix to Sedona where first we went to art galleries and open air malls. It was all very beautiful. Now the thing about Sedona is the rock formations. First of all, you can see how beautiful it all is! Shades of red (the colors were even more vivid in real life than it shows up on film) and it just surrounds you in Sedona. It looks like sombody just painted the color onto the rocks and the earth – doesn’t seem like nature would give rocks such a bright crimson hue. Everywhere you look, there’s a huge red rock waiting to be climbed. It reminded me of that old show, The High Chaparral (anybody remember that show? I very faintly do).

Also, Sedona is a bit new age-ish. Apparently something known as the “vortex” might hit you when climbing these rocks. I don’t quite know what it is, but it’s some kind of magnetic force that can either give you energy or suck your energy. As you might guess, I’m not too into this sort of thing, but the locals were quite friendly and tried to explain it to us when we asked.

Anyway, before we decided to brave a possible vortex experience and go for our climb, we went to an outdoor mall and relaxed on stone (a.k.a. Fred Flintstone) furniture:

[[image:phx22.jpg:Becky and Vin on prehistoric furniture:center:0]]

Surprisingly, these things were VERY comfortable!

There were hypnotic wind sculptures (unfortunately every time I took pictures it looks like the thing is inert but it was moving very hypnotically).

[[image:phx23.jpg:Wind Sculpture:center:0]]

What I imagine the Alamo might have had:

[[image:phx24.jpg:Bell Tower:center:0]]

Enough relaxation! Time to climb! For those who remember my previous trip to Phoenix, Becky took us to climb Camelback Mountain and I made it all the way to the top and back down on my own steam (although I was perilously close to calling for a rescue helicopter once I got to the top) and for three days afterwards I could not walk properly and stairs were torture! Thank god for disabled ramps into buildings or I would never have got to work. So since my last “hike” with Becky had been shall we say, strenuous, I was wary of anything with the word “hike” in it. And viewed from below, Cathedral Rock looked like a pretty high climb.

[[image:phx44.jpg:Cathedral Rock in the background from the signboard at the beginning of the trail:center:0]]

But, Becky assured me that this trail was much shorter and we would not be pulling ourselves up very steep inclines via questionable hand and toeholds. The trail doesn’t take you up the final sheer cliff face – we would only get up to where the cathedral-like protrusions start going up vertically. To climb further up, we would need rock climbing equipment. I didn’t want to be a party pooper so I put on my sneakers and we hiked. The following pictures are of Cathedral Rock itself as we were hiking.

[[image:phx31.jpg:Vin and Becky again:center:0]]

[[image:phx33.jpg:Cathedral Rock at a different angle on our climb:center:0]]

[[image:phx32.jpg:It’s blocking the sun:center:0]]

[[image:phx34.jpg:Not so sunny:center:0]]

[[image:phx35.jpg:Lit up by the sun:center:0]]

[[image:phx39.jpg:On the other side of the rock:center:0]]

[[image:phx40.jpg:Cliff face:center:0]]

[[image:phx41.jpg:More of the other side:center:0]]

[[image:phx42.jpg:Look at the pockmarks:center:0]]

Here’s Becky and me taking a short rest on our way up

[[image:phx36.jpg:Me and Becky:center:0]]

My favorite picture, taken at the top of the hiking trail:


The view from the top at the end of the trail (sorry no fancy photo-stitching – I’m pretty much a digital camera novice)


More of the view of the surrounding rocks

[[image:phx25.jpg:Taken from the parking lot of an art gallery:center:0]]

[[image:phx27.jpg:Across the way from Cathedral Rock:center:0]]

[[image:phx29.jpg:View during the climb:center:0]]

[[image:phx30.jpg:More of the view during the climb:center:0]]

Here’s Vin and Becky climbing down.

[[image:phx43.jpg:Don’t look down!:center:0]]

And Vin and me, back down having had a nice hike (it actually was nice, I am glad we hiked it). We seemed to have not been touched by the vortex, but it had been a fun experience and I would do this hike again. It had been good exercise, beautiful view, and good company.

[[image:phx45.jpg:Successful hikers:center:0]]

As always, Becky and Phil were wonderful hosts and we look forward to our next trip to Arizona.


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