When I first visited Sedona almost twenty years ago, it was much smaller and less congested. We always stayed at the Skyranch Lodge, located at the top of a high mesa overlooking downtown Sedona, right next to the small airport. I would get up early in the morning and walk halfway down the side of the mesa to the smaller hill which is reputed to be a vortex, and I would climb to the top of that hill and watch the sunrise. One evening we climbed the vortex hill and witnessed a Native American going through one of his sunset rituals–it was beautiful to watch. Back in those days, there were hardly ever crowds to contend with at sunset.
But over the past twenty years, the word has gotten out, and now the airport mesa is “the place” to be at sunset. They’ve even built a special parking lot to hold all the cars that drive up to the top of the mesa. The edge of the overlook has now been roped off so you can no longer park there. People bring their lawn chairs, blankets, and every imaginable kind of camera, lens and tripod, and jostle for the best viewing angle.
What used to be a quiet meditative area in the evening is now a major production….I guess you can’t stop progress, and I shouldn’t complain because I’m just one of the many tourists that contribute to the crowd. But sometimes it makes me wish I had never told a soul how beautiful Sedona is.
Anyway, when we were there on Saturday evening, the clouds that had lingered all day were finally starting to break up, so the sun was able to peek through just before it dipped below the horizon. It wasn’t the dramatic colorful sunset that everyone was hoping for, but with a little bracketing and some HDR processing, I was able to capture something of what we saw:
As crazy as Arizona is right now, this is one of the things that makes living here worth putting up with the foolishness. It’s nice to know I can leave my house and be in a place like this in two-hours time.
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