It had been a little over a month since we’d been in pandemic lock down, and local travel restrictions just began to ease. I thought it would be a good time to take another look at some of the beautiful spots closer to home. Living in Flagstaff allows me quick access to the high desert red rock country around Sedona, Arizona. It had been decades since visiting this usually easily accessible overlook.
The road is popular with local Jeep guides, and normally would be quite busy. But due to local restrictions, they were grounded. I also got word that the road was closed. A huge boulder had fallen from the cliffside and sat squarely in the middle of the road. That meant to get here would require a dozen miles of back-roads. What normally would take 20 minutes, now took over three hours. High clearance, four wheel drive, and a full tank of gas would be required. The last time I tried to make the trek I broke down, and had to be towed back home.
I packed my converted camper van for three nights. Not knowing the road condition after winter, I wanted to be prepared to get stuck and still have enough supplies to survive. The closer to the rim I got, the worse the road got. Crawling over large rocks, slipping through puddles deep enough to consume a compact car, road building, tree removal and ramp making took the remainder of the day. Finally I had arrived, and man was the view worth it. The layers and views of some of the most interesting formations was thrilling. Chimney Rock, Merry-go-round Rock and the Cow Pies to name a few. The prickly pear cactus nestled at the cliffs edge, catching the last rays of sun was reason enough to release the shutter.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor