Monday, April 16, 2007

Sedona Sunrise

By 9 a.m. morning’s chill has already begun its surrender to Arizona heat. Beyond the parched earth and scrub grass, vistas of pastel rock jut into the pale spring sky. Several jet streams gradually fade, becoming indistinguishable from high cirrus clouds.

The aroma of wild sage filters through opened car windows. We finally reach Sedona, a quaint town that is not yet open for the day’s business. We sign up for a jeep tour and then wait in the quiet.

The tour finally begins - a bumpy ride beneath blazing sun. Deep red rocks surround us. Through a random rock window the size of a tanker truck we view dark green foliage. Striated ‘hoodoos’ cluster together, thrusting hundreds of feet upwards from the desert floor.

Heat intensifies and water bottles empty as a stunning chapel appears, its floor-to-ceiling glass wall accentuated with a full-length cross. The chapel occupies a high rock crevice as if it were a natural piece of the millennia-old landscape. A flurry of camera clicks ensues.

The jeep heads downward again, large pebbles clinking and popping against over-sized tires. Red rock majesty fades from view as we descend to the now bustling town, craving water and shade.