Adventures in Arizona, May 2013
I just returned from spending seven enjoyable days in Arizona, covering a multitude of activities that have both touched my heart and satisfied the artist that resides within me. It all began with spending four days in Winslow, where I participated in a food run with the ‘Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program'.
Here is a direct quote from their website – ‘The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program exists to create a Bridge of Hope between Native Americans and other cultures. It allows us to reach out to one another, share our gifts, and mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust. The Program provides food, simple medicines, clothing, fabric, and yarns to help these Elders live on the Land in their traditional lifestyle. As they have become elderly, it has become more difficult for them to support themselves on the Land in their traditional ways.’
I was deeply touched by this Program that has been operating for over 27 years. I found it to be a profound experience and one that I intend to attend as often as possible. ‘Respect your elders’ was a phrase that was repeated to me many times by my parents when I was a child, a concept that I struggled with in my rebellious youth. It appears that I now have reached a point in my life where I desire to give something back to all those ‘elders’ that have touched my own life in profound ways, and this program is a perfect vehicle to fulfill some of these desires.
The gratitude that I witnessed in the eyes of the Navajo Elders I was fortunate to come in contact with was priceless, and I would like to encourage you to look further into this Program at their website www.anelder.org
The above is a a photograph of the food run line-up that I captured with my iPhone just after we had set up the line for distribution to the Elders at the Big Mountain reservation. I am posting this image with permission given to me by the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program.
Red Rocks of Sedona
I then traveled to Sedona, with the friend who so kindly invited me participate with her in the above Program. Sedona's main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations, the Red Rocks of Sedona. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. I had previously visited Sedona in January, 2011, at the invitation of friends that I knew from the Bay Area, and was immediately struck by the sheer beauty of the magnificent red rock structures so prominent in this area. However, since it was the middle of winter the area was devoid of the brilliant greenery that I was treated to during this visit, which adds a whole new dimension to these unique structures. Below are some of my favorite red rock formations captured over the two days spent in Sedona.
Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing is one of my favorites in Sedona, and is one of the most-photographed sites in Arizona. Early summer is a beautiful time of the year to photograph this site as the greens and reds are present in all their glory.
Cathedral Rock in the background, with the old mill and water wheel at the Crescent Moon Ranch recreation area in the foreground
Cathedral Rock captured from Oak Creek that runs through Crescent Moon Ranch
Courthouse Butte, located next to Bell Rock, is also a heavy photographed site in Sedona
The beautiful Bell Rock
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, a unique Roman Catholic chapel, is built into this magnificent red rock (below) just outside Sedona
Garland's Oak Creek Lodge
The entry way to Garland's Oak Creek Lodge
Oak Creek Canyon
We were fortunate to spend two nights at the magnificent Garland's Oak Creek Lodge, in the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, just outside Sedona. Highlights from their website - 'Garland's Lodge provides a unique experience in an unforgettable setting, marrying the beauty of Sedona's red rocks with the ever-changing seasons of Oak Creek Canyon. Sixteen cozy cabins nestle on ten lush acres of organic gardens and apple orchards.
The original homestead building dates back to the early 1900's and still functions as the Lodge kitchen. Garland's Lodge is much more than just another Sedona bed and breakfast or B&B. Afternoon tea, and sumptuous dinners and breakfasts are served in the historic main lodge, and are included in your stay, with seasonal menus from our award-winning cookbook, "Sharing the Table at Garland's Lodge".'
Check it out in more detail at http://www.garlandslodge.com/