We now present some images from our hike of Cathedral Rock near Sedona, Arizona. Our efforts were on Wednesday, 20 September, 2017.
Many of the larger cairns, or manmade rock piles to mark the way, are wrapped in a metal wire mesh. This keeps the pile of rocks together and in one place come wind or rain.
It was midday when we began our hike. Earlier that morning, we had visited the Chapel of The Holy Cross, another notable Sedona landmark. Glare from the sun was a constant challenge to deal with when taking pictures along this trail.
Plant life in the desert.
At Lucy’s request, another hiker takes our photograph. I do prefer clothing to sunscreen, but make use of both to avoid those nasty sunburns easily gotten at elevations above 4,000 feet (roughly 1,200 meters).
More glare as we ascend further up the rather steep trail. The trail has a few flat, level areas or rock shelves to cross, but most of the time one is hiking up the steep grade. The elevation gained is several hundred feet.
We begin to see the remarkable views to be enjoyed along the trail at various points. Other hikers are approaching our position from below.
A view to the side of the trail. Rock framed by a clear, blue, September sky 2 days before the autumnal equinox.
The temperature was in the mid 80s Farenheit, and the trail was a steep grind the whole way. Thus, we see Lucy showing signs of early heat exhaustion. Best to carry plenty of drinking water and take breaks in the shade whenever possible. Perhaps, also, it is advisable to do this hike earlier in the day before the sun gets too high in the sky.
This was the most difficult stretch of the rocky trail. “Scrambling” over slick rock was required. And, later, we had to come back down over this same stretch of rock, really concretized sandstone. I began to think that we were getting too old for this sort of thing.
As we go higher, we continue to enjoy quite impressive vistas.
A view of what is ahead of us.
Another view sans glare.
A look to the side of the trail: desert plant life and broken rocks.
Needless to say, the higher we go up the trail, the closer we get to the impressive rock formations at the summit and the more fatigued we become.
Another view. Note the rock layers we continually have to traverse on the path.
We may have cheated the sun in this shot and avoided the glare. The formation on the left almost looks like giant fingers pointing to the sky above.
Another look here where the trail is visible. Regrettably, we see a portion of my manual sun filter (a finger) in the image as well.
This view was probably captured using the zoom function for the lens.
A look in a different direction seems to show us houses on the hill below us.
Looking to the southeast, we get this afternoon view of the distant rocks.
After seeing and talking with returning hikers who had pressed on to the final summit, and appeared a bit dazed either by the beauty or from fatigue, we opted to start back. For some, this is a spiritually charged place. For others, it is hauntingly beautiful. As well, there may even be claims of alien or UFO activity in the greater Sedona area, a place of power and energy, real or imagined.
We had actually gotten fairly high up before turning back. There were steep areas to traverse that are more hazardous while descending than going up. It is easy to fall or slip as just one minor misstep can bring you down. The slick rock is much like concrete and it is very unforgiving. So, this kind of hike requires staying alert to each step you take. Thus, it is a mental and physical challenge to do this trail up and back down safely.
A final look at the iconic sedimentary rock of the US Southwest along this trail.
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