Matt, Julie, Anna, and Ariel in Sedona, AZ

Matt, Julie, Anna, and Ariel in Sedona, AZ

So for 11-11-11, Matt, Julie, Anna, and I decided to go out to Sedona, Arizona. You know the whole 2012 thing? Well apparently it’s not just about that one day. From what I understand, Dec 21, 2012 is just a crossing of a threshold after a bunch of events and shifts leading up to that day. A sort of tipping of the scales. 11-11-11 is the first stage of the ascension. Cool.

In any event, Matt and Julie felt called to be in Sedona then. I had no idea what would happen, if anything, but felt like an amazingly fun idea, and Anna was excited and eager to go too! So we made our arrangements, packed our bags, hopped a plane, and off we went to Sedona for 11-11! What would happen? Who knows? πŸ™‚

I’m not exactly sure how to summarize this trip, so I guess I’ll just do the usual thing, which includes sharing lots of pictures and telling you guys some of the more memorable stories. πŸ˜€ Seems to be a winning strategy. πŸ˜‰

I started creating this as a singular post, but it turned out to be HUUUUUGE (like 60-something photos long huge), so this’ll be done day by day.

Arriving in Arizona

Anna and I flew into Skyharbor in Phoenix on Wed, Nov 9th, with Matt and Julie flying in a few hours afterwards. When I was on the plane, I realized that even though I had made a point to take my backpacking knife out of my pack while packing my bags back home, I had accidentally left my leatherman (a multi-tool/pocket knife) attached to my keys and made it through airport security with it. Whoops… Oh well, at least the TSA protected us with their naked body scanners they’re now using and their no full water bottle rules… :p

TSA silliness aside, we made it to the airport in Arizona without a hitch and went straight towards the rental car place. Julie had suggested getting a high clearance vehicle for Sedona for a hike she wanted to do, but they were sold out of them. It turns out that there was a Nascar event going on that weekend.

Nascar? In Phoenix!? To me that immediately brings two words to mind: Mark Rebilas!

He’s a pro sports photographer whose work I really enjoy and who’s based out of Phoenix. As a fun sidenote, the design of his photoblog was a key inspiration in the design for my current photoblog you’re reading now. πŸ™‚

In any event, there was a Nascar event in Phoenix and so a lot of vehicles were sold out. Alrighty. So I opted to stay with the affordable economy vehicle I’d selected initially, adding on insurance against any accidents, bumps, scrapes, scratches, or any other body damage that might occur in Sedona… πŸ˜‰ (Fortunately we didn’t wind up needing it…)

After grabbing our rental car, a Chevy Aveo, Anna and I headed out into Phoenix to grab a bite to eat and grab a few things we needed. It turns out that in Arizona, the Targets are bilingual. All the signs are in both english and spanish there…

On another note, if you drive around Phoenix, you’ll find this hippy taco stand that serves all sorts of funky tacos. I ordered a cactus taco there. πŸ˜€ Apparently cactus has a texture sort of like meat, but is pretty tasteless.

Once Matt and Julie arrived, we met up at a restaurant that Matt had selected. The two of them are total foodies and always have suggestions for amazing places to eat. πŸ™‚ The place we wound up going for dinner featured all sorts of fun food like a bison burger and organic acai berry beer… so it must be healthy! πŸ˜‰

Writing all this up, it just struck me that I don’t have many photos from this part of the trip, since it’s still just taking care of business and getting to Sedona, so we’ll get to that shortly. πŸ™‚

Anyways, when we all met up for dinner, we discovered that we had both rented the exact same car! A Chevy Aveo sedan, and the same color even! The only difference was that our had power windows and locks and mirrors and a remote clicker, but seemed to be otherwise the same. What are the odds!? πŸ™‚

After dinner, it was already dark, and we started heading north towards Sedona. I prefer driving during the day since you can see the scenery and it’s just easier since you don’t fall asleep as easily, but night driving is good too. πŸ™‚

Arriving in Sedona

So Sedona is supposed to have all these energy vortexes, these places where there’s strong electromagnetic energy flowing. Now it’s not that I’m skeptical, but I prefer to have my own experiences to draw my conclusions from, rather that simply accepting what people say. πŸ˜‰

When we arrived in Sedona and entered the city, both Anna and myself started grinning and laughing for no reason. Even trying to hold it back, it still erupted from within me. That’s a good sign… Maybe there is something to this whole energy thing in Sedona afterall!

It was dark so after checking into our hotels, the four of us all drove up to the airport which features both a nice overlook of the city, as well as one of the vortexes.

Sedona at night from the airport vortex

Sedona at night from the airport vortex

Conveniently enough, the vortex here is literally right beside the parking area, right here at this overlook. I set my camera up to run some long exposures to get some night shots of town.

While the camera was running, Matt started feeling for the vortex. We both tried closing our eyes and feeling what there was to be felt when standing in the vortex. Now curiously enough, we both felt the same thing… While standing at the overlook and facing this scene pictured above, we felt a sort of magnetic pull, and we both felt the magnetic pull in the same direction. Backwards. As if we were being pulled backwards. Interesting…

Scratching my head, I started to seriously consider that there really are visceral, senseable,Β discernibleΒ energy movements that you could pick up on. Call them vortexes or call them what you will, there really does seem to be something here.

After this vortex, we opted to go head over to another one of the vortexes and iconic sights in Sedona: Bell Rock.

The parking area here afforded a nice view of Bell Rock.

Bell Rock under the moonlight from the parking lot

Bell Rock under the moonlight from the parking lot

While we were here, Julie was asking me about how to shoot night photos with the ass kicking Canon S95 she’d just bought. I had my camera set on up on a tripod to shoot shots like the one you see above and she’d set hers down on a wooden post to shoot her shots. During our conversation, coming out of the darkness behind us, there’s this gnarly dog-like snarl. It’s the kind of snarl you’d expect when a dog rears its head down, right before it charges to attack. “Get in the car!”

I grab my tripod and the 4 of us dart back into the car. We all hop inside and, since my tripod legs were fully extended, my side door wouldn’t close. While quickly shortening the legs on the tripod, I look out the front of the car and see Julie’s camera sitting on the post. Knowing that my door was still cracked open, for some reason I felt myself get into “I’m gonna kick the ever living shit out of you” mode if you attack me, I open the door, march out to go grab her camera, continue collapsing my tripod, and finally hop back inside the car, second camera in hand, and collapsed tripod on my lap.

Turning the car around, we shine the headlights into the brush of the parking area, scanning the field looking for a wolf, a dog, a pair of eyes shining back, bigfoot… anything… After a few moments of carefully eyeing the field, none of us spot anything and figure it’s wisest to head on back to the hotel and get some sleep in for tomorrow… πŸ™‚

(Click here to continue on to day 2.)

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