Sedona, Arizona

 

From the moment I decided to re-do the entire collection, it felt like a race for the past 3 months. I needed a small break. Somehow, I stumbled into Sedona, Arizona and I knew this was the place I wanted to visit. Probably because of the excitement, I woke up at 2am on Friday morning and was off to Sedona. The drive was long and tiresome, but when the beautiful landscape started to appear, all the fatigue disappeared immediately.

After checking into a resort, I went to Airport Mesa. It has a somewhat flat rock formation on the top and it provides a clear overall view of Sedona in 360 degree. I meditated for about an hour and decided to hike around the Airport loop. About 1/3 into the trail, it started raining hard. Soaked and tired, I went back to my room. After a few glasses of wine, I dozed off.

Airport Mesa / Sunrise

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Out of all the incredible views and landscape, this was the best moment of my trip. Woke up early and with a latte, I went back to Airport Mesa. I arrived at 6:40 which was about 20 minutes earlier than the expected the sunrise. Unsurprisingly there were quite a few people waiting. Because of the mountain sitting in front of the horizon, the sun appeared about 25~30 minutes later than expected.  Just seeing the landscape changing ever so slightly with the light was beautiful. Waiting for the sun while listening to Beethoven symphony 9, 4th movement was a magical experience. The combination of one of God’s beautiful creations and the music of one of the most impeccable composers swamped me in this very ecstatic sense of emotion. The feeling was truly amazing. While I was thoroughly enjoying this sea of emotions, this couple came to my view. Sitting on the bedrock cuddling, sharing a blanket while waiting for the sunrise. Forget about the fancy dinner or diamonds, this is what love should be.

Boynton Canyon

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After breakfast, I set off to Boynton Canyon. This trail was much longer than I expected. It probably took me a good hour from the parking lot to the end. It had a  beautiful scenery of rock formations and a view of mountains along the way which definitely helped. After a mile or two, the trail leads into a small forest where it is much more dense and moist. Along the way, I saw a beautiful display of different colored leaves. When I reached the end, I spent an hour of meditating and admiring the view. It is known to have both masculine and feminine energy. Its giant rock formation surrounding the canyon had a powerful image, yet because of the giant rocks it caused the shadows to be equally placed around the canyon. I understood the Yin & Yang kind of effect.

Bell Rock

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After a hearty lunch at Whole Foods, I was off to Bell Rock. The trail leading to the Bell Rock was not so bad, but it was the climb to the rock that was somewhat hard. I definitely could have stopped in the middle, but I kept pushing myself to go higher and I got to this perfect spot near the top of the Rock. It was so quiet and peaceful. The view was incredible!  Looking around the rock, I saw small plants sprouting out of these massive hard rocks. I wondered if these small plants could ever blossom a flower. If these plants can manage to blossom a flower on barren rocks, we should be able to achieve our dream in this great nation.

Cathedral Rock

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My last stop for the day was Cathedral Rock. By this time I was very tired from hiking all day and as I was climbing the steep hill to the top, I kept debating if I should stop and return or keep pushing to the top. Hearing so many beautiful stories of the sunset view and I would have to wait a year before coming back, I just kept pushing. A step closer to the top my legs felt lighter. When I finally made it to the top and saw the Sun on the far horizon,  I felt rejuvenated. As the saying goes, “Something extraordinary or magnificent sure has its price tags.” The little plateau surrounded by these massive  rocks, provided a perfect spot to view the sunset. I got a good shot of our new camera backpack sample.  It was getting darker and descending was a lot harder than ascending. All of sudden, it got really dark and because I forgot to pack a flashlight, I got lost and was in trouble.  Luckily, I saw a flashlight and called for help. This gentleman had graciously waited and led me to the bottom.  Before getting into my car, I glanced over to the Cathedral Rock once more and I  wished I had better camera skills. For I simply could not capture this amazing image of the new moon glowing over the eerie silhouette of Cathedral Rock in the pitch black night. I tried a few times with my camera, but failed. However, I felt lucky that I could witness this beauty with my own eyes.

After a nice bath and dinner, I finished the day off with a brandy and cigar. Although it was long and tiring, this was a day to definitely  remember for long time. The sunrise was exceptionally special and the Cathedral Rock was just extraordinary. The overpowering presence of the rock and the beauty it presents made me realize that we should protect our environment better for future generations. I am so glad to be able to visit Sedona and I will definitely be back next year.

 
Chris Pak