Friday, November 30, 2007

The Red Rocks of Sedona

Sedona in Technicolor

It's about a two-hour drive from a Phoenix to the small Arizona city that has become a Mecca for artists and tourists alike.

I'm talking about Sedona, of course, a city that is renowned for both the spectacular red sandstone formations that surround it and for the spiritual energy that is reputed to encompass it. The area surrounding Sedona is supposedly home to a number of vortices - or centers of spiritual energy.

I'ts easy to see why some believe this to be a sacred place. The vivid red rock outcroppings - which have been given names such as Coffee Pot Rock, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock - make for some spectacular scenery.

With it's abundance of hiking trails, the area is a great place to explore the outdoors. Sedona also has plenty to offer those who are more inclined to explore the inside of a shop. The streets are lined with specialty stores, tourist shops, and small art studios that sell paintings, ceramics, blown glass, and much more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tempe Town Lake: "Aqua es la Sangre de la Tierra"

The Light Rail Bridge Spanning Tempe Town Lake is Illuminated
by the Setting Sun

I've lived in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area for over half a year now, so it's a bit surprising that my first visit to the Tempe Town Lake was as recent as today.

After braving rush hour traffic in order to get to the park, the lake was a welcome oasis of tranquility. It's obvious the park is beloved by the joggers, walkers, inline skaters, and kayakers that frequent it.

While at the lake, I took some time to watch low-flying white egrets skim the water's surface and to read the engravings that are etched in the wall that runs the length of the lake. Most of the quotations (such as "Water is the blood of our land" or Water is the salve of our ravages" highlight the importance of water in this arid region.

Tempe Town Lake is situated in the once dry riverbed of the Salt River, or the Rio Salado. The lake was created using a series of inflatable dams. The dams can be lowered quickly in the event of heavy rain. Construction of the lake concluded in 1999.

Tempe Town Lake by Night

Monday, November 19, 2007


Saguaro Cactus

This slow-growing majestic cactus is unique to the Sonoran Desert, which stretches across southern Arizona and California and northern Mexico. The saguaro can grow to over 40 feet tall and can live over 150 years. The cactus produces white blooms from April to May and red fruit in June.

A Gila Woodpecker Perched on a Budding Saguaro Cactus

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grand Canyon

South Rim View

It's a sight that has inspired awe for thousands of years.

The canyon is both a lesson in time and scale. The chasm is 277 long, up to 18 miles wide in some places, and up to a mile deep. It has taken the Colorado River over six million years to cleave through the Colorado Plateau, revealing a geology that tells a story two billion years old.

Canyon layers include the Vishnu Basement Rocks, formed by the collision of two tectonic plates approximately two billion years ago; the red shale, limestone, and dark lava of the Grand Canyon Supergroup; and the Paleozoic Sedimentary Rocks, which are all that remains of the marine life, swamps and deltas, and dunes of a vanished ocean.

Visitors Marvel at the Canyon's Vastness

A Tree With a View

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

State Highway 64

State Highway 64 serves as the eastern gateway to the Grand Canyon's south rim. When approaching the Grand Canyon from the east, motorists will enjoy breath-taking glimpses of the Little Colorado River Gorge to the North. To the South, they will see cozy dwellings dwarfed by red hills.

View from State Highway 64