The Sedona area abounds in beautiful hiking trails and colorful names of rocks or mountains to which they lead. Coffeepot, Teacup, Sugarloaf, Bell, Cathedral, Chimney rocks, Thunder Mountain… You name it and you’ll probably find that image in the Red Rock Country if you look long and hard enough.
Sunday morning was an absolutely perfect day and time for going out on such a hike. My two Sedona friends and I took Coffeepot Rd to the Sugarloaf trailhead, from which the Teacup trail starts, before winding its way under the Thunder Mtn and below the Coffeepot rock, ending at the Soldiers Pass trail (see the map below).
There, you already have more than half of the famous Sedona names, all crammed around this 5-mile trail. On Sunday morning, we also added one more name – The Guardians.
Along the way of the Teacup trail, one can enjoy amazing vistas in all cardinal directions. And this Oct 20 morning the visibility was perfect. The sunlight was bouncing off the rocks, the trees and shrubs like a floodlight off a mirror. One truly felt as if one were walking through God’s art gallery.
The header panorama shot and the one below are composites of three and four frames as they encompass the vistas more than 180 degrees wide (click to enlarge).
And now, here are some single shots taken right under the Coffeepot and Thunder Mtn.
As we wound our way around and down from the Coffeepot rock, one could see this huge red slab turn into an Eagle at the very top (look carefully at the second rock from the Coffeepot spout). The moment my two friends and I looked up, the light and the shadows were such that right inside Eagle’s head, one could see clearly another head, human or alien perhaps (Anunnaki?), looking the other way, as if peering deep inside Eagle’s cerebral cortex.
I took a series of closeup shots from which you can see for yourself now in these images what we saw then in real life.
As we stood in awe under this massive stone complex, one of my companions uttered the word The Guardians. Indeed, these huge rocks looked as if they were standing on guard over the sacred valley in which Sedona lies. I was moved to make a musical offering to them. So I pulled out my flute and played El Condor Pasa and Amazing Grace.
Before I started, there had been a slight breeze. Being a wind instrument, one cannot play the flute very well in windy conditions. And then the wind stopped. When I finished, the air was completely still. The Guardians had acknowledged our musical gift by making it possible for the sound to carry to them. That’s when I took a picture of them and then asked one of my friends to take a shot of me under The Guardians.
We carried on for a little while longer until we got to the Soldiers Pass Trail (see the map below). That’s where we turned around and walked back to the Sugarloaf trailhead from where we started.