We love to explore the back roads and take in the fabulous views we find along the way. We have traveled the Schnebly Hill Road on numerous occasions over the years.
The 12-mile road cuts between Flagstaff and Sedona. If one didn’t know better, they might think it a short cut. In reality, all the wind and lack of rain has continuously deteriorated the road.
You may know the road – it’s that really rough road the Pink Jeep Tours drives through out of Sedona. The bumpy road from Sedona to Schnebly Vista traverses over rugged rock shelf terrain. It takes around an hour to go just 6 miles, dependent on how much one wants to beat up your lifted truck or Jeep. It is not suited for passenger cars.
We went to Oak Creek to see Fall Colors, but we decided that during our visit and goal to see Fall Colors we should include West Fork Trail.
We have never done West Fork Trail. The crowds and lines to get in have always been just terrible. It seems to be like so many over-touristed places that become overcrowded taking away from the entire experience.
So we got a hotel, went out to a nice dinner, and got up early to hit the trail before anyone got there.
I can tell you now from experience … that is absolutely the way to go. We were the very first one’s there. We arrived at 7am, and took one of maybe 5 parking spaces outside the gates that don’t open until 8am.
We had the trail to ourselves. We had 2 people pass us going up, (after they caught up to us). It was great to not have to bob through people – which is what we did on the way back down.
We felt like salmon swimming upstream as we had to side step the hoards of people once the gate opened… and we were headed back down the trail.
We thought it would be difficult to get out of our parking spot way up front… but cars were more than happy to make way for us to get out as we pulled out into traffic, and passed an impressive line of cars waiting for a parking space to get in.
Proper planning yielded a great day and a beautiful hike.
It’s fall in Northern AZ. With all the snow (all 10″ between 2 storms) and wind we have had, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground on the Rim… so time to explore fall colors in other parts.
Sedona along Oak Creek makes for a fine diversion. The aspens were in full yellows and the ferns varying shades of reddish brown. It was the kind of scenery that gives you pause as it takes your breath away.
The cascading waters just added to it’s peaceful serenity. It’s hard to beat scenery like this. Arizona is truly a magical place.
Ok, now this is cool! Scott stayed up with us all night to get this shot. It’s a 1 hour and 15 minute exposure, 30 seconds at a time. It literally tracts the movement of the stars across the sky. The free software StarStaX stitches it together making it super easy to do… other than waiting around for the exposure. But then, I’d argue, that was the best part. Thanks, Scott. You’re awesome!
Who knew you could take great photos in pitch black night? Scott Stulberg carefully made sure everyone in his workshop knew how, and got THE shot. We got moving clouds, star lit skies, and milky way magic.
I have never done light painting before, so this was my first time. I was surprised at what you could do with it… and how easy it was really. Set your tripod up on your night time scene. Dependent on your aperture and focal length, focus around 50′ (light up something approx that distance away and focus.. then turn all lights off). At your lowest aperture f2.8 or f4.0, set camera on Manual and set to a 30 second exposure. Fire a test shot to be sure your exposure and composition look about right.
Then run across the scene like a crazy person twirling colored lights (not too bright of lights).
I’m not sure how practical this technique is.. but it was fun and interesting none the less. Thanks to Scott Stulberg for showing us. Pretty cool.