Monday, 9:00 a.m.
This morning, I woke up early and went with Laura’s mom and dad to see the sunrise at Bell Rock. Sitting on a rock among cactus, watching the sun take its first peek of a place reminded me of just how few of these I take the time to be present for. On the one hand, it makes sense. It’s because we are in such beautiful surroundings and only for a short time that we would make it a point to see what it looks like at sunrise. We live in suburban Dallas and there’s nothing especially magical or worthwhile about waking up early enough to see the sun come up over a development of single-family starter homes. But really, how would I know? I’ve never watched it happen.
Tuesday, 8:50 p.m.
The rest of the day yesterday was spent visiting some of the stores and art galleries in Sedona. There’ve gotta be about eight hundred and forty-one art galleries here and it makes me love this town to see them all flourishing. Or at least, it makes me love the people this town attracts.
Today was another morning, another sunrise. This time it was just Paul and I and we went to a different lookout point than yesterday. The view was outstanding and despite a couple of people disrespecting the serenity of the moment (it sounded like they were enjoying a drunken round of Texas Hold ‘Em!) it was well worth giving up the couple hours of sleep. Also, I brought my discman and waited for the sun with these guys swimming in my ears.
Afterwards, we rounded up the rest of the crew and headed for a big hole in the ground about an hour away. Fifty thousand years ago a meteor half the size of a football field and going eleven miles per second crashed in to the desert of what we now call Arizona. What remains is a crater as deep as the Washington Monument is tall. The floor of the crater is large enough to fit twenty football fields and the surrounding bowl could hold two million fans. Unfortunately, none of them would be able to tell what was going on in any of the games because the players would be flippin’ tiny. And don’t even get me started on the traffic.
From one hole in the ground to another, our next destination was Walnut Canyon National Monument. This canyon is the site of cliff dwellings once used by the Sinagua (“without water”) about 800 years ago. These people were amazing! Besides being incredibly resourceful and successfully farming in a part of the country that gets less than a foot of rain per year, they did it while commuting to and from work on a cliff. We walked a trail that took us right to some of the ruins and it was incredibly humbling. You have no choice but to admire the determination of the people that had lived there. It made me wonder about their connection to God. How faithful must your prayer-life be when nearly every minute of every day is spent on ensuring your survival?
We returned “home” and rounded out the day by watching a documentary about the Hubble telescope that our brother-in-law, Eric, got for Christmas. My mind. Is officially. Blown. When we were at Walnut Canyon, we learned that sixty million years ago it was at the bottom of an ocean. “Wow, sixty million years!”, we thought. Man, sixty million years is a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about the age of the sun (about 4 billion years). Or the age of the Milky Way (over 10 billion years). Or the age of the UNIVERSE (about 14 billion years)! And it doesn’t matter how many times I hear that there are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world, it still freaks me out. More stars in the Universe…than grains of sand…on all the beaches…in the whole world. If your head’s not ringing right now, you need to go to a beach and grab a handful of sand. So, yeah. That and a dozen other things in the video are going to keep me awake tonight.
Tomorrow morning, we’re going to watch the sunrise from the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and from there, Eric and I (and probably Laura and Kristi) are going to climb Bell Rock. Well, climb as high as we can without equipment. I’ll try to get a picture of the view up tomorrow night.
Thursday we drive to the Grand Canyon to stay at Kachina Lodge. I’ve never been and the last time Laura was there was 6th grade. Just the other day someone told us, “the Grand Canyon is one of the few things in life that no matter how much you build it up, it doesn’t disappoint.” We’ll find out in a few days.
Take care, we’ll see you soon.
Part of the way up Bell Rock
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Meteor Crater Rim