By Ted Grussing
… with a very new city … relatively speaking. Humans have been present in the area for about 10 thousand years and the first Anglo settler, John J. Thompson moved to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876. The Sedona Post Office was formed in 1902 and the population was between 50 and 60. As of 2010 the population was a little over 10,000 and probably not more than 12,000 now. The land area is 19.2 square miles.
The population of the Village of Oak Creek was over 6000 in 2010, so the population of what is called Sedona when you address a letter is likely in the neighborhood of 16 to18 thousand people with more than half living within the city limits. Next year we do the census again and it will be interesting to see how much growth there has been. This will be the third census for us since we moved here in the spring of 1992. So the planet has been here for about 4.5 billion years, humans have been in this area for perhaps 10,000 years and it is only in the last 117 years that more than 50 people have lived here … the area is old and erosion has taken its toll … look at what erosion has done to all these beautiful rocks! Still, I’ll stay here, it is old, worn and feels comfortable as well as beautiful.
I took this shot Wednesday morning on my return to the Sedona area and decided to shoot it in a manner I had not done before. Coming back up SR 179 from I-17 I dropped down low to get a different perspective on the trip north into the Sedona area. SR 179 enters the image left of center at the bottom and continues more or less north through the village, between Bell Rock and Castle Rock through seven miles of forested land, the chapel area and meets up with SR 89A at the Y which is to the right of the airport which you can see as a horizontal light colored line left of center and above the center of the image.
The road that heads off to the left from SR 179 at the bottom is Beaver Head Flat road which many use as a shortcut to go to Cottonwood and avoid the longer drive going out to I-17 or through Sedona. If for some reason you are visiting here on weekends or holidays and have not made the good choice to get to Sedona via US 260 to Cottonwood and up SR 89A to Sedona (4 lanes all the way), this cutoff is your last chance to avoid the nightmarish traffic we have on SR 179 from the Village to Sedona. Check traffic on your mobile device and if you see a lot of red ahead of you, turn here and go the longer way to Sedona and you will not be stuck in bumper to bumper slow or stop and go traffic. I live in the village which is the first inhabited area you see in this photo and on the heavy traffic days I drive south from the village to Beaver Head Flat Road and do the 30 mile drive to the airport as opposed to the 10 mile drive if I take SR 179. It is usually faster, it is scenic and I am not breathing a lot of car fumes. Just a tip from a local.
So, as we go north (up) in the photo you are looking at the Village of Oak Creek where I live. The two full size golf courses Are on the left side of SR 179 and Canyon Mesa the executive course is on the right side. Before you get to the Village, on the right side of the road is the Red Rock Ranger Station and a good place to stop and learn more about the area. The mid photograph line of rocks are from the left, Cathedral Rock, Castle Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse, and Lee Mountain. Horse Mesa is below the Village and to the right of SR 179.Right of center and just below the end of the plateau is Wilson Mountain … Oak Creek Canyon starts just to the right of it and goes up behind it. In the distance directly above Wilson are the San Francisco Peaks and unseen on this side of them lies the city of Flagstaff. Thunder Mountain is just above Cathedral Rock. Above the rim directly above the airport and just barely peeking above it is Kendrick Peak and even more subtly to the very far left is Bill Williams mountain … to the right of the peaks is Mt. Elden and it almost appears connected.
It’s a very beautiful portion of the planet and it is home … it has been here for a very long period of time and is always changing. Someday the erosion from wind and water will finish the job and the red rocks will be here no more, but it takes time and will be long after we are gone.
It was a beautiful day, and for my soaring friends, up on the plateau I had five knot lift to over 10,000’ … at 9:30 AM! It was rocking. The Verde Valley was the usual blue hole.
Espresso in not that many hours and a very full day coming up. I’m going to do another one tomorrow night. Enjoy life, keep breathing and be amazed by this wonderful place we call home and the all the truly nice people in it.
PS It is now 2:45A and One and a bobcat are going at it through the glass door in my den. A real treat!
A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.
I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing.
I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night.
Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: email@example.com
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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