The view of Cathedral Rock to the right at the beginning of the Baldwin Trail in Sedona, AZ

My daughter lives in Arizona and ever since the birth of my grandson two years ago, I have been to Arizona at least once a year. My husband and I just returned from our third annual trip to that beautiful state with camera SD cards full of pictures and our hearts full of happy memories.

To us New Jerseyans, Arizona is quite amazing, from its vastness (6th largest state – 113,998 mi²), its climate (desert in the south and mountains and green forests in the north), and to its geology (the Grand Canyon and red rock formations of Sedona). We have been there three times and still have so much to explore.

During our last trip, we went hiking in Sedona on one of our last days there. With its red sandstone formations, the unique beauty of Sedona is striking, particularly during golden hour – the time after sunrise or before sunset. At those times, the formations seem to glow in vivid shades of red and orange.

The above shot was taken after a wonderful hike along the base of Cathedral Rock and along Oak Creek. The day was cloudy with a threat of rain but towards the end of our hike, the clouds started to part and the sun peaked out. During our hike, I took loads of pictures of the views of Cathedral Rock but the shot above was quickly taken as we started to head back to the parking lot.

Several days after we got back to New Jersey, I started looking through my pictures. When I viewed this one, I was totally surprised by the image. At the time I took it, I was delighted that the sun was shining so I turned around and took this one picture before heading back to the car. I didn’t take a lot of time trying to compose it but I probably subconsciously, saw something pleasing through my view finder and lined up Cathedral Rock to the right and the Twin Buttes (with Munds Mountain in the background) to the left. I’m so happy I did because I think this is the best shot of the hundreds I took that day.