The Family Photo
My family’s coming for Thanksgiving! Actually, we’ll gather before Thanksgiving Day for a long four-day weekend to make the holiday work for everybody. I’m excited! I’m gathering recipes, cleaning the guest room and shopping for the right turkey.
My daughters gave me an errand to do for them. They booked a photographer and want a photo of our family. They asked me to find an interesting background for it, preferably with red rocks. I drove around and found a private spot just west of Sedona.
A little history of Sedona
I like the story behind the town’s name. Sedona Schnebly, young and newly married, moved to Arizona in the early 1900’s and settled in a tiny community known for its red rock formations. Mr. Schnebly, a hard working farmer, transported his crops up the hill to Flagstaff. The rocky road is still called Schnebly Hill Road today. His wife, Sedona, served her community well. Her hospitality became an oasis for those traveling through the area. When the community grew, the post office needed to register a name. Thus, Sedona was named after Schnebly’s wife.
I like the fact that the famous Tlaquepaque Village stands on the grounds where the Schnebly’s first dwelt!
What’s the best spot for a family photo?
After driving through the outskirts of town, I noticed every hiking trail that offered a pretty backdrop also drew a crowd. The meager parking space discouraged me.
I found a rough, private road off the main highway and traveled about 14 miles north to a place called Honanki Ruins. The cliff dwelling features petroglyphs drawn by the Sinagua Indians between 1130 and 1280 A.D. based on archaeological evidence.
The area took my breath away!
I’m a hummer girl, but I like jeeps too!
The first few miles of the long road to the cliffs make up a treacherous composition of caliche rock but then it turns to a smoother red rock dirt road. A car can make it, but a truck or jeep is best.
A lone car appeared on the side of the road. A couple about my age relaxed with a picnic lunch. I enjoyed pleasant conversation with them and they knew the area well. The husband walked with two trekking poles because he just had a knee replacement like me! I’ll tell you, people with fake knees are everywhere. We swapped stories! They were so nice to take a photo of Tom and me!
Mostly, this area attracts the Pink Jeep Tours. The informed tour guides offer detailed stories of the ruins and charge about $100 per person for a tour.
A jeep load got out and wandered by the creek. I posed by their vehicle.
It’s always good to include props in a family photo. Don’t you love to see a family sitting on a sofa placed in the middle of a cornfield or meadow? The Honanki Trail still sports a few props here and there from a movie set featuring John Wayne and Jane Russell. At least that’s what I heard a Pink Jeep driver say.
I’m still scouting around to see if there’s other places to consider that would be private with interesting scenery for our family photo but it’s hard to beat Honanki Trail with its privacy and magnificence.
The kids liked my photos. We may, after all, end up in this place!