I was on a quest to photograph snow. The day before had been an incredible experience shooting snow in the desert (A Lesson Not To Be Forgotten). I was so excited about my images and wanted more photos of winter.
The high country had gotten snow the day before as well. The red rocks of Sedona with snow would be gorgeous. I checked the weather radar and it looked clear. I packed my camera gear, snacks and water along with my heavy coat, hat and gloves. I also brought along my rain gear in case it would snow. My rain gear would keep me dry if there was a wet snowfall or even for shots that would require kneeling on the ground.
As I got closer to Sedona the sky was becoming increasingly cloudy. Weather can change dramatically in a couple of hours – the amount of time it would take to get to Cathedral Rock. Nevertheless, I continued on my journey. Driving through Sedona it started snowing rather heavily and it was a wet snow. Rain gear would be a necessity today.
I sat in my vehicle for a while debating on whether to get out and shoot or wait for the snow to stop. Another photographer pulled up and got out so I did the same. I took a few images but then went back to my car and decided to call it a day.
Driving back through Sedona and then the Village of Oak Creek, I was watching the sky. It was clearing a bit so I decided to check the Back O’ Beyond Trail and see what possibilities for photos could be found.
I took several images and once again decided to call it a day and head home. My gear was packed up and put in the back of my SUV. While heading back to the main road, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the clouds breaking to the west.
No way was I going to miss a spectacular sunset so back through town and to Red Rock Crossing I went. By the time I arrived back at Cathedral Rock, the clouds were back. I was going to wait until the last possible minute – after all I had driven 2 hours.
I had the place to myself. It was so quiet and peaceful. Sedona is known for its vortexes and Red Rock Crossing is one of them. Watching the clouds move across Cathedral Rock made them look mystical. This was a different feeling than what I had expected. But different is what I like. Besides, no other photographer was there, in fact no one was there. I would be the only one capturing this mood! Sunset was pretty much a bust, but I was happy to have made some moody images. I packed my gear for the final time that day and headed home.
I was feeling the chill of the day. There was a Starbucks right off the freeway at Camp Verde. I would stop there and treat myself to a hot cafe mocha and a pastry. Back in my car, I got back on the freeway.
Within minutes, it was snowing again. Or was it rain or grapple? It was getting worse and traffic was slowing to a crawl. I could feel the ice on the road – thick ice, probably slush that had now frozen. Forget about drinking my hot coffee – both hands on the wheel and clenched. Nothing worse than driving on curvy mountain roads with ice in the dark!
At one point we were barely moving so I called home and left a message that roads were really bad and I would be late getting home. And hoping that I would make it there safely. This was really scary! All I could do was keep going. I put my SUV into low gear, no FWD. At least the wheels and tires could be felt gripping the road. This went on for about 15 miles. The freezing rain, grapple and snow stopped all of a sudden and I could breathe a sigh of relief. By this time my coffee was barely warm. So much for a hot treat.
This was the 4th snow storm I had driven through in two days – in just over 24 hours. The next day – I would stay home and bake!
Prints available for purchase at TBecker Photos.