Still engulf with the gratefulness and kindness by Chris, allowing me to grab myself a new memory card for my camera. I happily walking around Sedona main street and end up having dinner at one of the Thai restaurant again (I thought I am visiting Thailand, seriously). The food was moderate, still I felt Sawadee in Flagstaff offer best Thai cuisine here in Arizona! Whats next during the night time via Sedona? Arizona was a heaven for astronomer lover, as it offer some of the best dark-skies sites in the country, and yes, I am going for night exploration in Sedona to catch this wonderful experience.
Quite down town of Sedona.
'Meet me at the Clock Tower' in Cedic Plaza.
Random Thai cuisine, again.
I have more Tomyam Soup in US more than when I back in Malaysia I guess.
I spend some time after my meal, sitting inside my car and surveying on some of the best spot to offer around Sedona. End up, decided to follow the majority internet suggestion, to explore the night skies from Airport road. The exact location was only like 10 minutes drive from Sedona down town, and the airport was actually located on top of a small hill. There was a lodge name Sky Ranch Lodge located just next to airport entrance, and there is a car park for in front of it. The recommended spot was called Sedona Airport Overlook, but when I am there, I just realize that instead of a dark-skies spot for night sky viewing, this spot is more to an overlook on Sedona town, not really the type of thing that I was expecting. However, I get to know Joe, which was there doing some night photography as well. I am glad to learn some skill from him about night photography as I am still quite new to it, and also for sure some chit chat about each other while snapping photo of the city view. Joe then suggest we move over to a lower part of the hill which offer different view point, without much hesitation I proceed to grab my car and follow Joe to the area that he suggested.
The location, Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout was just like less than a mile down hill, with some parking space to the right of the road. We walk for some distance into the trail, and start with our tasks again. Still, these area have quite some street lights disrupting the night skies, hence it is not meeting my preference for the dark-skies concept, but I still continue to fine tune best setting to take night photography here. After a while, Joe call it a day and he going to leave, he gave me a business card of his so that i can add him in Facebook, and just then I realize he was a part time professional photographer!
View from Sedona Airport Overlook.
From same spot, toward the direction of Sedona airport.
Another take from Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout.
It was already 11 PM when I leave the place, and is time to get some coffee to keep myself awake. I stop by a K mart at Highway 179 without any plan on what to do next. And yeah, I not even secure myself a proper accommodation for the night, as my plan was just to have a nap in my car. Coffee really rejuvenate my mind, and not sure how I decided that time, I am giving it a shot to Cathedral Rock trail head to see if the place meet my expectation. This time, no reference from Internet at all, it was pure instinct.
Surprisingly, this place is totally isolated from any light pollution, and no one was there at all. The moment when I step out of the car, I knew that I had make a damn good decision to pay a visit here. Improvement needed still, but I really love the night skies full of stars, along with Cathedral Rock as the central of the photo. Moreover, it was Milky Way towards another direction which i spotted accidentally! I really having a lot of fun here, just by myself for nearly 2 hours of time, under 10 Celsius temperature staying outside of the car. It was truly a magnificent experience.
Total dark skies in Cathedral Rocks.
Countless stars blinking on this magnificent skies.
Not sure what that ray of light is? UFO?
Me, my Maxima, and the beautiful night skies, all by myself.
Return back to the same K Mart to replenish some supplies, as well as having quite some nice chat with the worker on duty, James. I asked if I am allow to stay in the car to take a nap, he insist for me to park my car at the hotel car park next to his stop instead, as they are using dim light, which is easier to sleep compare to K Mart car park. He even asked me to come over after the nap to use the toilet freely, what a kind person! Maybe due to excitement of the night skies, I only nap for around 2 hours, and head back to K Mart for some early coffee and breakfast. Surprisingly I saw a couple staying just inside their car with the window open, and keep pointing at one direction. I came out from the car then only realize was had caught their attention that much. There are two animal that look like combination of wild hog and rat wandering just outside of the K Mart, although they looked cute, but I am still worried if they are aggressive hence I quickly step myself into the store and tell James about that. James told me those animal was quite nice and seldom attacking people, and they love fruits. Hence I bought a pack of fruit from James, and try to feed them. At first when I get closer to them, they just keep moving away from me, until I throw the first piece of fruit. Slowly I manage to lure them close to me, while feeding them with the fruits that I bought. Proven they are truly a very peaceful animals!
What is this giant rat like creature is?
"Hi, my name is Javelina."
Enjoying its food in front of K Mart.
Another friend of this cutie appear, and they keep the distance with me not letting me to get closer.
Seem I caught their attention now, or should I say the fruit that I throw over to them.
Now their turn to take initiative to come over to me.
I not afraid of them, but still I keep myself safe not to use my hand to feed them, so I keep the fruit box on the ground.
There is a dustbin here, hence I did clean up the rubbish.
Good night cutie Javelina!
After a wonderful encounter with these cuties, I spend the rest of the morning chit chat with an old couple from California that doing some road trip in Arizona region. It seem that I am more familiar than them on the place, hence I did give my recommendation to them, and I can see that they really appreciate it a lot. Waving goodbye to them, say Hello to sunrise and head on to my next plan!
Good morning beautiful Sedona!
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