West Fork Oak Creek

Probably the most popular hike in the Sedona area, although when you start the hike at 6:30 in the morning you have the canyon to yourself under the best light for hours. The official trail goes in 3 miles where the vast majority of folks turn around, at this point there is a large water crossing where you have to wade in 3-4' deep water. I brought along my neoprene socks to keep my feet relatively warm, and was very glad I did when set foot in the water, it was fridgid! This year the water was filled with mud from the floods in which you sank 2-3', a bit unsettling especially when you leg slides between branches and becomes slightly pinned! I ended up hiking about 11 miles in total. It was a beautiful hike, but I was feeling exceptionally uncreative today. I'm going to call it 'photographer's block', no matter where I pointed my camera I felt like I was creating contrived, uninteresting crap. The feeling began to overwhelm me so much so that I wasn't even enjoying the experience of the hike. Eventually I gave in and realized it wasn't going to get better, my creative tank was empty. I put the camera away and focused on my stride and my surroundings, I got into my groove but was quickly overrun with hikers coming up the canyon now, many slow hikers disrupting my pace and not being considerate of a faster hiker behind them. I tried to maintain my zen like state, but it was a fierce challenge. I did manage to maintain my sanity and made it back to the trailhead 5 hours after I started. The 11 miles left me in zen afterwards, a good long hike will always do this, I'm left with no worries and happy that I made the effort today despite my dip in creativity.

All images taken with the Fuji XT-1, unedited jpeg's straight out of the camera