Thunder, Coyotes, and the Milky way: A Day in Sedona, Part II


After returning to our hotels for a bit of a recharge, Joe and I headed out to another popular place for sunset pictures. I highly recommend spending at least one sunset in Sedona up at the Airport. The views are 360 degrees and regardless of the weather you are almost guaranteed a great sunset every night. From the lookout, at the airport, you get a spectacular view of one of Sedona's biggest mountains, Thunder Mountain. Thunder Mountain has gotten it's name because it receives up to 4,000 lighting strikes a year, according to some locals at least. However it received its name, it remains a giant photo opportunity perfectly in view from the Airport.Once the sun went down, we started planning our next step, some Milky Way photos. This may not have been the best time of year for Milky Way photos as most of the Milky Way is below the horizon before the sun even starts to go down, but since shooting the Milky Way is relatively new to me and Joe was looking to learn, we set out to find a good spot. This, however, was not as easy as it sounded. Our goal was to try and find some spot that represented Sedona to be able to put in our foreground. But after driving around most of Sedona all day and using an app on our phone we couldn't find one good spot! I had an idea to go back to a place I had taken sunset pictures one time, there was a little park and it overlooked some cool spires in the valley I thought would make a could foreground. So off we went, when we arrived at our spot the sun was still trickling away and we had some time before we would be able to see the Milky Way. Taking advantage of the light we still had, Joe and I began to set-up our equipment and prepare for a cool night in the desert, unfortunately we were not alone! Joe and I were set-up and talking when we heard the first coyote howl, it came from a distance so there was no immediate cause for concern that is until we heard the second one. "I see him!" said Joe, "Look down there at end of the parking lot." I couldn't believe it another dark moment in Sedona when I'm getting surrounded by coyote's. Yes this has happened to me before and you can read about it here. As I glanced down to where Joe was pointing, I started feeling a little afraid. One coyote is not going to bother me, two coyote's maybe some concern, but it was the third coyote howl that sent Joe and I running to the car for safety. Now I know you are thinking, "What wimps" but when that third coyote howled I thought he was standing right next me and as I turned my head I saw him less than 30 yards away from me and I wasn't going to stand there and find out how tough I could be against a pack of coyotes. As Joe and I sat there contemplating our next move, we were certain of one thing, those coyote's were looking at us as dinner! We decided to move away from where they were and drove up to a different spot. Still a bit shaken from being circled by a pack of coyotes, we left the car running, doors open and the lights on as we waited for the sky to darken. Thankfully, aside from shooting some great Milky Way shots, the rest of our night was very uneventful. 

Click here for the full Sedona Gallery or here for my Milky Way Gallery!