Sedona Biennial

Two years ago this weekend, I snapped this photo . . .

That road just behind the highway signs marks the border between Iowa and Missouri, and as soon as this picture was shot, we drove south across it, leaving Iowa for the last time after a total of six years (over two stints) as residents of the Hawkeye State. We were most ready to be elsewhere at that point, so we took the sunbeams lighting the path ahead, under the glowering skies, to be a fine portent for days and miles to come.

Three days later, I took this photo out the front window of our temporary rental house in uptown Sedona, Arizona:

Within 72 hours of capturing that scene, we put an offer on a lovely house, which was accepted, and we moved into our new digs over Thanksgiving Weekend, 2020. It’s been an amazingly packed and exciting time since then, for sure, and we remain most pleased with our choice of domicile, two years in. That’s not always been the case for us after moves in the past, so that makes us appreciate the current situation even more, knowing from experience how it feels when a new location isn’t as pleasing to us.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done hikes to local high points that provide nice round senses of closure and capture on those two years. In the Sedona photo above, see that highest peak to the left hand side of the image? That’s Wilson Mountain. I was up at its summit recently, and here’s what it looks like gazing back down from there on that first temporary house, and beyond:

And then a few days ago, after several exploratory attempts over the last couple of years, I finally found a pretty good bushwhacking route from our house up to the eastern flanks of our friendly neighborhood volcano, House Mountain. (I’ve been there before, but always from the longer, more distant western flanks). I was rewarded with a lovely panoramic view of the entirety of our current home community, The Village of Oak Creek. Here’s that scene (as always, with any of these pictures, you can click the image to see them at full size); our house is right against and below the face of the front range of rounded red rocks to the left of the visible central massif:

And to close the two-year reminiscence, here’s what our house in VOC looks like right now, properly bedecked with signs offering our support and encouragement to our local Democratic candidates for office. We hope to take them down in a few weeks with similar smiles on our faces as to their efficacy:

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