Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sedona's Goodwill Ambassador

If you have ever traveled to Sedona, AZ you might have crossed paths with Gator, Sedona's self-proclaimed goodwill ambassador. More on this character in a moment.

Along with my teammate Leah Daugherty, I traveled to Sedona for a Sport Beans photo shoot on Monday. Sedona is an incredibly beautiful place and it is on top of my list for a camping, hiking and backpacking trip. The red rock canyons are absolutely stunning. The photo shoot team was comprised of Rob (Jelly Belly's director of marketing), Kelly (co-owner of Nice Advertising), John Segesta (rock star photographer - if you read Triathlete Magazine or Inside Tri, then you've seen his work) and John #2 (John's partner/assistant). At 7:30am we gathered in the lobby of our comfy accommodations at the Sedona Hilton Spa & Resort and then ventured out for the morning shoot. Below are some pics of the location with Leah & I having fun between set-ups. This area was incredible with plenty of scenic trails to run and hike.

The afternoon shots were done up one of the other canyons outside Sedona. We had to drive about six miles up one of the most rough roads I have ever traversed, but it was well worth it. Similar to the morning shots we did more "rock runs" and I got to play around on a mountain bike. The effect of the natural lighting as the sun set in and around the canyon was pretty sweet and I was ready for a hot shower and some hearty eats as we wrapped things up around 5:45pm. I was really blown away by God's incredible creation in such stunning scenery.
It was a quick trip with an early morning flight Tuesday departing Flagstaff at 7:30am. Back to my buddy Gator. He was the driver arranged to shuttle me and Leah to the airport. He greeted us at 6:00am in his pimped out Lincoln fully equipped with a set of steer horns on the front. I was pretty certain this would be an entertaining ride for the 40 minute drive back up to Flagstaff and Gator did not disappoint. He shared with us his 17 year carrer in the rodeo riding buck horses and finishing up his career as a rodeo clown. There are two types of rodeo clowns - the ones who pop up and down in the barrels to entertain the crowd and the ones who look after the riders. Gator was the latter clown. He was an original cowboy alright and proceeded to tell us the guys wearing helmets and kevlar vests are, well to put it politely, just a bunch of pansies!
This cowpoke is in need of some sleep.
Keep it smooth....

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