My Happy Place

Prompts and Challenges

This week, The Daily Post  wants us to show where we go to get our groove back. Our “groove back”? Does anyone still use that expression? OK, so they want to know what we do, where we go whenever we feel like the world is being a bit too rowdy, when things and people are pushing in, crowding out our quiet thoughts. Actually I’m not really sure they care. They’re just trying to prompt us, challenge us. So, I took up their challenge and came to the conclusion that there are two places that really help when I am stressed, or have a decision to make, or just need to chill (another expression I’m not sure anyone still uses). One is local; Valley of Fire State Park in Southern Nevada. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. Covering an area over 42,000 \acres, it is always possible to find solace and revitalize your spirit.

Valley Of Fire--4The other is a 4 1/2 hour trip from Las Vegas NV to Sedona AZ. Though the town itself is crass and commercial, there is great food, friendly people, and the countryside is beautiful and soul searing!

Sedona Paint 1Notice a trend here?


50 thoughts on “My Happy Place

    1. Ha! Maybe we’ll run into each other one day. My wife and I are planning a trip for this winter- actually I’m planning it. She knows nothing about it yet. She doesn’t like snow so I have to sort of surprise her with the reservations a day before so she can’t have me cancel. Man it’s tough being married! 😉


  1. Wonderful! Your first image is quite a view. I marvel at your ability to capture such textural details in the rocks through out the image equally. And, Sedona is just as you describe. Sounds to me like you have a strong connection to native lands, Crater Lake exudes this feeling you are describing in the desert landscapes as well, or so I feel. Great post.


    1. I’ve never been to Crater Lake. It is on my list. As for the first image, it is not quite what I had envisioned and plan on redoing the processing. So we’ll see if you still feel the same when i finish. For some reason I’ve always felt strongly about native lands. Native Americans as well.

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  2. Great images and thoughts Emilio 🙂 Places such as these really put things into perspective. Really makes you think how insignificant humans are in the grand scheme of things.

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  3. We should consider ourselves lucky to live in the desert where there is so much open space with interesting land features. The area around Sedona is wonderful, and I love the desert landscapes in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Yet, when I’m asked where I go to get my “groove” back or to “chill”, I simply tell people home to our garden. We have roses and pathways cut through walls of kaleidoscopic wildflowers, a labyrinth cut in our black bamboo with places to sit and meditate. Our deck is surrounded by roses, vinca, lilies, and butterfly bushes buzzing with bees, hummingbirds and butterflies fluttering about. We can sit on our deck in the daylight and see layers of flowers, roses, bamboo and cottonwoods with glimpses of the mountains through the foliage — at night raccoons, skunks, and porcupine rustle around in the bushes and sometimes take a shortcut across the deck, scurrying under our chairs before disappearing into the darkness. The Rio Grande with it’s bosque of cottonwoods is only a few hundred feet from the edge of our property, so we can walk out the back gate, cross the ditches and be in the wilds of the cottonwood forest. We only have to go home from our hectic days at work and school to groove in our garden and chill on our deck.


    1. I went through years of hating the desert. Well, come to think of it, that’s not absolutely true. I hated admitting to living in Las Vegas. I used to call it the Southwest! But there is so much to see and do here. Also, if I tire of taking photos of old, rusted cars and trucks or rotting wooden structures, I can always turn to the Strip or Fremont St for a change of pace. Our property is in the midst of urban development but our backyard is what sold us. Pines and yuccas and chaste trees. We are visited daily by families of quail, rabbits, and an occasional coyote.

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  4. These are simply lovely shots. I spent some time in Sedona, I would live there…yeah, the glitz, and the price! But the surrounding area is so beautiful. Nice captures on a grand scale…hard to do well.


  5. I had to laugh at the commentary. I certainly don’t know what the hip language is…. pretty sure no one says hip anymore though 🙂 I haven’t traveled much to Nevada but I like the Sedona area. Not the town itself but the surrounding area and Oak Creek Canyon.

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    1. We haven’t been able to back pack as often as we used to but I have been working out in hopes that I will be able to, again. My wife is a little slower about it. She’s talking about starting an exercise regimen but has not yet begun.


  6. Very kool Emilio, I’d love to see them some day… But for now.. To find my inner me….. Lol, I settle for the lake. Sitting near the water has always relaxed me. I don’t need to be in it,just near it. We have just returned from our mnt. Range.. 3 hours north east of us… The Adirondacks and that clears the webs as well. Of course we don’t have Mnts like yours;) but I make the best with what I have;)


  7. Not a soul as far as the eye can see. Such amazing shots, Emilio. I can see why these are your happy places 🙂 I can hear the quiet and feel the breeze – and imagine what it must be like to simply stare out into the vastness of these landscapes. Wonderful!


    1. Thanks, Stacy. We’re heading out to Zion National Park in Utah this weekend- about a two hour road trip. I’m hoping to get some fall foliage but it’s questionable. I’m being told it’s too early by some, too late by others. We shall see!

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"I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment." ~ Albert Brooks

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