There are three colors in Sedona: red, blue, and green. The red is rust, the blue has no depth, and the green is the color of life itself. Each is the most vivid shade imaginable. The angry sun boils the rocks so each color simmers. It looks like a black-and-white Western film retouched in Technicolor. It looks like a Remington painting.
The rock faces split into natural shelves—each layer representing another 10,000 years of sediment. From afar, each rock thumb looks like an unscalable slope. Up close, they are stairways with a million steps.
I sprinted along these slanted steps. The red rock face towered above me and the gaping green valley lay below. I was a mountain goat. I scampered up a jutting cliff. Climbing up was easy, climbing down was hard. I realized that limestone is a flaky, untrustworthy foothold, and that spotters are very important.
In Sedona I felt like a desert animal.