1 Brennan Jernigan
Comment [TL1]: Edits by Ryne Steinacker
Stowaway Feature Word Count: 1640 High on Sedona A rhythmic noise echoed off the red sandstone spires of Sedona, Arizona, . as Cory Donovan, a college student from Camarillo, California, looked for yet another foothold in the rock face. “I would hear a kind of doong-ticka-doong in the background,” Cory Donovan says. “I think it was right on the other side of the spire we were on.” Focused on the strenuous climb, Cory Donovan
Comment [TL2]: I like your title, but I think I’m supposed to suggest some, too. So, here goes: High Adventure in Sedona High-Energy Adventure in Sedona I think I prefer your current title most, though. Comment [TL3]: I felt this sentence had a few too many commas/appositives, so I split it. Making it two sentences also seems to up the action (like short bursts of energy). What do you think?
didn’t pay much attention at first. But when he got to a point of rest and began to belay his partner, he recognized the noise—it was drumming. He realized this the sound must be coming from one of Sedona’s famed “drum circles.” “We had heard of people seeking out these ‘vortexes,’ like little pockets of energy in the universe,” Cory Donovan explained. “I got the impression that [people] kind of dance around them or play music—and just sort of absorb the energy from the area.” Cory’s Donovan’s description of vortexes doesn’t sound too far off—the Sedona Chamber of Commerce describes them as “areas . . . that have highly concentrated energies conducive to prayer, meditation and
Comment [TL4]: Do we need the quotes? I felt like this phrase was understandable enough to not need special emphasis, so I took them out. Comment [TL5]: Did Donovan just forget a word in the quote? I think if he said “they,” that would work fine instead of [people].
Comment [TL6]: Something about this phrase seems out of place, like we’re being a little too hard on poor old Donovan. Could we rephrase this as something like “fits with their official definition”?
healing.” Tourists come from all over to stand in the picturesque locations among the red rocks where mystic energy fields are supposedly the strongest. Greg Stevenson, a local business owner and avid Sedona hiker, has this to say about Sedona, vortexes and all: “You know, this is a very spiritual place.” Welcome to Sedona—a place where rock climbers hear the drumming of mystics in their ears, where mountain bike rental shops mingle with crystal magic stores, and where popular hiking destinations coincide with spots of high-energy healing. While New Age spiritualists and
Comment [TL7]: Could we revise this sentence? The “You know” is throwing me off a little—maybe a bit too informal. I think the main issue for me is I’m not sure if Stevenson agrees with the New Age people, or if he isn’t very “religious” but still thinks that it’s a spiritual place. Right now it seems like he agrees and so the quote seems unnecessary, but if Stevenson is offering a different viewpoint, then let’s clarify that and keep this sentence. Comment [TL8]: This sentence is a gem. It draws me in more than anything else has before, and I feel like this is where the article’s “flow” seems to be starting.
2 wealthy middle-aged or retired tourists have long been flooding this red rock oasis of Northern Arizona, only recently have young adventure seekers begun to recognize the call of Sedona’s hundreds of day hikes, biking trails, and multi-pitch climbs. On the trails and summits of Sedona’s towering red rock formations and along the banks of its winding Oak Creek, a younger generation of travelers is discovering high energy in the form of high adventure. Moab, Eat Your Heart Out . . . The biking trails in Sedona are great for those who are looking for a bit more bang for their buck. Not only do they offer diversity, adventure, and spectacular view, but many of them also run
Comment [TL9]: GREAT sentence for wrapping up the intro and introducing what’s next.
Comment [TL10]: Can we use a more descriptive word? How about “ideal” or “perfect” or “the perfect match”?
right by designated vortex sites. Jason First, the 29-year-old co-owner of a bike shop in Sedona, cannot seem to say enough about Sedona’s great biking trails. Sedona is “relatively under the radar compared to Moab,” he says, “but I definitely think it has a lot more unique trails to offer.” While he was racing mountain bikes as a student at San Diego State, he First met a fellow racer named Michael Raney, who studied at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, about 30 miles north of Sedona. The two hit it off and became friends, and Mike Raney introduced Jason First to the world of mountain biking in Sedona. The things that most stood out to Jason First when he first rode in Sedona were the
Comment [TL11]: Stowaway’s usage manual says that last names should be used in references following an introduction. (See 8.198, “Naming people.”) I’ve changed all first names (after an intro) to be last names here and elsewhere.
“amazing views” and the “diversity”—both of the landscape and of the trails. “It’s not just red rock, but it’s actually a lot of greenery, a lot of trees,” Jason First observes. And he was impressed with how the trails were built: “They do a good job of contouring the land and using washes and slick rock and sections of trees.” So impressed was JasonFirst, in fact, that after a number of years working in the biking industry, he and Mike Raney decided to open up a bike shop in Sedona through Over the Edge Sports.
Comment [TL12]: Is this the name of the business? If not, we should probably specify the business name.
3 Jason First assures bikers that the trails in Sedona will keep them stimulated. The trails are constantly going up and down, so there’s no time to get bored on long uphill or downhill stretches. In addition, the trails don’t have a lot of straight stretches, so bikers are constantly turning. Not only are the trails themselves exciting, but their surroundings are also stunning—
Comment [TL13]: Comma to separate contrasting phrases
there are “big views” and large rock features present on nearly every trail.
Comment [TL14]: If this is part of First’s quote, let’s add a tag earlier in the sentence:
When asked about the idea of natural high-energy spots in Sedona, Jason First says that most of the vortexes are located in places already beautiful in and of themselves. “So whether
…exciting, he says, but their surroundings… Comment [TL15]: “supposed vortexes”? Or does First believe in the vortexes, too.
you feel anything or not, it’s a killer spot to go,” he says. “Every single one of them has a really good trail right next to it. That alone makes it worth it.” So how does it all compare to the more well-known red rock mountain biking in Moab?
Comment [TL16]: I like how you’re bringing the vortexes in (as compared to the first draft). It feels pretty natural and still focuses on the emphasis (biking in sweet spots).
Jason says, “[Sedona] is relatively under the radar compared to Moab, but I definitely think it has a lot more unique trails to offer.” Bold Climbers Only “You climb in Sedona, bro? Oh, this’ll be easy for you then.” Alex Wood, a 21-year-old geology
Comment [TL17]: This doesn’t seem to have as great a sense of finality as the paragraph before it, but it’d go great as part of the opening or second paragraph (where it will make more sense next to the subheading). Can we move it up to the second paragraph, as I’ve done in this document?
major from Southern California, says this is a normal thing to hear for those who make the red rocks of Sedona their playground. “[Sedona] has just been a place where bold climbers go to test themselves,” he says. Cory Donovan adds his own opinion as to why Sedona has its own brand of climbers: “Sedona kind of gets a reputation of being scary and intimidating because you’ll be climbing and
Comment [TL18]: I agree with this usage. Normally we’d just keep the last name only, but it’s been a while, so I think we’re fine using his whole name again.
then the hold you’re holding onto will just break off.” He explains that some people don’t like to
Comment [TL19]: To avoid using the word “own” twice in the same sentence.
climb there because there’s often a long hike before a climb begins, and then the sandstone isn’t even stable as you climb—in climber’s terms, it’s chossy. “But that’s exactly why other people
Comment [TL20]: I think we’ll need this explanation here, or the use of “chossy” in the next paragraph will confuse some readers. Formatted: Font: Italic
4 like it,” Cory Donovan says happily. “I think it’s kind of an adventure to have to put up with those things.” Those who feel brave enough to risk the chossy climbs in Sedona can add some of the following names to their list of conquered routes: Queen Victoria, Earth Angel, Dr. Rubo’s Wild Ride, Sedona Scenic Cruise, Goliath, the Mace, and Streaker Spire. While they are cataloguing their exciting climbs, they may also experience face-to-face encounters with passing helicopters, run-ins with rattle snakes on the approach, and jumps over 200-foot drops from spire to spire. And there are, of course, the drum circles. Like CoryDonovan, Alex Wood has climbed to the rhythm of drums—and when he reached the summit of his climb, he was happy to find the drummers cheering for him below. That’s not exactly the sort of thing climbers would experience anywhere else. But that’s exactly what makes Sedona the perfect place for climbers who want to take a
Comment [TL21]: This is actually the British usage; the US uses “cataloging.” But I think our usage looks ugly. Which would you rather use? Comment [TL22]: Can we use another phrase here? Like “extreme climbers” or “brave souls?” That way we avoid “they” again. Comment [TL23]: Merriam-Webster lists this as a closed compound word. Comment [TL24]: I’m not sure I understood this phrase. Is this what we should have it as?: “jumps from spire to spire with 200-foot drops in between them.” Comment [TL25]: Do we want to make this last sentence its own paragraph? I think it’ll be stronger as the end of the previous paragraph.
trip into the unknown—as Alex Wood puts it, “Everyone goes down there for the adventure.” Romp, Sweat, and Hike Sedona’s hiking trails number in the hundred. Not to mention that , and they a’re even open for hiking year-round. Some hiking enthusiasts have even dubbed Sedona “the day hike capital of the world.” And for others, hiking in Sedona can be something of a spiritual experience—even when no vortex is involved. Greg Stevenson, owner of the Hike House in Sedona, has met visitors from all over the world who came to Sedona this area for its hikes. He tells of one young couple from the Arctic Circle in Norway who pulled up a video online of Sedona and got it into their system. Two weeks later they were hiking among the red rocks, carrying their one-year-old baby with them from trail to trail.
Comment [TL26]: When I look at this, I keep thinking it should be “number in the hundreds.” But you mean there are about 100, right? Could we say “are more than one hundred in number” or “number more than one hundred”? Comment [TL27]: Ending a sentence with “Not to mention” might sound too informal alongside the rest of the article. What do you think?
5 Greg Stevenson cites this as only one example of the many young adults who come to Sedona as intentional travelers, not just as tourists. “A tourist is someone who blows through town, goes to Uptown [Sedona], takes a jeep tour, grabs a hotdog, and uses the public restroom, and then they’re off to their next little town,” says GregStevenson. “Tourists miss it,” he adds emphatically. In contrast to the tourist, Greg Stevenson sees a number of younger travelers who come to Sedona for an intentional interaction with nature—he argues that “while one group sees Sedona, the other group experiences Sedona.” Mia Mickey, a nineteen-year-old freshman at Northern Arizona University, sums up the appeal of Sedona this way: “I can [visit] Sedona and have an entire day of just romping around and sweating and looking at new things—and I don’t have to spend money doing that.” Sedona offers all sorts of trails. Hikers can walk, climb, and scramble over red slick rock to reach the saddle of Cathedral Rock—which is “mind-blowing,” according to MiaMickey—or they can take a hike through the Oak Creek Canyon and enjoy the large-leafed sycamores hanging over clear water. Mia Mickey recommends walking up and down the creek for those who want to get away from the more popular trails. She says there is more solitude down there, and she relatesrelating an experience when she descended from Cathedral Rock and ran into water when she wasn’t expecting it. She says it was just like entering an oasis. Whatever routes visiting hikers choose to explore, they will no doubt become acquainted with Sedona’s brilliant rock formations. “The rock is so raw. And all the reds and all that . . .” Mia Mickey trails off as she tries to put it into words. But it’s not necessary because her voice already conveys the energy she feels in Sedona. She wraps up her endorsement of Sedona saying, “When I’m there, nothing else matters.” High Energy, Meet High Adventure
6 “Because Sedona as a whole is known to be a spiritual power spot, a vortex site in Sedona is a place where one can feel Sedona’s energy most strongly.” That’s what the Sedona Chamber of Commerce tells potential tourists. But, as many adventure-loving Sedona-enthusiasts attest, a younger generation of travelers are not stopping at finding spots or places to feel Sedona’s energy—they are finding high-adventure activities that leave them connected with nature and its energy in a whole new way.
Comment [TL28]: Could we say “focused on” instead? I thought of “stopping” in the literal, physical way, which confused me for a millisecond as I kept reading the sentence. (It made me see “finding spots” as some sort of compound noun.
But that’s not to say that there is not room enough in Sedona for both types of energyseekers. Because, as Cory Donovan says about his experience with the rhythmic drumming that accompanied his climb, “It was welcomed by me and my climbing partner.” He laughs and adds, “The drummer was pretty good too.” visitsedona.com
New Age by Number
Comment [TL29]: Final article comments This was good before, and now it’s even better! Good job, Brennan. Overall I think the section structure’s good in this article, so my comments focus more on paragraph- and sentence-level issues. If you have any questions, please contact me! Thank you! -Ryne Steinacker
Sedona attracts its a fair number of tourists seeking spiritual healing, mystical forecasts, and soothing New Age awakenings. Check out the number of businesses catering to just such visitors—and remember, Sedona boasts a population of only about 12,000 people.
15 vortex or metaphysical tour companies
2 astrology services
17 energy healing or Reiki clinics
31 clairvoyant or psychic centers
3 aura aura-reading businesses
14 massage or body work locations
1 dream analyst
Comment [TL30]: Merriam-Webster favors closed punctuation/spacing.
Other Sidebar/Online Exclusive Ideas:
Three suggested hikes, three suggested bike trails, and three suggested climbs—easy, moderate, and difficult
A sidebar about the health food craze in Sedona—New Frontiers, the natural foods store, is as popular or more popular than the regular grocery store; the sidebar could talk about how this health food fits in with both New Age and outdoor recreation cultures.
Comment [TL31]: I think these are good ideas if we need any more online content. I’m guessing we won’t need any more sidebars in the article, though—right?
Published on Dec 5, 2012
This PDF shows substantive edits I made electronically (with Microsoft Word's "Track Changes" feature) for a magazine article about Sedona...