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Photo of The Day: Proud Fatherhood Reveals Itself in The Darnedest Places

Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF24-105mm | Setting: f/18, 1/80 sec, ISO 100

"Oh really?" The conversation with Brodie (his name's not Brodie, I'm just protecting the guilty) had found a climax. "We're headed to Gonzaga Bay that same day. We should caravan down together."

And so it was. Brodie's family of three, plus "one in the oven," and our family met on the north side of the Mexican border at Yuma, then drove to San Felipe. It took forever . . .

Gallery: Road Trip to Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is just up the road from us and alive with decidedly ultimate beauty. For all of these reasons, and much to our loss, we rarely go and experience the soaring, fire-red buttes, the still trickles of Oak Creek's lesser tributaries, and the whisper that drifts through the hidden canyons. Sure, the area has its crowds but you can find its desolate gems if you're handy with a map. It's all here, hikes, bike trails, dirt roads, killer views, Puebloan ruins, perennial creeks.

But this time we said why not? For the first time in a while, it was just us, our little family of three for this road trip. And that always produces something extra special.

Photo of The Day: Dad's Old Lantern Keeps Burning

My buddy Dave has this lantern, a classic liquid fuel lantern you pump with your hand to get the pressure you need. It's not that old, from the early 80s. And as you surely do not doubt, it's got a ding or two from road wear. And road wear is good. Dave's now in his 30s. As we all get older, we get our markings and dings left by the hard work and courage required of living in this world. However, nothing quite sends a shudder through your life as sharply as the hard blow delivered by the sudden . . .

Gallery: 10 Things to Love About Adventure in Arizona

Awesome tree swing in Arizona

Today Arizona celebrates 100 years of statehood. Most states in the union have already celebrated the centennial mark, only Hawaii and Alaska have yet to hit 100 years — Arizona was the last of the 48 contiguous to be admitted.  As a state, Arizona is young, but it's been here a long time before the Pilgrims were setting up shop in Plymouth.

I was born in Arizona in 1976 and learned to ride a bike, drive a car, kiss a girl, rig a belay, pack a backpack, mount a horse, winch a Jeep, paddle a kayak, leap into a swimming hole all right here in this fine state. Indeed, the conception of my own daughter took place in a cozy tent under a moonless sky out there in the Bradshaws. I have yet to explore it all, but I'm trying. And if there's anything I've learned, Arizona has just about everything to give you your fix. Here are 10 of 'em as seen through my camera.

Photo of The Day: Somewhere, There's a Sunrise on a Sandstone Canyon

Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF16-35mm f/2.8L | Setting: f/8, 1/20, ISO 100

On the fifth morning of a seven-day road trip I woke up just before dawn to trek three miles to the edge of Canyon de Chelly, the famous canyon in the Navajo Nation. My tripod and camera bag were ready, and I was amped with hopes of capturing a frame of the fiery glow of sunrise on sandstone.

But . . .

My daughter heard me creep out of the tent.

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