Sedona, AZ, 15 December, 2012 - Ten years ago, as Reuters photographer John Hillery and myself rounded a curve on Arizona Service Route 89 in a pre-production and completely revamped 2002 Ford Explorer, we came face-to-face with at least a 2 ton boulder blocking the roadway. There was no place to go; going around on the left would have placed us perilously close to the road edge and an estimated 1,000 ft. drop. Going to the right was out of the question.
The only choice was to stop, hopefully, in time.
We had four things working to our advantage: 1. Anti-lock braking (ABS) 2. New for Explorer anti-dive geometry 3. Lighter weight. and 4. Driving skills (John’s) presumed adequate. Thankfully, all these aspects combined to stop us just a hairsbreadth from this massive boulder which would have made short work of our vehicle - and perhaps us - had we impacted it.
Fast forward to 15 December, 2012, again headed to Sedona, this time for lunch at the renowned and highly recommended by my driving companion, L'Auberge de Sedona Resort and its Restaurant on Oak Creek.