Red Rock romance

While the traditional anniversary gift often includes some sort of diamond-studded bracelet or necklace, Grant Sommer presented his wife, Laura, with a much bigger rock for their anniversary this year.

To celebrate two years of marriage in May, Grant, sales and marketing manager at Mequon-based Sommer’s Automotive, and Laura ventured out to Sedona, Ariz., where they savored panoramic views of the region’s famous Red Rock canyons and formations along with the desert landscape and forests scattered throughout.

The two, who married in Arizona, just had to hike up a trail spanning 1,800 feet of elevation gain to take in those views.

As recreational hikers, Grant and Laura have covered ground by foot throughout Wisconsin, Georgia and Colorado as well as abroad in parts of Italy and France.

“That’s our time to spend together – being outdoors, being active, seeing new things,” Grant said.

Their Sedona adventure, however, marked their most ambitious hiking expedition to date. Over the course of four hours and five miles, carrying little more than food, water, flashlights and cellphones, Grant and Laura made their way up the steep incline of Sedona’s Bear Mountain Trail and back down.

At the top, they could make out Flagstaff, Ariz., which sits a solid 30 miles northeast of Sedona, in addition to the natural landscape.

While the hike challenged the couple’s endurance, particularly for Laura who is six months pregnant, the day stands out as one of the most memorable the couple has shared.

“That day was one of the coolest days either of us has ever had,” Grant said.

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