"I believe I exist within a holographic reality program, an intelligently designed futuristic entertainment simulation, for which I directly programmed certain experiences, relationships, lessons and issues before I was born. Looking back over my life – I’ll be 73 in March - I see nothing that would convince me otherwise, quite the opposite." -Peter Gersten

People say Couchsurfing is dangerous. I say couchsurfing is an adventure. Peter Gersten, one of my latest hosts, is a perfect example of why I would rather travel from couch to couch then hotel room to hotel room.



Sedona, Arizona. A place of magical red rocks and often unexplained forces from other possible dimensions. On the tour of the southwest, we had no intentions of going to Sedona...until we found Peter.

Peter will allow couchsurfers into his home under one condition: he must take them to the top of Bell Rock. By Winter Solstice of 2018 he needs to lead 1,111 people to the top in order to gain access to a portal passing by. After reading this on his profile, I was completely sold on making an extra drive to Sedona.

And boy, was I glad we went.

Sedona is STUNNING. Unreal! Magnificent! By far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I would have hated myself for missing such a beautiful area otherwise.




We arrived on Christmas Day and climbed the Twin Buttes at sunset. The sun setting over Cathedral Rock was a sight no picture could compare. I complained the whole way up, still sore from hiking 17 miles in the Grand Canyon the day before (be prepared for that post), but it was worth it...even if I got stuck on the side of a cliff a few times.

At dusk we arrived at Peter's, who welcomed us with open arms. Couchsurfing often means you sleep on someone's couch...but at Peter's we were spoiled with a bedroom. After sleeping in the car for the past two nights in 15-degree weather, any bed was a 5-star bed.

His home is filled with different art forms of Bell Rock. Watercolor paintings, wood carvings, license plates, you name it; Peter has it.



Bell Rock: By Peter Gerston


And what is so special about Bell Rock you may ask? I'll let Peter do the talking.

"I live in Sedona Arizona, a magical and mystical location where I guide beautiful people to the top of 600’ magnificent red rock that symbolizes an inter-dimensional portal, a rift in time and space leading to the metaphoric galactic center. In a little over 2 years, I have taken 694 people to the top of Bell Rock – each becoming a member of the Top of Bell Rock Club (TBRC). I believe I need to bring 1111 people to the top by the winter solstice of 2018 to access this portal which will pass over that location on that day at 22:22 UT." - Peter Gersten

With that being said, the morning of December 26th came and we rose and prepared for the climb to the top.




There is no trail to the top. You must go the way you're led. Peter leads and you walk side by side for a couple miles as he tells you about his life, his goals and why he loves Couchsurfing. He's a great conversationalist. And he was a UFO lawyer. "From 1977 to 2000 I represented UFO groups in lawsuits against the various agencies of the Federal Government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I was known as the UFO Lawyer". Bet you can't put that on your resume, huh?

Climbing Bell Rock is much more mental than physical. It is a free climb, no ropes or handrails to help you. But it's not difficult. If climbers can carry a cello, an unborn baby and an 8-month-old to the top, you too can succeed.

Around 12:30pm we stood on the summit. My boyfriend was #664, I was officially #665. We had joined the TBRC.




Peter requires everyone who comes to the top to stand on three platforms. He documents every climber he brings and will take a lot of fun pictures. We decided to jump on top of every platform for our photo shoot, which Peter stated had never been done before. We were then named the "Jumping Champions of the TBRC". Boo ya!

Above the third and final platform is a small box mounted to the rock. This is known as the "Prayer Box". Everyone who stands here writes their feelings, hopes and dreams on a piece of paper and places it inside. When you reach the box is also when Peter casually tells you "Hey, by the way, before I take you down you need to answer a riddle. If you can't answer it I can't take you down. But I'll bring you back up some Chinese if you get hungry."

Oh sweet baby Jesus.

I obviously can't tell you the riddle, because that would take the fun out of the return. But needless to say, we didn't get stranded and made it down as scheduled. 😉




It doesn't matter if you believe is portals, another dimension, aliens or not. Climbing Bell Rock with Peter is an experience that will empower you. I felt massive amounts of energy standing at the top, whether it was adrenaline, an inter-dimensional force or just my breakfast settling weird, I will never know. But Peter is an inspiration. He is currently recovering from cancer and even though the last few months were very difficult mentally and physically for him, he still had the energy to take us and show us the place which holds such a big piece of his heart. And for that, I am forever grateful.

One last message from Peter,

"So are you ready to join the TBRC and help me reach my goal?"

Find him on Facebook: Peter Alan Gersten

Or reach him by email: [email protected]




  1. farlane on January 14, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    That’s a fascinating tale! I’m definitely adding this to my next southwest trip.

  2. brucegezon on January 14, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    Shalee, what a great story and adventure. Thanks for sharing. I have had Sedona on my bucket list for some time now. I just moved it up closer to the top of the list and will definitely be contacting Peter to earn my membership of the TBRC.

  3. Tina on December 28, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    We just climbed Bell Rock with Peter yesterday, amazing experience. Everyone should go with him to the top!

  4. The supers on December 4, 2016 at 8:12 AM

    Enjoyed your article! You have a fun writing style!
    Miss you & Josh a ton! Safe travels …….and keep the pics coming!

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