Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fossil Hunt

A few weeks ago (November 19), I had gone on a short hike near FR 80 and thought I had found some fossils. I speculated that they were cross sections of sticks, but that didn't seem right. Then I remembered that I know somebody in the Dallas area that takes his classes out on fossil hunts. I sent an email today hoping that he could identify what I had pictures of. Anyway, I went out there again today planning to get a better look at the "fossils". I also had some ideas of what I wanted to look for to help determine whether they were fossils or just funky rocks. Unfortunately I didn't leave the house early enough and the sun was very low by the time I got to the fossils. I couldn't find the ones I had photographed before and the ones I found today didn't look as good. Click below to open a new window with the pictures.

The first picture shows something with a spiral shape. I can't imagine how a rock could get a spiral shape, so maybe it is a fossil.

I did a little web searching and decided that some of the fossils I had found before might be cross sections of crinoid stems. The next picture shows a couple of what might be crinoid heads, the part that catches food floating by in the water. Come on, it doesn't take a LOT of imagination to see that.

At first glance, the next picture looks like it might be cross sections of crinoid stems. But then you see that a couple of them seem to overlap; not something you would expect to see crinoid stems do. Then you notice some round nodules. There are a lot of those out there. Some are broken in half. They have the same radial pattern as seen in this picture. Just rocks. I'd like to know how the nodules form, though.

The next picture is a trapdoor spider hole. He wasn't home. I'm surprised he left the door open. Maybe something happened to him.

Next is a lousy picture of the canyon next to the fossils. I included it to show how deep the canyon is, though I don't think this picture really does that. Down at the bottom of the picture you will see some light patches. The next picture is zoomed in all the way (12x) on those light patches. You can see that there are some mines down there and the light patches are the rock that was dug out of them. I'd like to go check out the mines but I'm not sure how to get there. The canyon walls are pretty much straight up and down. The people that dug them got there, though. I'll find a way. In the zoomed in picture, you will notice that there are trees with colored leaves. Maybe cottonwoods. Whatever they are, they require more water than one typically finds where they are located. I wouldn't be surprised to see them on the canyon floor, but not up the side like that. I wonder if the water they get is a result of the mines, since they seem to be in the tailings.

The remaining pictures are just pretty stuff. Well, it looked pretty while I was there. I hope the pictures look nice, too. Having a camera with 12x zoom makes it easier to get good sunset pictures. Only a very small patch of the sky had the pretty red colors. Zoom in enough, though, and the whole picture is colorful.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A hike near Stewart Mountain

As you drive south on Bush Highway past Saguaro Lake, you can see some beautiful mountains up ahead. There are often cars stopped along that stretch of road as people take pictures. There is a canyon that goes up into those mountains and I've wanted to hike up that canyon for a while. I could get there from the Blue Point entrance to Bulldog Canyon, but it would be a long hike just to get to where I want to start hiking. I could park close to where I want to start hiking (which is what I did today), but then I have to cross the Salt River. Well, the river has looked really low the past couple of weeks, so I thought I might be able to wade across or use some stepping stones. Click below to open a new window with the pictures.

The first picture is looking in the direction I wanted to go. Look how hazy it is. This morning the air reminded me of Houston (except it didn't stink). It didn't look foggy, but I couldn't see the Superstition Mountains from my house. It was like they had dissapeared. Anyway, the canyon I wanted to hike up is on the left side of the picture.

The next picture is taken at the edge of the river. I couldn't get across without getting my feet soaked. The water is too cold to wade barefoot. Besides, with all the tubers here in the summer, there have got to be some broken beer bottles in there. There was an interesting dead tree by the river (next picture), so the short hike down to the river wasn't a total loss.

The next picture is a small peak across the road that I decided to climb. It's much bigger and steeper than it looks in the picture (isn't that always the case, though?).

There were a lot of pretty rocks on the way up. Some of them looked like big chunks of iron. The next picture is of a magnet I stuck to the side of one of them. The magnet also stuck to a lot of greenish colored rocks.

Next is the view from near the top. My truck is the middle one of the three parked there.

I found a USFS Control Pt up there. I couldn't figure out what it controlled, though ;-) I pushed it, pulled it, and wiggled it around but nothing happened.

Then there are a couple of ladscape pictures I took while at the top. I took 63 pictures today but most look pretty boring. I can blame the haze this time. A neat thing about haze is that is allows you to show distance in a photograph. I need to work on making use of that.

I just decided to add the last picture. Looks like a B-25 to me.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Lauren's car

Lauren bought her Focus last night. Click below to see pictures. Unfortunately, it's very cloudy today. The backgrounds didn't turn out very good in the pictures.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Four Peaks

I made another poorly planned trip to Four Peaks today. Maybe someday I'll remember that it takes 3 hours to drive up there and I'll remember to take along some food. It was also cold and windy and threatening to rain up there, so I wasn't very enthusiastic about hiking anyway. Kyle and I did walk about a quarter mile along one trail. There were very nice views of Roosevelt Lake. Couldn't get very good pictures with the overcast skies, though.

The first picture is an almost dead tree. It has one branch up there somewhere that still has some needles. The next two are Roosevelt Lake. In better light the surrounding mountains are much more colorful. The fourth picture is snow. Not a lot of it, but we did see some. I could see more closer to the peaks. All of the snow was on the north side of the mountain.

Next is four pictures stitched together for a long panorama. On the left side you can see Phoenix's polution.

The last picture is a sign at the trailhead at the end of the road. Look closely to see what somebody added to the bottom of the sign. I don't think they enjoyed their hike very much.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bulldog Canyon

Today I went for a short hike in Bulldog Canyon. It wasn't a very long hike. I'm out of shape and my foot hurt. I stepped on a rock or something. It's really starting to hurt after sitting around for a while. I didn't take a lot of pictures this time. Instead, I video taped a lot (got a video camera for Christmas). I was thinking that I would make a video of an entire hike, starting with filling up my water bottle at home, including the drive out there and back, and everything in between. After watching the 20 minute video I made today, I realize that that would be way too boring for anybody to watch. I'm not sure how I would distribute it, either. I'll think of something.

The pictures (click below) are of a cholla skeleton and a couple of strange saguaros. The first saguaro looks like a face. The second one reminds me of Sideshow Bob.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A foggy day

It was overcast most of yesterday and actually rained in the evening. It's been about 3 months since it has rained. I think most of the valley got about 1/4 inch of rain. I thought it would be clear today but it was foggy all morning (which is unusual; second time I've seen fog in almost 4 years). Anyway, Kyle and I decided to drive out to Canyon Lake after lunch. This first picture is the Superstition Mountains. It was still a little hazy and stayed that way all day in the valley.

The air was clear out at the lake.
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Monday, December 18, 2006

An extremely short hike

On the way home from work today, I noticed that the clouds looked like they might be good for some sunset pictures. I got the camera and headed out to the road that goes to the First Water trailhead (just past Lost Dutchman State Park on Apache Trail). It was a short hike because I got to a decent place for taking pictures of the sunset within 200 feet of the truck.

The sunset didn't turn out as spectacular as I had hoped. I did find some other interesting stuff out there. The first picture shows a memorial. These seem to be fairly common along Apache Trail. I've found them from the Superstitions to Lake Roosevelt. They are usually a very short distance from a place to park. Sometimes you can see ashes scattered around them. I didn't see any around this one.

What I came across next just seemed seemed funny. For some reason I pictured a bunch of animals sitting around and one of them tells the newcomer, "This is an exclusive club. To show that you are worthy, you have to crap on that cholla ball over there." That's too dangerous of an initiation ritual for me.

While I was waiting for the sun to set, it came through some clouds and almost lit up Four Peaks off in the distance. That's in the third picture. I was on that ridge on the left side of the picture a few blogs back.

I wish I could have recorded the coyotes, but I couldn't remember how to turn on the microphone with this camera fast enough, and they didn't howl for very long. They were close enough for once that I could have recorded them, but they didn't howl for very long. I'm going to practice so I'll be ready next time.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mount Graham

Suzanne and I spent part of the weekend in Safford. It's not your typical tourist destination. In fact, it wasn't easy talking Suzanne into going there. I think the thing that convinced her was the fact that there was going to be snow and ice up on the Mogollon Rim, which was her first choice. We'll go there when it warms up a little.

The reason we went to Safford is because it's next to Mount Graham, which is a really big mountain that I've been wanting to check out for several years now. There's a road to the top, which is really nice since I don't think I could get to the top of a mountain that is over 9000 feet tall without a road. Unfortunately, the road is closed near the top this time of year. That wasn't too big of a deal today, though, because the top of the mountain was covered in cloud. If we could have gone further on the road, we just would have seen more fog.

Click here to open a new window with a map/satellite view centered on where I took a short hike while up there. You can zoom in or out and pan around to check out the area. Safford is to the NNE.

Click below to see the pictures. I didn't get any really good ones. I'll just have to go back and try again.

The first picture is what Mt Graham looked like at 8:30 this morning. I took the picture despite the bad location in case the clouds were gone later. I needn't have worried about that, though. Next is a pine tree covered in frozen fog. The wind was really blowing up there and the cloud droplets were freezing on the trees. I saw 3 or 4 snowflakes, too. Click here to see a video of clouds blowing through trees.

It was pretty cold up there. I saw my thermometer get down to 30 (remember, I'm from "the valley"). That didn't keep the turkeys off the road, though. No, not the numbskull drivers. Real turkeys. They're in the next picture.

Next is the view from a short hike I took. It kind of reminded me of the view from the South Rim in Big Bend. I wasn't prepared for that hike. It was 35 degrees there and it seemed like I always had a 20 mph wind blowing in my face. I tried to smile for the next picture (a self portrait) but my face was a little stiff. I'm wearing the earmuffs that Suzanne gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. My ears were toasty warm. Oh, so nice. I wasn't prepared for hiking in such cold, windy weather, so I didn't go far and was I very very careful to note landmarks every few feet and retrace my steps exactly (no shortcuts) to get back to the truck. The camera and batteries got so cold that it wouldn't take pictures. I had to keep it inside my jacket. I could take 2 or 3 pictures before it would give up again. I called Suzanne from the end of the trail (she wisely waited in the truck) but I think the phone isn't designed to work in very cold weather, either.

The next picture is the only part of the trail where I wasn't buffetted by wind. It felt so nice, I took a picture. The last picture is one of several squirrels we saw up there. You can also see a little bit of snow at the bottom of the picture. There were small patches of snow here and there.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


This morning Paul (a coworker) and I went for a hike on one of the trails at the end of Meridian road. It's a pretty day and it was a nice hike. I didn't get any really good pictures of the scenery, though. Here's a good picture of Paul after he took a picture of that saguaro behind him.
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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bulldog Canyon. Yeah!

I tried to hike in an uninteresting part of Bulldog Canyon OHV area today, but that's hard to do. It's all cool. I parked in the middle of a "flat" area and walked in a direction where I didn't think I would be close to any trails. I thought I was a long way from where anybody else would ever go. However, I found a balloon with a rock on top of it and fresh horse hoof prints. Balloons don't crawl under rocks and there aren't any wild horses out there. There can't be anyplace that people haven't set foot around here. I guess that shouldn't be surprising with so many people around.

I took lots of pictures of saguaros today. The first picture is a saguaro skeleton. The next one looks like a couple of saguaros that are about to take ten paces, turn around, and shoot. There bases are a little discolored. It looks like there was a fire in this area a while ago. I don't know how to estimate such things but I'm guessing the fire happened about 30 years ago. There are other places near here that you can tell there were more recent fires and I've found records that say they happened in '79 and '81.

Cholla cacti seem to grow in clusters. I took the next picture from the middle of one of those clusters. Fortunately, there is always space between them. Otherwise you would have to take long detours around the clusters. There isn't anything outstanding about the picture. In fact, there are some things about it that I don't like. When I look at it, though, it just seems warm and inviting, like a picture of home. It makes me think of sitting in a big soft chair in front of a warm fire in a cozy room, sipping on hot chocolate with little marshmallows floating in it, and there is nothing urgent that needs to be done and no bills to be paid and no calls to be returned. Just peace and warmth. I don't know why it makes me think of that, but it does.

The last picture is a saguaro on its last legs. It looks almost dead but it is still putting out new growth. It looks like it is taking a bow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back to Bulldog Canyon, finally.

I finally got out for a hike today. Spent most of yesterday getting my tires taken care of and working on the pool. Worked on the pool some more today. I think I need to clean the filters next. Anyway, it was good to get away from all that for a couple of hours.

I went to a place that I've been to several times before, so I didn't post a lot of pictures. In the first picture, there is a cliff wall in the center of the picture. I hiked to the base of that cliff. The third picture is a small "cave" in the side of a wash that some critter stuffed with teddy bear cholla cactus balls. The last picture is a saguaro that looks wrinkled. I think it's caused by disease or a genetic defect or something. I see saguaros like this now and then and the ones around them never have the same deformity.

Don't have time to write much. Gotta do laundry, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, then pick up Lindsey at the airport.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One of the reasons...

I haven't been hiking for a long time. Been traveling and taking care of other stuff. Here's a picture of one of the things I had to take care of. Now that that is out of the way I can get back to hiking. After I drive this out to Canyon Lake and back, that is.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another hike near FR80

There's a side road off of FR80 that looks like it doesn't go anywhere. I confirmed that today. I went down it a little ways and decided to hike to the top of a hill near there, to see what the view was like. I figured I would have a view of another hill, or something equally boring. The view was great, though. Click on the picture below to see all of the pictures.

The first picture shows the boring hill. The next nine are the view in various directions. There was other cool looking stuff, but the lighting wasn't good so I didn't include those pictures.

Next is what looks to me like fossilized wood. The next picture has what looks like more fossilized wood. Also, all the circular things look kind of like cross sections of sticks. I say "kind of" because they seem to have a radial pattern instead of rings. Maybe some plants have that, though. Hey, maybe there's an advantage to being ignorant. You won't know things that shoot down your theories. Make up things to explain the facts and charge ahead. Reminds me of something that's been in the news lately...

Anyway, back to the stick cross sections. Notice that there are also some circular depressions. If you look in the right place you will also see some circular bumps. Hmm. The next picture has more of the "cross sections".

Then there's a couple of pictures of some of my fingers. Oh, and they're holding a rock. The rock is mostly spherical, except for the parts that broke off. The center is chewy chocolate small crystalline quartz (I'm guessing) and it has an outer shell of something else (kind of like an M&M). The next picture shows lots of the "nodules" stuck toghether. There were also a lot of unbroken spheres laying around. Anyway, the point of all this is that I started to think that maybe the "cross sections" were actually these spheres imbedded in rock and not fossils. I'm going to go back out there some time and spend a couple of hours looking at rocks and see if I can figure it out.

The last picture is a stick that I was carrying back to the truck. Looks like there's a bark scorpion in it. That scared me. It's just the exoskeleton, though.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


No hike today. Instead, Suzanne, Lauren, and I drove up to Sedona. We got a late start and there wasn't anyplace to park by the time we got there. We did make a stop at the chappel, though, which is where I took these pictures.

The girls also found some Navajo jewelry they needed at the top of Oak Creek Canyon. They had some very pretty vases and pottery there. I'd like to get some, but I don't know where I'd put it. We've just about got more clutter than our house will hold.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A hike near FR80 (close to Apache Lake)

I decided to try hiking in the middle of the day today. It was in the low 70's. There was a little too much sunshine for me, though. Click below to see all of the pictures.

The first picture shows a narrow canyon with a big rock wedged in the top. I wanted to hike down that canyon but it starts off with a big pouroff that I couldn't get past. Well, I could have gotten down to the bottom, but then there was another big pouroff just a little further downstream. Click here to see a video of the pouroff.

I hiked along the top of the canyon for a little ways. I stopped because it was about to get dangerous. I don't hike somewhere that if I fell and slid or rolled a little ways, I would fall off a cliff. It was getting steep along the side of the canyon. Click here to see a video of the cliff I could have fallen off of.

I seem to have trouble getting good pictures when the sun is so high. There are a couple of others on the web page but I don't like the way they turned out. There's also a picture of an Elmo baloon that I found tangled up in a cholla out there. That reminds me, I need to get a bunch of beer bottles and cans out of the back of my truck.

This was the first time I used my new backpack. For years I've used one of Kyle's old school backpacks. I didn't want anything fancy, and I kind of liked the stick figure break dancers that Kyle had drawn on it. They look like the petroglyphs in Hieroglyphic Canyon. But I was in a sporting goods store a couple of weeks ago and looked at backpacks. They had a stiffener in them that would keep them from rolling up when full of water bottles, gold ore, or whatever. They also are designed to keep your back from getting so hot. I decided I needed one but they were $40 to $90, which seems rediculous for a backpack. Well, yesterday I happened to be on Power road (long sad story) and decided to check out the backpacks at Big 5. They had a bunch on sale for half price. I got a fancy Nike backpack for $20. It has pockets and zippers and cubby holes all over the place. I'm going to loose stuff in there. It has stiff mesh on the part that's against your back so that air can circulate. It works, too. My back didn't get soaked like it usually does. Sometimes the old tried and true things work, but sometimes the fancy schmancy new stuff is good, too.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I didn't plan to go for a hike today, but I was out near Canyon Lake and couldn't resist hiking up a very small mountain. I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures. When I got back to where I parked, I noticed tire tracks going off the road. Going off the road near Canyon Lake is a very bad thing to do. What might knock your car out of alignment most other places will kill you there. I followed the tracks down into the ravine and found a lot of glass and smashed rocks. It looked fresh, less than a week old. I found a place nearby where another car had gone off, probably a few months ago. It burned. There were blobs of molten metal.

I decided to put an old picture here, to see if it can be displayed on the blog. It's a 360 panoramic view from the top of Lone Mountain.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

The pump motor

This is one of the reasons I haven't been hiking much lately. See that white stuff? Mineral deposits. They show where the water was leaking out. I took the motor off when I got home today and hurried over to the Shasta store. No charge for the repairs since I bought the motor just a month ago and was assured that there would be no leaks. The pump was leaking so much that the fake river in the back yard has water in it. I'm not going to put the pump back on tonight. Too muddy back there.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

What I climbed yesterday.

Here's a couple of pictures of the small mountain that I climbed yesterday. These were taken from the "Weaver's Vista Viewpoint" parking lot. Seems like a repetitively redundant name to me, but that's what the sign says.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Between Canyon Lake and the Superstition Mountains

It's been a long time since I went for a hike. Just too many things to do this week, and the sun sets so early. This afternoon I was thinking about all the things still pending on my to-do list and decided that I needed to go for a hike. Last week I had pointed to a small mountain near Canyon Lake and told Lauren that I was going to climb it some day. Today was the day.

I wish I had a picture of it. I'll have to post one later. I didn't take a picture on the way there and it was too dark on the way home. The top was only .4 miles from where I parked, and slightly less than 700 feet higher. Since I've been a desk jockey all week, it was a challenge. The ground was very rocky and hard to walk on. I slipped and fell three times (not on a cactus, praise the Lord). My ankles are tired from the constant strain of keeping them from twisting. Gee, all that makes it sound like a pain. I had a blast. The views were fantastic. I'll do it again tomorrow if I'm not too sore.

Click here to see pictures from the hike. The first is of the Superstition Mountains. The next 4 are various views from near the top of the mountain I was climbing. The next three are views of Four Peaks. In the next one you can see the road to Canyon Lake. You can also see a dirt road that seems to be a service road for all the power lines through this area. Then there's a picture of Weaver's Needle, named after Pauline Weaver, who had to have been a tough guy with a name like that. Next is a stand of teddy bear cholla. That sounds so cute, but they're like Chucky. I was walking past them and thought I was being careful about where I put my feet when I felt something hit the back of my leg. The feeling included the sensation of spines sinking into my skin. Under high magnification you can see that the spines are covered with what look like fish scales. The scales are oriented so the spines go in easily but are difficult to pull out. I carry pliers in my backpack just for occassions such as this. I had to get them out and pull the cholla ball off without putting my backpack down, so it wouldn't get covered in cholla spines. I've put it down in situations like this before and it isn't fun when you put it back on. I got another one of those things stuck on the back of my left leg later but it didn't get into the flesh. I knocked it off with Kimberly's stick.

I put the last picture here. It's a small animal's femur.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bulldog Canyon, again!

Today started out gloomy, which is unusual for Phoenix. It even sprinkled while I was working on the pool this morning. The clouds started breaking up in the afternoon, though, so I headed out to Bulldog Canyon. The pictures are here. I took 75 pictures but didn't like the way most of them turned out. It's hard to get good pictures of mountains when there are clouds and the picture I took of the Olympia beer can is out of focus.

Anyway, the 4 best pictures are there. Dinner is here. Gotta go!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Working the Arizona Trail

I don't have any pictures from today's hike. It was a doozy, too. About 50 people from Medtronic and I met at the big camping area at Bushnell Tanks and then hiked out to a section of the Arizona Trail. It was a 2 or 3 mile hike out to the work area. We spent the morning and then a couple of hours after lunch working on a section of the trail. Then that long hike back. I have a new appreciation for the trails on which I hike now. That was very hard work. The toughest part was removing cat claw acacias that were in the trail path. We also had to move some very large rocks. If I get any pictures from anybody else next week, I'll put them here. Right now I think I'll relax for a while.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A late hike at the end of Meridian road

I was lazy over the weekend and didn't go for a hike, even though we had perfect weather. I had to go for a hike today. It was overcast. I went to the end of Meridian road because it's close and it was getting dark fast. When I got there it was eerily quiet. Maybe the clouds were soaking up any sound. I decided to try to get to the top of a hill there before it got too dark. You can see the hill in the center of this map. I measured how far I climbed with my GPS receiver. It sure seemed like more than 370 feet. Maybe that's because I was trying to hurry, though.

I got to the top just in time to get some pictures of the sunset. I didn't have a tripod, it was dark, I was breathing hard, and my heart was pounding, so most of them are blurred. Also, I set the camera to ISO 200 in an attempt to improve the shutter speed, so the pictures are grainy. Click here to see the pictures. BTW, there are only sunset pictures because it was too dark to take pictures of anything else.

In the second and third pictures, the group of tall buildings on the left is downtown Phoenix. The group of tall buildings on the right is ASU. I'm not sure what the two hills between the groups of tall buildings are. It would have helped if I could have figured out what road that is going between them. It was getting dark fast, though, so I started down as soon as I was done taking pictures. I might as well have stayed a while, though. It was dark long before I got back to the truck. No moon tonight, either. I didn't need it, though. Remember those clouds? The city lights reflecting from them provided at least as much light as a quarter moon. When I got back on the regular trail I had enough light to easily avoid the "calling cards" left by the dogs people take on hikes with them on that trail.

I was wishing I had my hiking stick while I was on the side of the hill. My balance doesn't seem to be as good in the dark. I gave the cacti a wide berth in case I teetered in their direction. I made a mental note to stay far far away from cliff edges when it's dark.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lauren and I went to check out the Fountain Hills fountain today. I took some pictures but the one that Lauren took turned out best.
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yet another hike in Bulldog Canyon

I really like Bulldog Canyon OHV area. It's close, it's quiet, and it's beautiful. Several times today I just stopped and listened to the gnats buzz and a few birds twittering off in the distance. Pictures are here.

In the first picture, I was trying to get Lauren in the picture, but she was trying to get out of the way. She got too close to that cholla behind her. That's why she's grimacing.

The second picture is almost a silhouette of Lauren perched on a rock. The third is about the 53rd picture I've taken of that mountain, but it's the first from that particular angle.

The last picture is included for its humorous content. You're not laughing. Look closely. You're still not laughing. Well, I guess it isn't that funny. I should have tried to find a more appropriate cactus on which to put them.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another short hike in Bulldog Canyon OHV area

I went for a short hike in Bulldog Canyon OHV area this afternoon. I wanted to get some cool pictures, but I don't think I succeeded. I got one picture of a tarantula that's OK. He was in a shady spot, though, so the pictures that I thought would be good are blurred. There's a picture of a mountain that is nice, but I've probably taken a hundred pictures of that mountain. When I look at it now, I think to myself, "I have enough pictures of that. I can just look at it and enjoy it now." I've been doing that with a lot of sunsets lately (but I still seem to take a lot of sunset pictures).

Have you ever tried to take an unusual picture that you thought would be interesting, but it wasn't? That's what the last picture looks like. I included it because I think it's funny. It looks like I dropped the camera.

I guess I'll just have to go out and get some better pictures. Woohoo!

Oh, click HERE to see the pictures.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Apache Trail

It was a pretty day today, with fluffy clouds scattered around. I figured Lindsey wouldn't feel like going for a hike, so we drove to Roosevelt Lake on Apache Trail. All of the pictures here were taken at the Reavis Ranch trailhead, overlooking Apache Lake. Apache Lake is being drained to do some work on the dam. You can tell that it is low in the pictures. One shows how sand and gravel coming down side canyons into the lake just piles up where it enters the water.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hike to a ridge in Bulldog Canyon OHV area

I installed the new pool pump motor this morning. 274.21 smackaroos. You would think such a fine motor would last more than a year and a few months.

But that has nothing to do with hiking. This afternoon (I can't seem to get out of the habit of hiking in the late afternoon) I hiked up to a ridge in Bulldog Canyon OHV area. There were a lot of people there today. It was only 76 when I hit the trail and 68 when I got back to the truck. Very nice. Click here to open a new browser window with the pictures.

The second picture shows a major wash that goes through the area. My truck is parked near where a road crosses that wash. There are two things that look like roads. The real road is the one on the right. The two peaks on the left are Stewart Mountain and something else. This picture has almost enough resolution to see the billboard just to the left of the peak on the right. I don't know what that shiny thing is just to the right of the center of the picture.

The next two pictures are of the Fountain Hills fountain. It's a really really big fountain.

I've been up on this ridge before. I tried to show what it was like with pictures, but that didn't work. This time I made some short movies. I uploaded them to Google Videos. Click here and here to see them. Sorry about all the wind noise in the second one. The second one also shows some people on ATVs and a couple of SUVs. My camera will take pictures while making a movie. That's what the click is during the second movie. There are a lot of other noises in that video; the lens cover blowing against the camera, rocks crunching underfoot, wind, etc. No birds singing. The only bird I remember hearing on this hike was a crow. Never did see it, though.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Too dark

I got home early today but had to work on the pool pump. The motor bearings went out. I removed the motor from the pump and took it to the Shasta store. The motor guy was busy so I left it. Twenty minutes later, when I was almost home, they called and said it was ready. Rats. I didn't want to turn around and drive all the way back there, so I did the only logical thing and went for a hike. By now it was getting late so I went to the end of Idaho road, which is nearby. It was too dark to get any decent pictures. Here's one anyway.


If it isn't raining too hard tomorrow I should be able to get some pictures. Check back. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Ring Bearer Cache

The sun sets too early these days. By the time Lauren and I got to the ring bearer cache, it was almost too dark to take any pictures. When I was parking the truck, Lauren spotted a coyote behind some trees. I tried to get a picture of it, but the shutter speed was 1/15 so it's blurred. By the time I made adjustments, the coyote was hiding. See the pictures here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bulldog Canyon, 10/8/06

I went for a hike in Bulldog Canyon OHV area today. It was cooler today (85) but humid. There were showers around town earlier in the day. I didn't drive too far into the area. I didn't want to be trapped by a flooded wash if it rained some more. The trouble with being so close to Bush Highway and the Salt River, though, is that you find beer cans and cigarette butts all over the place. I gathered up some cans and other trash while I was out there.

Since this is my first day with the blog and it's late, I'm going to keep it simple and just put a link to my Google web album. Click here to open a new browser window with the pictures.

In the first picture, you can see Bush Highway and the Salt River in the distance. That's my truck parked in the shade of a saguaro. The next picture is a cholla skeleton. I think they look neat.

A lot of the pictures I took were of clouds. When I started the hike there were some clouds on the southern horizon. They looked like they were far away, at least 50 miles. By the time I left (about two hours later), the edges of the clouds were overhead. I saw lots of lightening while driving home and it got very windy, but no rain where I was. You can see the clouds in some of these pictures. There's one goofy pictures with a different perspective on the sunset.