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.
  Posted by Picasa

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.