Monday, August 31, 2009

Forest Road 201

I had lots of things to do on Saturday, so I didn't get out for a hike then. One of the things we did was go to a party. I know, you're flabbergasted; a party instead of hiking? Sometimes I try to be sociable. It was a worthwhile party, too. I met a really interesting couple that have a cabin up above the heat. Somewhere north of Heber. Their cabin in built into a hillside, so three walls are the hill. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter. That's how houses should be built.

I met several people I've wanted to meet for a while (Suzanne works with them or knows them). I didn't get a chance to talk to them, though.

I also met Robert Body. He's from Czech, so his last name is pronounced something like "Boe dee". I don't think he makes a living from photography, but he is very seriously into it. He was carrying what I assume was an iPhone. I don't keep track of the trendy stuff so I'm not sure. It had a very nice, large display. He had 8,000 pictures stored on that thing. These are his good pictures. I remember when I had 8,000 pictures total. Good, bad, and ugly. That wasn't too long ago. This guy carries around 8,000 good pictures. He takes lots of pictures. He knows what he is doing, too. He was showing me his pictures and explaining what worked in that picture and what didn't work and special things he did with lighting or focus or depth of field or the lens used, etc. How often do you get to listen to somebody who is obviously good at something you are interested in spill his guts? I wanted to ask questions but it was so loud there that I could barely make myself heard. I'm not a very loud person. When I shout, many people consider it a normal conversational volume. I guess you could say I don't have an outdoor voice. Robert didn't seem to be having any trouble, though. He was talking quite a bit, seemingly without effort. I noticed that it seemed to take more and more effort for me to talk. I felt sweat trickling down my temples. Robert was wearing a long sleeve shirt and an undershirt. He was not sweating. This seemed very odd. Usually, when I am comfortable, other people are sweating. Could something be wrong with me? Robert was showing me pictures of lions and tigers at the zoo, taken in the first light of the morning, and describing the lenses he used, when I realized that I was feeling queasy. There was no reason to be queasy, though. Nobody gets sick that fast, except in Hollywood. I decided to excuse myself before I had to run for the door with a mouth full of barf. I walked around a little, then went in and sat under a ceiling fan feeling like I was being very antisocial, but not because I wanted to. Suzanne looked at me about that time and says I looked very pale. We decided I should go home.

I felt OK by the time we got home. I felt OK the next day, so I headed north, planning to explore some of the roads near Mt Ord. I was thinking I might not get out of the truck much, since I might be sick. I was also thinking that I might climb something I saw on Google Earth called Iron Dike. As soon as I saw that name, I thought, "I want to climb that", without even having any idea what it looked like.

Iron Dike. It's not small. It is steep.

I figured out where I could park and most of the route I would take to the top of Iron Dike, but it was more than I wanted to take on at the time. I'm glad I didn't climb it then because later I saw that I could take a road 3/4 of the way up.

This is not a good thing to see as you head into the wilderness.

It's difficult to see the smoke from the fire in a regular picture.

An HDRI brings out the smoke.

I eventually got to a spot where it looked like I could climb a "small hill" and have a view of the Tonto Basin. I know from experience, though, that 95% of the time that you get to the top of a hill, there is another hill up there. I decided to climb it, anyway, to see if I was really sick. I even played a little "legs vs. lungs". (It was at 6000 feet, so it was a tie.) I felt fine. It was good to know I wasn't sick or about to have a heart attack or something.

Most of the area up there was burned in a wildfire a few years ago. I don't remember the name of it. Richard and I drove up to Payson at night while it was burning and it looked like there were flames everywhere. There was plenty of evidence of the fire up there. There were also a lot of tiny new plants growing.

It was only about 95 up there, but there was only a light breeze blowing. It was very quiet. I haven't been out in the wilderness much lately, and it was nice to get away from everything for a little while. Click below to see all of the pictures.



julia said...

Maybe you have "partyphobia". I think I do too. I can't stand really noisy rooms.

Art said...

I was wondering if it might be something like that. I didn't feel nervous, though. Just like I was going to barf. A little like motion sickness.

Art said...

After much careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one thing that could have caused my illness that evening. Somebody showed up at the party wearing kryptonite jewelry.