Sunday, August 08, 2010

The drive to Roger's Trough trailhead

It was overcast and gloomy on Saturday morning and the forecast made it sound like it would be raining all day, or at least it would be threatening to rain. I decided I would go explore some roads south of Florence and try not to get stuck in mud. As I left the house, though, I saw that there were only a few puffy clouds around. Also, as I drove past the Superstition Mountains, they seem unusually crisp and vivid, as if a cold front had just gone through. As I approached the turn-off for Florence I looked at how the sky was clear in that direction and decided it would be too hot that way. Instead, I went to Hewitt Canyon road. I have been wanting to go up there again since I got new tires, to see if they were any better at climbing the steep parts of the road.

Rugged mountains and puffy clouds. I was going to be taking a lot of HDRIs.

Shortly after I got on Hewitt Canyon road, I could see some of the mountains to the northeast of Superior. Like the Supes, they looked unusually vivid. It was looking like it might be a good day to take pictures of mountains.

This part of the road seems to have been graded recently. It was smoother than it's been for a long time.

I tried composing some nice pictures, but it's hard getting in just the right spot. The right spot from which this picture should have been taken was occupied by a large palo verde.

There was very little traffic. I saw one vehicle on the way out there and two on the way back (one of which was a truck full of young guys who were tossing beer cans left and right as they went along the road).

Near the beginning of the drive I decided to hike over to a canyon I've been wanting to get a closer look at for a while. I was getting out of the truck when I noticed it was well over 100. I decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to wander off into unknown territory on such a hot day. I think it would have been a miserable hike for another reason, too. The rain we've had so far seems to have given the gnats a big boost.

Byous Butte on the right.

When I got to the really steep part of the road where I've had trouble before, it was in bad shape. It used to be a mostly smooth road surface, but now it has a couple of large dips. Kinda looks like somebody spent half an hour spinning their tires on a rainy day. I thought that would stop me for sure. It took two attempts, but I made it through that. The rest of the steep part was slow but steady. It's hard to say if the tires made any difference, though. The road used to be covered with pea-sized gravel, and it looks like that has been washed off.

It was in the low 80's at the trailhead, but it was muggy and there was no breeze, so I didn't hang around there long.

I see these really big flies on hikes sometimes. I tried putting a quarter by this one for a size reference but he took it.

The air looks a little hazy from high up.

I never noticed that stock tank before.

Looks like it's probably gotten cloudy around Florence.

On the way back down I spotted a hawk perched on the side of a water tank that must have been built many years ago. I took a lot of pictures of it. It was in a shady spot so the camera used a pretty high ISO. Every now and then I read somewhere that these days cameras take good pictures even at high ISO. Maybe the people that say that use a different definition of "good". The pictures seem very grainy to me. I guess it was good to be able to get some pictures, though.

Hawk on the side of a water tank. The tank is on a steep side of a canyon. I don't think a cow could get to it.

I also encountered another rattlesnake crossing the road. Every rattlesnake I've seen this year has been frozen in the road. I guess it's a defensive mechanism, but I bet it gets a lot of them run over. Lots of people kill snakes just because they're snakes. I took a few pictures of this one. I think I got some good shots of his tongue.

Picketpost Mountain catches the last light of the setting sun.

Click below to see all of the pictures.



Anita said...

My husband and I have been taking Hewitt Station Rd. to Globe for about a month and I just LOVE the views back there. We've gone down Rogers Trough Trailhead, but only for 2.5 miles. The mountains are incredible and we will be taking it all the way around to Oak Flat Campground. Your picture of Picket Post Mountain is especially beautiful.

Art said...

I didn't know that Hewitt Station Rd went that far. It is a beautiful area. Now that the weather is cooling off a little, I plan to see what I can find away from the roads. I'm glad you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for visiting.