Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The top of a hill

I haven't been hiking much lately. I've mostly been riding around in the Ranger. My sister might have been right; I'm going to get fat. I decided I had better go climb something. I headed for a very scenic part of Bulldog Canyon. Along the way, though, I realized that I didn't like the way the clouds looked, and I didn't want to take pictures of a scenic area with bad clouds. I stopped at the part of Bulldog Canyon that was burned by the Ghost Fire in the summer of 2005. It's still a pretty desolate looking area.

There are few saguaros, but lots of saguaro skeletons.

I started climbing a fair-sized hill near the road. About halfway up, I heard a voice. I knew it wasn't God because it sounded like it was coming over a PA system. I've heard hikers talking up to half a mile away when they're on the side of a mountain, but the wind was blowing the wrong way for the sound to be coming from any nearby mountain sides. Also, hikers don't use PA systems either. Then I remembered seeing Apache Trail Tours Jeeps in this area before. They do use a PA system. Sure enough, one of their Jeeps pulled into view pretty soon. It stopped. They do that sometimes so people can take pictures or talk about something by the road or quell their motion sickness (that's bound to happen sometimes on those roads, even though their drivers seem to go at a very safe (and slow) speed). I zoomed in and took pictures, but they were too far away for me to tell what they were doing. I ambled on up the hillside.

Apache Trail Tours.

As I neared the summit, the hill got steeper. They tend to do that. It got steeper than I wanted to climb or descend. The Jeep was still there. I don't know if they saw me, but if they had stopped to watch me I sure didn't want to slip. They had been sitting there for a long time by now and I wondered if they had spotted me and were curious about where I was going. On the other hand, if I couldn't tell what they were doing when I had my camera zoomed all the way, it seems doubtful that they had even noticed me. Still, I didn't want to fall on a cholla in front of an audience. I worked me way round to the right and the hill got even steeper in that direction. I was on my way (very carefully) around to the left and had just spotted a way to the top when the Jeep started moving again. Whew. I could relax.

There were more people on the other side of the hill. I'm sure they never saw me.

The view was nice, but not stunning.

While I was up there, I took a 360 degree panorama and put it on my Photosynth page so you can view it full screen and zoom in and all that stuff.

360 degree view from the top of the hill.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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