Monday, August 29, 2011

Wandering the desert, in air conditioned comfort

I left the house on Sunday morning for the vicinity of Roosevelt Lake, planning to get some more Photo Point pictures. There had been some storms around Saturday evening, but I didn't see much dust blowing around then. It was so dusty on Sunday morning that I couldn't see the Superstition Mountains from 9 miles away. Dust that thick when the air is calm is unusual. Even if it had been a cool day, I wouldn't have gone hiking in dust that thick. Still, there were a lot of people out on the local hills and riding bicycles before the day got too hot. There was a lot of dust in the air almost until I got to the valley where Roosevelt Lake is located. I didn't take any pictures of the dust because that seemed silly. "Look at all the stuff you can't see in this picture". Ha. I guess I could have shown it with a picture of the same scene under clear conditions, but that seemed like too much work.

As I approached the first photo point, I reached for the notebook with the descriptions and reference photos and realized that it was still at the house. Dad gummit! Well, there was only one thing to do. Drive around and take pictures of stuff (it was too hot to hike).

This lizard seems to be upset about what has been left on its rock.

I got out of the truck now and then to wander around a little. One of those times, I walked out to an overlook of a wash. Suddenly there was a lot of clattering down in the stream bed. I had startled a couple of deer and they were noisily scrambling to get away. Deer look graceful when they are soaring over a fence or a bush, but if you have ever watched one that's in panic mode you know that grace is the furthest thing from their mind. That's understandable. I wouldn't be very graceful if I thought something was about to eat me. Anyway, I think maybe the pair was a doe and fawn. I quickly lost track of the smaller one and took pictures of the other one as it jumped and snorted and climbed the hill across from me.

Seems kind of skinny to me. What do you think?

I wandered around on the west side of the lake first. To get a good view of the lake, I would have had to climb a hill. Too hot to do that.

The last time I was out there, I had driven a little ways on A + Cross road. That's how it's written on signs, but it's pronounced "A Cross". I've been wanting to drive the length of that road for 4 or 5 years. So that's where I headed. The road is in very good shape, and there aren't any steep parts. There are interesting things to see along the way, too.

Barren hills. This is what you expect a desert to look like. Well, except for all that green stuff in the foreground.

Dutchwoman Butte really stands out from far away.

When I started out on A Cross road, I thought I might also drive up 288 to Young, but by the time I got to 288 I'd had enough beautiful scenery for one day. Instead of turning left, I turned right and headed for Globe, to the south. I had come into the valley from the north, near Payson, so I would have some different scenery on the way home. As I approached Globe, it looked like a puffy little cloud was dropping some rain. It looked like diffuse, gentle rain like you seen in Texas sometimes. I finally realized that I was looking at dust, though. There was a lot of it in the air all the way back to Mesa. I'm glad I got out of it for a little while. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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