Monday, October 15, 2012

203A, and something shiny

Sweetums says that the new truck is much more comfortable than the other one. I was very comfortable in the other one, but this one isn't bad. Anyway, she has actually been going with me when I go wandering off without really knowing where I'll end up. We headed east on Sunday. We wound up going to 203A, which climbs to about 5000 feet and ends at the southern border of the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. I've been up there before and there are beautiful views along 203A. I took pictures of the views the last time I was up there so I didn't take very many this time.

Another saguaro with tires thrown on it.

203A is one lane wide most of the way. It's also a rock wall on one side and an almost vertical drop for about 100 feet on the other side. It's not the kind of road on which you want to encounter any traffic. I encountered another truck for the first time out there while we were on the way down. Fortunately, I was on the rock wall side. I was getting ready to back up to a wide spot about 100 feet back when the kid decided there was plenty of room. I don't know how he stayed on the road, but he did. Nobody in the truck was worried enough to bother with seat belts. Ah, to be young and blissfully ignorant...

This is always a nice view.

Sweetums spotted something else interesting on the way back down. Off in the distance, there was a flashing light. We both wondered if it was somebody in distress and signalling for help. It stopped flashing after a minute or so. I got my mirror out of my backpack (I carry it for those times I need to freshen up along the trail) and was barely able to reflect some light in that direction. We were almost directly between the sun and the location of the flashing light. Anyway, shortly after I did that, the flashing started again. I got out a map and started trying to figure out the location of the light. We had a good cell signal further up the road and I was thinking about going back up there and calling the Pinal County sheriff. I also took pictures an zoomed in on them, but didn't have enough magnification to tell what it was. As I got my bearings and studied the map, though, we also watched the flashing light. Sometimes it seemed to flash too fast to be a person holding a mirror. It was also very regular. It would speed up and slow down and sometimes stop for several seconds. It reminding me a lot of windmills I've watched blowing in the breeze. We eventually decided that was what it had to be.

There's a flashing light out there.

This is the best picture, cropped. On a computer screen, it does look like a windmill.

In the cropped picture, you can see what might be a storage tank to the left. Using roads that were visible in the area and looking for the storage tank, I think I found the location of the windmill. It's at 33 degrees, 43 mintues, 11.67 seconds North and 110 degrees, 46 minutes, 45.60 seconds West if you are interested in looking it up on Google Earth (or any map, I suppose). The coordinates I estimated from the road were a half mile beyond the actual location. That's a high percentage of the 4 miles distance from us, but I think it's pretty good considering that there are no landmarks in the area to help judge how far away it was.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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