Sunday, January 12, 2014

Back to the desert, and a suggested state nickname

I spent a few days in Texas over the Christmas holidays. About the only exercise I got for a week was chasing a small dog across a cow pasture for a minute or two. I figured I had better take it easy on my first hike after coming back. I decided to just wander around a little near the Wolverine Pass entrance to Bulldog Canyon.

There are some nice looking saguaros in this area.

I decided to climb this hill, at least part way.

I got a late start, so it couldn't be a very long hike. I headed for a hill near the parking area. I went about 3/4 of the way up and started down so I wouldn't be out there in the dark. About halfway down, I heard some distinctive engine sounds. There were a couple of WWII planes headed toward me.

WWII plane engines have a distinctive sound. You can hear them coming from miles away.

I don't think I've seen this plane before.

I don't think I've seen this one before, either.

I stood around taking pictures of the planes for a minute or two as they flew over. Then I started to move downhill again. That's when I discovered how out of shape I was. My quads cramped pretty bad.

While I was in Texas, I became aware that it was strangely quiet. The missing sound was loud Harley's. I didn't miss it. It just made me aware of how ubiquitous that sound is in Arizona. As I write this, I hear the occasional Harley go by on the nearby freeway. As you drive around town, at almost every red light, there will be a Harley stopped near you and the driver will be goosing the engine, over and over, as if it will die if he just lets it idle. Scenic routes are rarely quiet because there is a continuous stream of Harley's roaring along them. All this noise isn't the fault of Harley Davidson. It's the riders. Nobody rides a Harley without first modifying the exhaust. Anyway, I was thinking about all this noise and about the Arizona nicknames (which are "The Grand Canyon State" and "The Copper State") and figured a better nickname for Arizona would be the "The Loud Pipes State". With that nickname, visitors to the state would know they should bring hearing protection whenever they come here. Also, the Grand Canyon covers only small portion of the state, but the loud pipes can be heard everywhere, 24/7. "The Loud Pipes State" applies to the entire state, not just a piece of it in the north. Maybe I'll write to the state legislature about this proposal. Click below for all of the pictures.


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