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Desert Vista Trail to Union Peak

I had passed the sign for the trail-head several times last week…and found that it was compelling enough to cause me to Google-it to learn more about it.  This trail is part of The City of Phoenix’s Sonora Desert Preserve…and you can click on the highlighted name…and then click on the link to the map to see exactly where I went.  If you click on the link to the map, scroll down to the bottom and then scoot over to the middle of the large map to see the course of the Desert Vista trail.  I started at the trail-head, followed the Hawk’s Nest, to the Desert Tortoise, then followed the Valle Verde Trail to the Horned Owl Trail to the Union Peak trail, back down and to the right, following the loop of the Great Trail back up to the Valle Verde, to the Desert Tortoise, Hawk’s Nest and to the trail-head again.  I made over 100 photographs during the hike and the following gallery presents what I think are 13 of the better images.  Please remember, if you click on any image, it will take you to a slide-show that will give you the opportunity to click on the images again to see them in a larger format.  Thank you for visiting and sharing a few minutes of your time with me…I hope you enjoy the hike!

Indian Mesa, Arizona

I’m not sure when I learned about Indian Mesa, but I think it might have been when I was researching Lake Pleasant Regional Park and the surrounding area for an earlier post this summer, but at any rate, I’ve been meaning to get out there and see it for myself…and decided to do it after the temperatures cooled off a bit.  So, this past Sunday, November 9…when the high temp for the day was supposed to be somewhere between 85 and 89 degrees, I started out early with the hopes of getting there and back before it got too warm.  Things didn’t start well for the venture, though…the directions were missing a few pretty important details, or maybe I was just a bit dense that morning…so I didn’t arrive at the trail-head quite as early as I had hoped.  It was still a very nice hike…and it even included water and Cottonwood trees….

If you’re interested in learning more about Indian Mesa, you can click on this link to be taken to the Wikipedia site that covers the subject.  You can also click on this link to learn more about the Hohokam people who are thought to have lived there….  If you’d like to view the images in a larger format, you can click on any photograph in the galleries to be taken to a slide show…and then click on the “View Full Size”  in the lower right corner of each frame to see the larger version.

 

The Saguaro Cactus – a study of variation within a theme….

In my driving through town and into the desert where I live, just north of Phoenix, Arizona, I have seen a great variety of the Saguaro Cactus…while they are all the same type of plant, it is incredible how different their sizes and shapes can be.  I made these photos on my hike to Indian Mesa, just north of Lake Pleasant, in north central Maricopa County…and only about 15 miles north of my home.  You can click on any photo to be taken to a slide-show that provides a closer view.  If you’d like to learn more about the cactus, you can click on this link to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum’s fact sheet.

sometimes we need this….

OK, maybe it’s just me…sometimes I need this…like an ache or a hunger, a yearning, a desire, a want…yes, a want…a place where we can ask questions of the ether and the answers come to us in the whisper of a breeze or in the light ticking of aspen leaves against their fellows, tiny golden hands clapping so softly that we might imagine hearing them in a dream…or they come to us in the peace that the intensely enormous awesomeness of it all confers on us by simply being there….

You might remember the image, as I’m sure I shared it after my hike.  This is Mineral Fork in October, 2011…one of the tributary canyons that extend south from Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah…just south and east of Salt Lake City.

Mineral Fork Trail in Fall Glory, October 2011

Fall…memories….

It was probably a Sunday, because it usually was…September 23 of two years ago…hiking in the mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah…the Wasatch Mountains in Fall.  I would say that it feels like a lifetime ago…with so many changes since then, but it was in my life…then…consistently, richly…and now it is in memories only.

Fall memories in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, 2012

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