You might remember that our explorations were cut short when my little one and I encountered the rattlesnake on the path along this river…about 100 yards downstream from this location, actually. The Verde River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Arizona and runs year-round…flooding sometimes during the spring from snow-melt and rain in the mountains and during the summer after the seasonal Monsoon storms. You can visit this website for more information on the Verde River Greenway.
I had driven past these ruins (?) at least two dozen times over the last several years…and finally made the stop on my next to last trip before moving out of the state. The third and fourth images are from a second set of buildings just a little further down the road….
There were a couple of out-buildings, corrals, and a stable further up the hill and toward the left of these first two images.
These two building didn’t appear to be as old as the ones in first two photos…there were more “modern” pieces of junk and rubber-wheeled trailer parts on the property.
There was even a cement-stooled outhouse with a plastic seat about 20-30 yards uphill from the buildings. I hope there was also a cement septic tank to prevent the contents from leaching downhill toward the houses…if that’s what they were.
And lastly, here’s a color rendition of the first photo in the set. It was a pretty, mid-May afternoon in middle Utah, about six miles (or 15?) south of Panguitch, just off of Highway 89….
My hike this past Sunday was in the Coconino National Forest just south and east of Flagstaff, Arizona.
The trail-head was 128 miles and about 90 minutes from my doorstep in north Phoenix…which is quite a change from my former hiking environment in the Salt Lake Valley…the Wasatch Mountains, in general, and, as pictured below, Little Cottonwood Canyon, in specific (among other places). You might remember me mentioning a couple of times in the past that I could be to the nearest trail-head in the time that it took me to drink a cup of coffee.
Ah, well…those are memories now…and where I live in this present stage of my life situates me, like I said, 128 miles away from this particular trail…yes, there are closer trails…and yes, most/many/lots of them are found in and among the desert “mountains”…with nary a bit of shade…and temperatures that soar up into the “hundred-and-some-teen” degree range (100 – 119 or higher)…so I drive north to the mountains.
At any rate, I hiked the particular trail that leads from Marshall Lake to Lewis Point…a 13.8 mile round-trip excursion through a Ponderosa Pine forest, down into what I understand to be part of Walnut Canyon, to the limestone prominence and canyon over-look of Lewis Point, and then back to the starting point.
This was a new forest and a new trail for me…a new experience, essentially. Another part of the newness was hiking through a forest where a wildfire had raged only three months ago. I’ve driven past locations along the freeways or highways that had been burned over the years and had hiked among the charred skeletons of scrub-oak trees that had been burned in many seasons passed, but I’ve never had the incredibly intimate and awe-inspiring experience of walking through a forest that had been so recently in flames. To add to the eeriness of the situation, there was visible and “smell-able” smoke in the canyon from controlled burning that the forest service was conducting many miles south.
Please remember that you can click on any image in the gallery to be taken to a slide-show where you can view the photos in a larger format.
If you’d like more information about the Fisher Fire, you can check-out this link from April of this year…it has another link to the Coconino National Forest’s Flicker account which shares images of their more recent (and historical) fire-fighting efforts, as well as many others that show the beauty of this northern Arizona national forest.
This is an image from my first true hike since moving back to Arizona…it was a different kind of forest with its own smells and sounds, but it was rich in its reward of peace and solitude. I only saw one other person for the first almost five miles…a stealthy mountain-biker who crept up on me as I was kneeling just off the trail making photos of some pine cones and flowers…startled the hell out of me…but otherwise, it was quiet in the way that woods are supposed to be with only the breeze blowing through the tree-tops, the occasional bird letting me know that she/he had seen me, and the sounds of my footsteps on the trail.
When did the clock find the wind…to sprint like this?
And how could we not see its fleeing?
There were baby hugs
And finger paints
Sand in her tennies
And potted beans on the windowsill
Pound-puppies and princess’s ponies
And bubble gum and pig-tails
Now she wants to drive
And her iPod is in her backpack
With her cell phone at her ear
Long curly hair ironed flat in the mirror
And she’s ready for the prom
When did the clock find the wind…to sprint like this?
When we were young, we noticed that it took forever for special days to get here; whether they were birthdays, Christmases, the last days of school, etc…they took an eternity, as marked by our child’s minds that registered time’s passing by those ultra-special days coming and going.
Now that the years have gathered, so many more things mark time…payday Fridays, her birthday, your birthday, her mom’s birthday, vacation, the first day of school, early-release every third Thursday, progress reports, report cards, the annual re-bid at work, a trainee for five weeks, the boss is gone for two, the weekend stand-by form on every Thursday, monitor each employee every month, we just checked your messages, it’s Thanksgiving and now it’s New Years and another move or not, and Christmas or winter break is passed and past, and one more semester until it’s done, and this process takes four weeks and that one takes seven, and the puppy needs his next set of shots and three more months until that movie comes out, another week to read the book, pay this bill on the 15th and that one on the first, and pay it again on the 15th, and the other one again on the first, and next month there are three paychecks for you and for me, so we look forward to yours and to mine and we pay extra on this one and it’s time to trim the bushes again, and the bug-guy is here again, and it’s time to change your oil and rotate the tires again, and it’s her birthday again then mine and her mom’s and my mom’s and school’s out again for the year and then she’s 21 weeks along and they can do the ultra-sound and see if it’s a boy or a girl, and which type of paint and trim do we get and we’ll know pretty soon…it does seem to rush by, unbidden, just passing with speed beyond belief, sometimes like tempests and torn in the way, and images of youth and what used to be has gone in the swirling of leaves and thought and remembrance, our encumbered spirits and minds loose (not lose) those things of yesterday and try to gather them back again before they are ungraspable in their passing, gone in that spirit of has-been and collected somewhere up in the ether where lost thoughts and radio waves linger unhitched for evermore.
We used to think that our grandparents and parents were old or getting that way and now we find ourselves noticing the little lines by our eyes…and the ones that run down into our cheeks or spread like the sun’s rays from the corners of our mouths…we find that the singular gray hairs have multiplied into a profusion that creeps into our vision until it’s time to dye them again…or not…and the moustache had a couple and the chin several more and it’s no longer possible to trim that one or pluck it away as before…they aren’t going away…our memories hold when our bodies won’t…and our children are getting older…the lines on the door frame that used to be fun to mark once or twice a year are slowly catching-up with our chin and eye-level reaches…and we wonder where it’s gone…we wonder how it not only learned to sprint and spring away but to indeed flee and leave us watching…making yet more notes of its passing…she was only 11 months-old when we saw her the first time and she just turned 13 years-old…another was captured in a picture at almost three years-old with her arm in a cast and now she’s 26 years-old…and the first-born is crowing at 28 years…and those in between with babies and lives and house-payments and then….
And my friend, Byron, whose gentle soul found the words that title this writing, noticed in awe the beauty and unbelievable 16 years of his daughter as he took her to school one day last week…it struck him how she’s not that little girl anymore who used to crawl into his lap with a favorite book or doll and sit there playing with his chin…time has fled with that little one and brought a beautiful young lady to take her place…unbeknownst to anyone watching…suddenly she is here…and we wonder again…where did the clock find the wind to sprint like this?
Thank you, Byron.
***This is a Favorite Re-post from December, 2009….it was brought to mind again after seeing my friend Byron for the first time in nearly four years…and he told me that his daughter is now married and recently graduated from college.
Unless it’s a particularly windy day, this is a common sight during my morning walks in the desert area of north Phoenix.
I made this photo in August of 2013 on what was my third trip to the upper reservoir in Bells Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah…it was also my last trip to these falls and the reservoir beyond…which I didn’t know at the time…couldn’t have known at the time…. But it is and was, and that’s the way it goes. You might know that I’m living in the desert of Arizona now, again, and scenes like the one in this image are far from my experience in this new and old home of mine…they might exist, I just haven’t found them yet.
And why did I post the photo today….I don’t know…maybe a hankering or longing to be on the Wasatch trails again…thinking about where I’d be going if I was there. Anyway, aside from the nostalgia, this image (even with the blown-out water) shows some of the damnably gorgeous scenery of the Utah mountains and canyons. Enjoy….
I didn’t know that this was a Jumping Cholla…thought it was a Teddy Bear Cholla..turns out that they’re actually the same thing..or so says this website, Sonoran Desert Plants. This particular species of cactus is quite prevalent in the desert area of north Phoenix.
I haven’t been out ON the lake yet, but these are a few more images from when my little one and I went out to the park for a visit a week or so ago…it was more of an exploration, actually…checking it out to see what we might do out there in the future.
I had mentioned in an earlier post how it was so strange in my experience to have Saguaro cacti in such proximity to a body of water like this…but here it is again….
Sailboats and speedboats on the lake….we hope to be out there in a canoe at some point….
While it’s not a true panoramic shot, comprised of multiple images, it is a wider-angle image that provides more of a panoramic view of a portion of the lake and the surrounding desert…with more of those Saguaro cacti and other desert vegetation.
Here are a couple of links about Lake Pleasant Regional Park in case you’d like to read more about it…just click on the blue highlighted text to visit the official park website and the Wikipedia site.
This is just a glimpse of the area to the north and west of Lake Pleasant Regional Park. It was close to noon on another “severe clear” day in the desert of Arizona…not a cloud in the sky and only recently attaining the temperature of “quite warm.”
Even though I lived in Arizona for over 20 years before moving to Utah, I still find it amazing to see so many Saguaro cacti. I guess I didn’t get out of the city very often back then…something that I have already begun to remedy since returning.
My little one and I encountered this bit of desert wonderfulness on Highway 89A, on a stretch of the road called “The Mingus Highway,” just south and west of Jerome, Arizona. The formal name of the plant is Agave americana, but it is commonly referred to as the Century plant. If you’d like to, you can check-out this link on Wikipedia for more information….and if you’re prefer not to visit the link, I’ll just tell you that, while it is referred to as the Century plant, it typically lives for 10-30 years and then dies after it blooms.
We saw probably half a dozen or more of the plants along the roadway, but this one was by far the freshest of the bunch…the others were either seriously late in their blooming season and had mostly wilted flowers or were already dying or dead.
Looking southeast over a tiny corner of Lake Powell…just north of Page, Arizona….
I was visiting with Montucky at Montana Outdoors and noted that I had some images that were similar to his recently posted photographs of Skyrockets. I thought I remembered seeing some in white and pink, but could only find these in pink. They look like they could be the same flowers, but maybe they’re not…. If I’m not mistaken, the white flowers in this photo are Leafy Jacob’s Ladder.
I made this photograph in July of last year during a hike to Lake Desolation in Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.