Day trip north on Saturday of last week…US Highway 89 from north of Wickenburg, through Yarnell, into and out of Prescott, brushing up against Ash Fork, heading west on I-40 and skirting Kingman, and then back down US 93 to US 60 and “home” again….
It was good to see cottonwood trees along roadways again.
Maybe Argemone pleiacantha, Southwestern Pricklypoppy…maybe, quite possibly…also found alongside the roadway…high desert travels.
Fat, fluffy clouds are a welcome sight in the high and low deserts…even if they are accompanied by high winds and the general ugliness of broken branches and occasionally uprooted trees and downed fences; they’re seasonal treasures that truly freshen and sweeten the air and leave a rich verdure in their passing.
Windows down on the truck, just me and my thoughts…green rambling forests…the smell of warming juniper on the breeze….
Someone received the distant rain…rather, it was received somewhere, maybe not where any people could feel it…although, by the time I arrived in Prescott, further north and west of where we see the rain in the above image, I did receive a little of it…something like 13-17 drops on my windscreen…a regular downpour.
An anvil cloud in preparation, above, is usually a good hint that rain is coming.
This section of US 89 was new to me. I’d driven it plenty between Flagstaff and south of Salt Lake, but never this stretch.
…wide horizons with a lot of green in between…
…and then out of the mountains into the high desert flat-lands north of Prescott…
…raw desert with compelling geologic formations…
…some kind of caramel ball wildflowers along the roadway…
…and southern clouds that didn’t leave a drop in their passing….
Going north for the week…can’t help but admire this part of Arizona in passing. Check out this YouTube spot on the Echo Cliffs….
I had thought these were the Vermillion Cliffs, thought I had seen them named as such on a map somewhere, but when I was researching them to be certain, I found that they are the Echo Cliffs…. The Vermillion Cliffs are a landscape feature and national monument a bit to the north and west of these.
Some might argue that this structure is not a proper hogan…and they might be right. But I have seen several of them scattered about this bit of the Navajo reservation and they fit the concept of what I understand a hogan to be…a traditional Navajo home or lodging.
Some of the ones I’ve seen along this stretch of road have been more circular in form, but overall, they are similar in construction and style to this sand/flag-stone house. While this structure appears to be abandoned with its missing window panes, it might still be used for ceremonial purposes…but, I really don’t know.
The Echo Cliffs are a prominent feature of the drive for about 45 miles along Highway 89, stretching from Gap (yes, that’s the name of a town/community) to about 25 miles south of Page. The images above and below are looking south…and if we could see past the extreme right edge below, we would be able to look out over the Painted Desert to the east.
This last image is looking north from the same location…with the hogan being a couple of hundred yards to the right.
That’s all for now…..
approaching the end of a long day on the road, i saw clouds over the mountains and foothills and cinder-cones north of flagstaff, it appeared as though it might rain and i even thought i smelled it on the air as i came nearer to the mountain town, looking south and west at what was north and west of the settlement, i didn’t notice a wind, but maybe that is water falling aslant from the darker sky, above a fence-line dividing the earth in someone’s imagination