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Month: October 2013

Friday Fitness Hike

We met at the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead for Friday’s hike.  A new hiker to our group, Marilyn, joined Bob, Amy, Janet, and me for a hike up to Tom’s Thumb.

Below is a view of Tom’s Thumb and the surrounding area in the early morning light.

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We saw this cluster of rocks early on, through one of the easier stretches.  I think the boulders in the picture below are on private land.

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We saw a red-tailed hawk on the top of a rock, just as the trail started getting steep.

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Another view of the rock upon which the hawk was perched:

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Two views of Troon and Pinnacle Peak, off in the distance:

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We got high enough to see a Juniper Tree.2013-10-25-DSC01322-medium

A view to the west taken from the ridge west of Tom’s Thumb:

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The East End, the very top of Gardener’s Wall, Glass Dome, Weaver’s Needle, Tom’s Thumb, and the Rist are all visible in this photo.

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We noticed that we could see downtown Phoenix from the ridge near Tom’s Thumb. (Scottsdale is the closer community though.)

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A view of the west side of Tom’s Thumb.  (The camera is looking east.)2013-10-25-DSC01370-medium

Marilyn, Amy, Janet, and Bob approach Tom’s Thumb.

2013-10-25-DSC01379-mediumA photo of the five of us on the east side of Tom’s Thumb:

2013-10-25-DSC01400-mediumAnother pinnacle that we noticed on our descent.  (I don’t know the name of it.)

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I chose a rocky path for part of our descent…

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Marilyn, looking down into the canyon below Gardener’s Wall:

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Friday Fitness Hike

We hiked the Scenic Trail for last Friday’s hike.  When we were done with the Scenic Trail, Marilyn, Linda, Nancy, Janet, and I hiked another five miles, visiting the Tortoise enclosure and the wreck of the old Chevy along the way.  Our total distance was around 9.5 miles.

Red Mountain as seen from the Scenic Trail:

2013-10-18-DSC01064-mediumAnother view of Red Mountain with some large saguaros in the foreground:

2013-10-18-DSC01097-mediumAmy and I took this group photo in the wash just off of the Scenic Trail.  (The Scenic Trail used to be routed through this wash.)  From left to right are Amy, Nancy, Linda, Janet, Linda, Marilyn, and Kevin.

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Rand told me that the friendly tortoise in the enclosure is named Scarlett.  She crawled toward us and opened her mouth several times during our visit.  I think she wanted us to feed her.   (I learned from Amy, later on, that this tortoise’s name is actually Alice.  There is another tortoise named Scarlet in the enclosure.)

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This is the saguaro that’s at the intersection of the Wagner and Granite trails.  The McDowell mountains are in the background.2013-10-18-DSC01184-medium

Stoneman Wash:

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This is the old Chevy in Stoneman Wash.

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Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s Hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  We hiked Wagner to Granite, Granite to the Bluff Trail Wash, the wash to Pemberton, Pemberton to Delsie, Delsie back to Granite, Granite to Wagner, and Wagner to the Trailhead.  Total distance was 9.75 miles.

We encountered this wash on the Wagner Trail.  This wash sometimes has deep sand in it.  When I started mountain biking, I fell while crossing it at least once.

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Bob and Sarge:

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Approaching the scramble for the Bluff Wash.  (That’s not an official name.)

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Jerry, Joe, Nancy, Sarge (in front), Bob, and Janet.  Tom and Michelle hiked partway with us, but continued their hike on the Granite at the point where we turned into the wash.

2013-10-11-DSC00815-medium A view of the McDowells from the Pemberton Trail.

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Saguaros on the Delsie Trail.

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A small portion of a buckhorn cholla:

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We saw a tarantula while hiking back on the Delsie Trail.  I took a lot of photos, but these were the only ones which were close to being in focus.  Clearly, I need to work on my technique – I think I’m taking to long to frame the shot after acquiring focus.  This works for static scenes, but not very well for moving subjects.

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A mountain biker on the Delsie Trail.

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Bob, the Frog

Bob, the Frog is another creation of sculptor Randy Hand.  It was donated by the Rotary Club of Fountain Hills, Randy & Mary Hand, Mary & Joe Cavinato, Jackie & Jerry Miles, Mardelle Willson, and by The Sunridge Foundation.

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George, the Tortoise

Sculptor Randy Hand created this piece, titled George, the Tortoise.  It’s located near the playground in the Fountain Park.  The plaques affixed to a nearby wall show an impressive number of donors, many of whom are grandparents honoring their grandchildren.

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America

This sculpture of an eagle, by Doug Hyde, is titled America. It was donated to the town of Fountain HIlls in 2012 by Jean and Rolland Lorenz.

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Precious Cargo

Jason Napier created this sculpture, titled Precious Cargo, of a large cat carrying one of her kittens.  It was donated in 2001 in memory of Corinne Miles by Jackie and Jerry Miles.

2013-10-05-DSC00484-cropped-mediumI had tried photographing this sculpture on at least three other occasions but, whether shooting at night or during the day, I kept getting an unacceptable amount of glare from the surface of the sculpture, which is polished and shiny.  The color of the stone is really quite beautiful;  I didn’t want to settle for a shot that had a lot of glare in it.  I finally employed some lighting techniques which made it possible to get this shot with minimal glare.

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike was somewhat over seven miles.  We hiked the North Trail, the Chuparosa Trail, and part of the Pemberton (out to Cedar Tank).

One of the things we noticed on this hike is that we’re starting to see fall colors in the ocotillo – many of the leaves had turned a golden yellow color.

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We saw more flowers this week too!

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Another golden ocotillo…

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Linda, Janet, and Nancy examine an unusual saguaro.  Most saguaros do not have arms so close to the ground.  We thought it interesting, too, that there’s a fairly small arm near the ground.

2013-10-04-DSC00357-1-medium We saw a rattlesnake sunning itself on the trail.

2013-10-04-DSC00375-medium Linda and Michelle hiking the Pemberton Trail:

2013-10-04-DSC00390-medium We saw a lone equestrian riding her horse on the 168th St Spur.

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Yet another golden ocotillo with Four Peaks at the far right, in the background.2013-10-04-DSC00414-medium An interesting saguaro on the North Trail.

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Looking up at the saguaro in the previous picture:

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Courthouse Towers / Park Avenue

I took these photos in June during our visit to the Moab area.  The towers in the first few photos (and some of the later ones too) are the Courthouse Towers.  I photographed them while walking the Park Avenue wash which is in Arches National Park.

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Same exposure as above, but a different edit:

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Another view of Courthouse Towers:

2013-06-07-DSC0729-medium2013-06-07-DSC00723-mediumThe Three Gossips and Sheep Rock:

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Sheep Rock:

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