Five Shots: ATV Escapade into Sycamore Canyon

How nice when you meet a local who is also dating your daughter who was willing to share his ATV and his favorite places in our backyard, Sycamore Canyon (21 miles by 7 miles). Thank you, Jared, for being a gracious host. It was the same scenery we were used to but we traveled to different corners and mounds and it felt like a new experience. We wouldn’t have reached many of these locations without the resilient ATV. 

1. On a cloudy warm morning, on the opposite side of the valley, we looked toward the red rocks at the entrance of Sycamore Canyon.
2. On a dirt road getting closer to the unique rock formations.

3. We paused for water. Riding an ATV was loud and bumpy, but the flat spots traveling fast with the wind blowing around you were exhilarating. Being able to ascend and descend 40-degree angles over boulders and misshapen rocks to reach a vista-view was fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4. Getting closer to a popular hiking point of entry into Sycamore Canyon with cliffs and watering holes.

5. On top of the gorge looking down to the Verde River. Notice the train tracks to the right.

6. William A. Clark, copper baron, lay his train tracks to ship out his copper. Now a scenic train ride is a popular tourist destination.
7. Up high admiring the green on the Sycamore trees down by the Verde River.
8. Around an impregnable bump in the train’s path.
9. Down at the river, Milly approves of the new campsite at the river’s edge.
10. A good campsite next to the cool river with a swimming hole saved for warmer weather. Perfect!

Five Shots: Aspen Leafing

Yesterday we spent the day surrounded by golds and blues in Coconino National Forest. Here are five shots plus a few extra taken at Hart Prairie, Flagstaff, AZ. Which one do you like best?

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1. Kendrick Peak in the distance
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2. Looking Up at the Mighty
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3. Mt. Humphrey, one of the San Francisco Peaks
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4. A clone of Quaking Aspens
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5. My kind of yellow brick road
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6. Zapped ferns, trunks, and gold confetti
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6. Fall hikers
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7. Hart Prairie
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The Path of Least Resistance
9. The path of least resistance

 

Five Shots: Waiting for the Milky Way

Plateau Looking NE at the Sycamore Wilderness
Plateau Looking NE at the Sycamore Wilderness

Squeezing in a Friday night escapade, we opted to drive east to the closest plateau which separates the Verde Valley from Sedona. Up on the ridge, the Red Rocks emerge and the sky is free from light pollution. When was the last time I saw the Milky Way? Way too long.

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Lighting a fire and waiting for the sun to set.
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The Sycamore Wilderness to ourselves
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Fall Flowers

 

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Getting ready to roast hot dogs.
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There’s wisdom in a beer bottle around a campfire.
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Stories told and stars explode.
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Burning Embers

I don’t have the equipment to capture the brilliance of the Milky Way as we lay back and pointed out the constellations, but our minds stilled while our eyes drank it all in. It was a perfect evening and way to end the work week.  Which one do you like?

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