Tag Archives: Hiking

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Wotan's Throne

Wotan’s Throne viewed from Cape Royal.

I had intended to get this post up last week, but as sometimes happens life intervened and I got sidetracked. The month of September kept me busy with two trips to the Grand Canyon –  a backpacking trip down to the Colorado River from the South Rim followed a couple weeks later with a photo trip to the North Rim.

Low Clouds

Looking into the Canyon at Point Imperial just after sunrise.  The low clouds softened the light causing the colors to really pop out.

Morning Fog

An hour later the fog had rolled in changing the whole perspective of the view. The sun threatened to break through but never quite did.

Bison Grazing

A small herd of bison grazing near the park entrance. They kept a cautious eye on us, and soon retreated back into the woods.

Distant River

Morning view from Bright Angel Point, an easy hike from the lodge.

Grazing Mule Deer

Mule deer grazing off the Transept Trail.

Aspen Colors

It being autumn the Aspens wore a surprising variety of color counterpointed by the pines and the clear blue of the skies.

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REI Adventures Grand Canyon South Rim

Rain over the Grand Canyon

Late summer rain over the Grand Canyon as seen from the South Rim

I’ll be honest… When I first stepped up to the scenic overlook at the South Rim my first thought wasn’t of the beauty of the vista, rather it was (Homer Simpson voice) “Holy Cr@p! I’m going to hike to the bottom of that in the morning?!” Continue reading

Superstitions

Superstition Mountains 25

Afternoon sun near Black Mountain

We have been wanting to try out a backpacking trip with REI Adventures, and with the Superstition Mountains being local we thought this would be a good opportunity.  Since the Phoenix area is already starting to warm up, this was the last scheduled trip till after summer. Being less that two weeks after the Alaska trip, we were prepared for a bit of temperature shock – it turned out to be a record setting week with highs in the 90’s, which is only 120ºF warmer than our coldest outings up north. Fortunately, we had time for a couple of day hikes to get re-acclimated to the desert prior to starting out.

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Night Hike

phoenix

Phoenix from South Mountain

We enjoy our outdoors activities, and one of our major suppliers for gear is Recreation Equipment, Inc. In addition to being a major outdoors sports outlet, REI does travel and arranges local workshops and classes. We saw a four hour Night Photography Hike at South Mountain they were hosting and decided it would be fun to go along.

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White Sands Revisited

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White Sands National Monument

Last March we went camping at White Sands National Monument for the first time.  The weather was fairly mild although a bit brisk in the morning.  The winds were impressive.  It turns out that 50 mph gusts are not unusual in the windy season.  We enjoyed the trip, but since we only stayed the one night we didn’t get to do as much hiking as we would have liked, so we decided to return during the off season. With our schedule it turned out the second half of January was a good time, and watched the weather and the launch schedule for the missile range to plan the date. This last week the weather was perfect for photography – cloudy with rain in the forecast and temperatures unseasonably warm with to lows above freezing, and no closures scheduled.  Off we went…

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A Walk in the Park

Skyline Park

The Missus enjoying a late afternoon walk while west Phoenix gets some rain in the background.

When you live in the southwestern desert you learn to accept that much of the summer is just plain too hot for outdoors activities.  That’s not to say one is housebound the entire time, but aside from morning and evening walks hiking is not on the schedule.

In late September the weather starts to change, and we start getting out a little more.  The town we live in has opened a new park recently, so we took an hour or so to take some pictures and enjoy the weather.

Little ranch gate

Out and about today we came across a little horse ranch that sells trail rides.  Ranches around here all seem to have a large open gate – historically there’s probably a reason for it but as near as I can tell they’re decorative any more.  This one had a nice little framed stucco arch topped with lights and a cross.  It looks like it’s seen better days, but somehow it’s right for the desert in July.

Hasselblad 500/80mm@f11 and 1/250 sec, Fujifilm Acros 100 ISO