Monday, August 30, 2021

Red Canyon, Utah

Red Canyon, Utah.  If this looks like Bryce Canyon National Park, that might be because it's right down the road, along scenic Highway 12 between Highway 89 and Bryce.  These pictures are from the super short Pink Ledges trail.       

There are a whole host of other trails near here that I want to try someday.  There's also a campground, a visitor center, and a bike path all the way to Bryce Canyon.  

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Arizona--Land of Variation

Here are a few pictures showing the amazing variety you can see in Arizona in one day.  These are from Sunset Point (rest stop north of Phoenix) to a lookout on the road to Page, just north of Bitter Springs.  This is a distance of only 200 miles, and here is only SOME of what you see:

Sunset Point--high enough to be out of the saguaros,
but with smaller cactus and brush

Between Sunset Point and Flagstaff--
greener than usual thanks to our actual monsoon season this year

Sunset Crater area, just north of Flagstaff

The red cliffs on the road to Page
(not technically the Vermillion Cliffs, I believe, but neighbors). 
Down in this valley is the beginning of the Colorado
 River's greatest carving job:  the Grand Canyon. 

Pictures taken on this same route (and a little bit north and south) on different days or different years:

Just north of the northernmost point above:
Horseshoe Bend, a short hike from the highway.

Approaching the San Francisco Peaks
(near Flagstaff) from the north
Also greener than I've ever seen it

Lake Powell, from a viewpoint off the highway
just north of Page

And an example of the area between Phoenix and Sunset point

And  I can't find a picture of the area that looks like a bunch of purple and gray hills of wet sand, some eroded so they look like elephant feet.  Such an impressive drive!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

365 Days to Alaska by Cathy Carr

I've been reading some really good middle grade novels recently.  This was definitely one of them. 

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I love Alaska and am fascinated by bush life.

The settings, characters, and emotions were all really well drawn.  The writings was good.  The author drew me into the story and kept me engaged. 

And I loved the crow.

I will absolutely read more by Cathy Carr. 

Rating: 4.5 stars. 

Cover:  Lovely

Monday, August 2, 2021

Monsoon Season!

 Monsoon season in Arizona is generally July and August.  When I was a kid, we'd have afternoon downpours at least two or three times per week.  The sky would be blue.  Then within half an hour or so, it started pouring.  It could be absolutely torrential.  Twenty minutes later it would stop.  The sun would come out.  An hour later, you'd never know it had rained.  And our swamp coolers would lose all effectiveness in the humidity.

Okay, so it wasn't quite that regular.  But that's what it feels like in my memory.

Last year, we hardly had any rain at all during monsoon season, leaving our plants and animals to languish.  This year, monsoons have caused flooding.  Weather is a powerful force.

I don't have good pictures of the last storm, because there's no way I was taking my camera out in such weather,.  It soaked my pants in about 15 seconds.  The bike path was a literal river that knocked several strong young men off their feet as they were trying to cross.  

A few nights before that, we watched the lightning storm across town.  There must have been three or four flashes per second for some of it.  

Another day I got to eat my lunch at a rainy lakeside park where the ducks seemed very confused about what was falling from the sky.  It's all been amazing.  Just no amazing photos.  

Here, at least, are some clouds (which we sometimes don't see for months):