Durango with the intention of putting in some miles to help us
meet our goal of being in Tucson in time for my father's 92nd
birthday. There were plenty of miles to be traversed, much
of it across the various indian reservations in northern New
Mexico and Arizona. There is some desolate land out there
and it is clear that the white man did them no favors. We
spent the first night at a state park in Arizona near St.
Johns. The park was clean and well maintained, but
generally unremarkable except for a reservoir (that was about
half full). Interestingly, in an area that is a desert
just the presence of open water is a reason for a park.
From the park, we headed south toward Tucson through the
Mogollon Rim and Salt River Canyon.
The photos below are what we saw.
River Canyon as a monument to road building techniques.
But the grades are long and steep and unless both your cooling
and braking systems are in tip-top shape you will remember the
trip not for the scenery, but rather the cost of being in such a
remote location when your vehicle breaks down. Thor had no
problems, but we were going slow on both the down-hill and up-hill
grades. The Salt River Canyon is cut through the edges of
the Mogollon Rim and takes the river from the high country
toward Phoenix. The shot above is a side canyon.
were many caves and alcoves that were exposed by the erosion of
walls were steep and in most areas impassable. The path
that the road travels had been the "old road" used by hunters,
trappers and the local indian tribes.
approached an uphill pull-out, we could see the uphill portion
on the other side of the canyon. The structure at the
switchback at the far left of the photo is a runaway truck
ramp. The canyon itself is many, many miles of 6-8% grades
were two bridges at the bottom of the canyon. The old bridge
was left standing (likely due to the cost of demolition).
On the southern side of
the Salt River Canyon, we could see both bridges that cross the final
river gorge. We could also see the switchbacks that led to
the bridge crossing, providing visual evidence of the steep grade.
My father's birthday is on the
4th of July. So, for the past N years the kids have
been gathering at
dad's place to watch fireworks from the roof. This
year, things have been subdued; dad has cancer (at 92) and
was too weak to
leave his bed to watch. So, I went and took photos
so he could see the event anyway. The fireworks
were at the El Conquistador Hotel in Oro Valley and were easily
visible from the roof deck.
There were a small variety
of fireworks, most of them similar to the one shown
above. The lights in the distance are Oro Valley on the
northwest side of Tucson.
The previous year the show
was canceled due to excessively dry conditions. This
year, conditions were also dry, but extra steps were taken to
insure that a fire
was not started. Oro Valley had fire equipment
stationed at the launch area and just down wind. It was hot, but the
breeze was just strong enough to blow the excess smoke
away from the viewing area.
Some of the bursts were quite complex with
many stages to the
This burst was multi-colored.
I used by small Olympus
OMD-EM5 mirror-less SLR for these photos and it did a good
There was plenty of smoke
from the fireworks and fortunately it blew the smoke away from
The time exposure
technique I was using to capture these photos fools the eye: these blasts seem
to happen at the same time when in reality they were many
The red glow of the smoke
direction of the
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.