FROM TUCSON, ARIZONA
The Ventana Canyon hike (July 24)
Ventana Canyon is a narrow and steep gorge just back of the San Ventana apartment complex. The photos that follow were taken as I climbed from about a 3,000-foot elevation to probably about 4,000 feet, at which point I turned around and went back. The hike was about 5 miles and it took about 1.5 hours.
This is the end of the private property easement for the trail, and the beginning of the Bighorn Sheep National Forest that envelopes the Ventana Canyon
This is the highest point that I reached on this "Death March." The city of Tucson is vaguely visible in the distance from about 4,000 feet.
The Sabino Canyon Phoneline Trail hike (July 28)
The Sabino Canyon Phoneline Trail hike was about 9 miles. It took over 3 hours with a brief splash break in the creek at the end of the dirt trail. Above is a view of the Sabino Canyon creek dam at the start of the trail.
An unusual V-shaped saguaro that has evoked various images among us... To me, it was a Victory cactus. To Martha, it looked like a sling shot. To Melanie, it was a woman with her legs spread. :-)
A view toward the west and the entrance to the Sabino Canyon
A view toward the southwest and a part of residential Tucson. This is roughly the point in the hike's ascent where the switchbacks end and a more or less level Phonetrail begins. From here on, it runs for about three miles, at about 400 to 500 feet above the (paved) Sabino Canyon road, visible in the distance (lower right-hand corner)
A view toward the west from about a half way point on the Phonetrail.
A view toward the east and the end of the Phonetrail (marked by the arrow).
A view toward the west from the end of the Phonetrail, above the Sabino Canyon tram stop No. 9. At this point, I had gone just over five miles from the start of the trail.
The creek near the tram stop No. 8, where I took a brief splash break to cool off a bit.
The brownish-golden color of water comes from tannin which seeps into the creek from the roots of trees.
Once again, we've had various interpretations of this little waterfall's color. To me, it looked as if gold was being washed down the stream. Which is why I took the picture. To Melanie, however, it looked like urine. :-) In fact, it was tannin.
A spectacular "Monsoon over Catalinas" shot taken from Bob's moving car, with a policeman patiently waiting behind.