Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day #10 - The city at night

A couple of months ago, we set out to hike to the top of Wasson Peak via the King Canyon trail. It was longer than expected, steeper than expected, colder than expected, and far more incredible than expected. We raced to the top in the waning daylight, and hiked down in twilight, then full dark. This shot is from the end of the King Canyon trail where it branches into the final ascent to the peak. A full moon was up, shielded by fuzzy clouds, and the city lights were sparkling in the remaining daylight. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Last photo op at the saddle

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day #9 - Scrabble

The theme for this week's Photo Friday is "The Good Life". I poured over my picture files last night looking for one that might represent that, and rather than the exotic vacations or the expensive toys, I kept coming back to pictures that captured moments with friends. "The good life", for me, is time spent with friends. Moreso if we're doing something geeky or goofy. I didn't submit this image for the Photo Friday challenge, but I'm posting it here because it's one of my favorites, and is absolutely "The good life" to me. This is from NaNoWriMo 2006. For the Thank Goodness It's Over party, we drew a Scrabble board onto a couple of large tablecloths and played with improvised letter tiles made from index cards. We broke into 4 teams and laughed ourselves silly with some of the words people came up with. This is the guys team, caught in a moment of rapt contemplation.

NaNoWriMo Scrabble

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day #8 - Iowa from the I-80

In just over a week, I'm flying up to Iowa (Davenport) to help my best friend move back to Tucson. We'll be loading up the mini van with the kids and pets, two coolers of various snacks, and an almost never-ending stream of Veggie Tales sing-along opportunities.
Flashback to 2002 - my first post-collegiate trip to IA to catch a Rush show. This shot is a November sunset from the I-80 somewhere near Ames. This time around we'll be on the 80 for sunrise, and it should be a markedly colder landscape. Brr.

tail end of the sunset

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day #7 - Picacho Peak State Park

A couple of weeks ago, I hiked to the top of Picacho Peak. It's a tough hike with some very technical sections. There are stretches of metal cable bolted into the rock face and you have to pull yourself hand over hand in some sections. It's like climbing a flexible ladder without clear foot holds. As any Arizonan will attest, the real reason to go to Picacho is to see the wildflowers every spring. We got there before the flowers were at their peak, but it was still wonderful to see so much green among the lava rock. This picture is one I snapped from the car on the way out of the park. It was such a beautiful day for a hike.

Picacho Peak hike

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day #6 - Route 66

In a little over a week, I'm flying up to Iowa to help my friend drive the family back to Tucson. We're not going to have much time for sightseeing, but her son's excited to see some of the wacky sights along Route 66. This is from the moderately famous Stewart's rock/fossil shop near Holbrook, AZ. I'd love to go back and get more shots on a less gloomy day, but that stretch of I-40/Route 66 is getting so decrepit, the gloom works.

Route 66 folk art

btw - a fun resource for catching the oddities that used to be the staple of summer road trips -

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day #5 - Duck

We skipped a long hike yesterday and decided to just wander around Sabino Canyon instead. The bridges still have water running over them, so instead of squelching around with wet feet, we did a couple of loops on the paved, dry sections. At the first bridge crossing, there are quite a few deep pools, and one had a couple of ducks paddling lazily around. I didn't have my camera with me, so this picture from the Desert Museum will have to do for now.

Desert Museum, November 2004

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Day #4 - Marconi Hotel

In 2002, I attended the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "Preservation Leadership Training". It's a week-long boot camp for preservation professionals. We stayed at the Marconi Conference Center near Marshall, CA, and one of the properties our projects focused on was the historic Marconi Hotel. Over the years, the hotel has played host to various groups - most recently, a wacky cult. The building is in bad shape and has some seriously odd vibes to it. It's almost like a haunted house - even in broad daylight. This little patch of stained glass is almost hidden around the back of the hotel. It's an odd ray of hope and color in an otherwise dreary landscape.

Marconi Hotel