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A walk in canyon country
Lens: A 50 f/1.2, OM Zuiko 24 f/2.8 Camera: a7r Photo Location: Coronado Mesa, Tonto NF, Arizona ISO: 100 
Posted By: scratchpaddy, 02-16-2015, 11:12 AM

It's been a while since I've started my own thread for some of my pictures, but I went on a walk on Saturday that was so spectacular, I can't help myself.

I normally go way out into the mountains for hikes, out of the heat, but it's February now, so I only went about 45 miles away. I've driven through this area before, but never hiked. There are hardly any trails here, which amazes me.

Actually, there was no trail at all here. This was my first off-trail hike, but I was hemmed in by a forest road and a canyon, so there would be no chance of getting lost. "Bushwhacking" is a poor term for it, though. Whacking anything in this part of Arizona is a bad idea. We just picked our way between the spikes. It wasn't too bad.



This canyon is not something you'll find much information about. It's called Fish Creek. So dramatic, I know.



There was a steady breeze up on the mesa. We couldn't ask for better weather.



However, standing on the cliffs exposed you to gusts of wind blasting up from the canyon so fiercely, it was hard not to stumble backwards. It hissed through the saguaro spines, and the ocotillo plants rattled like old bones.





There was a finger of rock sticking way out into the canyon that I tried to get to, on the left in this picture. We got most of the way there, but a 50-foot drop separated us from the final section. Still, the views from where we were standing left me with no regrets.



Skippy was very brave just getting that far onto the ridge. She grew up in the muscadine fields of rural Georgia. She was afraid of stairs at first. Now?



There wasn't anything on this walk she couldn't handle.



As it got closer to noon, the sun began to remind me why I preferred hikes way out in the wooded mountains.



We had been heading northwest along the mesa, with the canyon to the east and a forest road to the west. There was one last summit before the mesa dropped steeply down to where the road cut across into the canyon. That descent was probably the most difficult part of the hike.



We made it down, though. On the other side of the ridge, the grass seemed more bleached, the rocks whiter, but maybe it was just the sun getting closer to its apex.



The road I mentioned is actually the access road for Horse Mesa Dam, one of four that impounds the Salt River before it gets to Phoenix.



It is the one and only way to get to the dam by land vehicle. How's that for a commute? Actually, I spotted a small cluster of houses past where Fish Creek meets the Salt River in the distance. It looks like the people working at the dam get to live there, too.



I would love to take a walk down there, but the government said no.



I was impressed by their security.



Regardless, we turned around and headed back to the car. We used the road this time, and saw no one else at all. The sound of my boots crunching through the grit sounded far louder than it should have.



When we finally got there, Skippy found some shade and announced her retirement for the day.


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02-16-2015, 11:33 AM   #2
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No Country for Old Men, indeed! Great (off) trail report and photo's. I'm "officially" against solo off-trail jaunts for most people--even with the right topo and map skills, 20-foot contour intervals can hide a world of hurt--but there's no doubt that's where all the fun is.
02-16-2015, 03:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
I was impressed by their security
We have similar padlock arrangements to that here, it's so different folk can have access without all having the same key.
02-16-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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One day, I'd like to walk some of the hills around your way. Especially in February, when it is ridiculous here. Really like #3 and #6.
I'm surprised you didn't take the Merrill with you - you enjoying the A7R?

02-17-2015, 04:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
No Country for Old Men, indeed! Great (off) trail report and photo's. I'm "officially" against solo off-trail jaunts for most people--even with the right topo and map skills, 20-foot contour intervals can hide a world of hurt--but there's no doubt that's where all the fun is.
I agree, going solo is unwise, but being out in the wilderness alone with my dog just makes me feel so alive.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
We have similar padlock arrangements to that here, it's so different folk can have access without all having the same key.
Ah! Thanks for the insight. I've never seen that before, and couldn't figure out why they had so many locks serving the same purpose.

QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
One day, I'd like to walk some of the hills around your way. Especially in February, when it is ridiculous here. Really like #3 and #6.
I'm surprised you didn't take the Merrill with you - you enjoying the A7R?
I'd be happy to show you, any time! This is the best time of year. The desert will start blooming in March, too.

I actually forgot to bring the DP2M on this hike. I sold my other Sigma, the SD1M, to pay for the Sony, but I do still have the compact. I'm really enjoying the a7r, mostly because you can use pretty much any lens with it, and it makes manual focusing very easy. It's a tiny wonder with the Olympus lens on there, which took most of the pictures.

I forgot to mention, I used a Vivitar 13mm (rebadged Samyang) for #6, 7, and 8.
02-17-2015, 04:38 PM   #6
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Great series and story. Skippy is such a lucky dog...hikes and dog parks...what more could a dog want?!
02-17-2015, 04:56 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbancr Quote
what more could a dog want?!
How about a beer?

02-17-2015, 10:57 PM   #8
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Nice😇😊😊😇😇😇☺😊

02-18-2015, 06:12 AM   #9
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wonderful series... having your pup with you and in these shots are priceless.....
makes me miss my old hound girl angel all the more... dave m
02-18-2015, 07:30 AM   #10
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A lovely set of images that have a nice pop to them!
02-18-2015, 09:09 AM   #11
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Great day, beautiful place to take a hike with your best friend!
Gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing!
02-18-2015, 10:10 AM   #12
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Nicely done!
02-18-2015, 06:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by victoria.bruce100.vb Quote
Nice������������☺��
Thanks, and welcome to the forums! I hope you stick around for more.

QuoteOriginally posted by dcmsox2004 Quote
wonderful series... having your pup with you and in these shots are priceless.....
makes me miss my old hound girl angel all the more... dave m
Thanks, Dave. Hiking wouldn't be half as enjoyable without her. There are places I haven't been to, like the Grand Canyon, simply because she wouldn't be allowed to come with me if I hiked there.

QuoteOriginally posted by LeRolls Quote
A lovely set of images that have a nice pop to them!
Thanks for taking a look. This landscape has a lot of pop to it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Gotzy Quote
Great day, beautiful place to take a hike with your best friend!
Gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the compliment, Tom. It's a beautiful day almost every day here... at least for a few months.

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Nicely done!
Thanks!
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