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Thirsty Thursday: Coppermine Road

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: 2013 Ancient Peaks Pinot Noir

Thirsty Thursday here again! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. Sometimes the best weekend plans involve a road trip, so this week's story is from my recent road trip across the Desert Southwest. 

My first destination on that trip was Page, AZ with the main objectives of checking out Horseshoe Bend and the Antelope Slot Canyons. I arrived with a day to kill before my first canyon tour, and several hours to kill before the good light of sunset at Horseshoe Bend. So, I pulled out the trusty DeLorme Arizona Gazetteer to check out what was around. I noticed a geological feature on the map called "Hole in Rock" not far south of town on Coppermine Road. So off I went. 

I had no idea what this "Hole in the Rock" would look like, but I occasionally stopped to take other photos. There weren't a lot of rocks around to start. 

Eventually the desolate grassland-ish land transitioned to include more cedar trees, but still not a whole lot of rocks, which wasn't boding well for finding this "Hole in the Rock" place. 

Eventually I came to a T-intersection, signaling the end of Coppermine Road. I didn't find the "Hole in Rock" spot. Instead, I found myself in a dusty berg called "The Gap". A place large enough to have a post office, but not much else. 

I went north a bit on Highway 89. The road was dotted with Native American settlements under a towering red rock plateau. 

Eventually road construction forced me to turn around and re-trace my steps, back to The Gap, back up Coppermine Road, and past the unseen Hole in the Rock. But since I had no where to be, I stopped a few times to explore the details in the landscape. 

Just before I got back to Page, I found this vista. In the end, this vista meant I got to take some photos of rocks, which was the original objective. 

Get out there and find your own rocky landscape this weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: Exploring Yuma

Rambler: Beth
Drink at Hand: Dolce Vita Prosecco (no idea, I walk in the door and the hubby hands me a glass...not complaining!)

Hello friends - it's Thirsty Thursday! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. A few weeks back I found myself in Yuma, AZ with a little time to kill. And the desert didn't disappoint!

The back story to these images in a little entertaining. I had to fly down to Yuma for a business trip. Remember when LA had all that damage from the Santa Ana winds? Yeah, I was flying into LAX during all that windiness. My drink wouldn't even stay on my tray table. So I finally get to Yuma that evening and go to get my rental car, only to have the rental car counter girl tell me they don't have any cars left so I get a Suburban. Uh, okay. So I roll myself out the the rental car space and there it was, an all-black Suburban with shiny wheels. I felt like gangsta-g in the Secret Service...or something.

Fast forward to the next afternoon. I'd spent the day driving all over creation in Yuma looking at lettuce fields, broccoli fields, cauliflower fields, romaine fields, spinach fields, Cabbage Patch Kids fields (okay, maybe not those), but you get the idea. Late in the afternoon, after I'd finally seen every last acre of growing green produce in the Yuma Valley, I went to the local coffee shop to catch up on email. The clouds were trying to spit rain outside, but there weren't enough. The sun kept peaking through. Golden light, dark clouds, nearby mountains. Finally at 3:52 I decided I was done with the checking of the email. I ran to my Secret Service-mobile, brought up the map on my phone and headed out of Yuma into the desert.

Since I'd seen the entire valley during my tour earlier in the day, I remembered seeing a couple of cool landscapes and headed that general direction. I thought I'd found the money road...but it turned to gravel and then ended. Back I went. Sunset was at 5:12 and I had to be back in Yuma to catch a flight at 6:30. Time was of the essence. I referenced my iPhone map. I found a different road. It was the perfect road to take me exactly where I wanted to go. Except that it ended at the gate to the Yuma Proving Grounds. Crap. Now its 4:40ish.

I found another road. It turned to gravel. Then to rough rock. It cut through a chunk of the Yuma Proving Ground too. There were government "Do Not Enter" signs all along the road, but the road was public access. So I sped along in my Secret Service Suburban, far exceeding the speed limit on some random back road in some military shooting range. The light was fading, I was about to give up. Finally I found an acceptable spot. I jammed the SSS in park and hopped out. It was 5:02. There was a random blimp tethered nearby, its white body and incessantly annoying buzzing motor floating a few hundred feet above the ground. It was all a little weird--strange military training site in the middle of nowhere Arizona, fading light, buzzing blimp, me in my black Suburban--but I didn't have time to dwell on the weird. After driving for over an hour, I literally had minutes to get something decent and then bolt back to Yuma. Here's what I got...

Tracks
Cactus
Cactus Clouds
Clouds

The gusty winds and local mountains made for some lovely orographic clouds.

Ocatillo
More Ocatillo

And then suddenly the sun had enough and called it a day. The light was gone. Time to head back to town to catch my flight.

Faded

Ironically, after well over an hour of hurtling down back roads in the black SSS, the drive back to town only took 35 minutes of very pedestrian driving on a nice highway. If only I'd known!

So that's it. Another Thirsty Thursday down. Go out and get yourself lost on some random back roads this weekend! And have a Happy New Year while you're at it!

Thirsty Thursday: Color-Free Joshua Tree

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: Fog Head Chardonnay...Monterey County makes some yummy chards!

Welcome back for another Thirsty Thursday! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I found out today that I might head to the desert for work in a few weeks (who knew you could grow lettuce in the desert?!), which made me think back to my trip to Joshua Tree National Park last year. I had the privilege of having the park shown to me by a couple of incredible local photographers who just wanted shoot with some friends for a few days. It was a fun week.

I revisited the photos from that trip in the archives this week (mainly because the "archives" are getting much too large for our storage space) and found a few I didn't share yet. In that group were 3 images that I processed in Nik's Silver Efex. I'm in love with Silver Efex (now Silver Efex 2) for black and white processing. So enjoy a few rockscapes from Joshua Tree. Visiting there in winter is really nice. Just make sure to bring some pilars to get the cactus spins out of your shoes.

Get out there and do something fun this weekend!