Archive for the ‘Catalina Highway’ Tag

A Recent Drive Up The Catalina Highway To Ski Valley   3 comments

Yesterday (08/05/20), I drove up the Catalina Highway to Mt. Lemmon. The highway was opened to the general public last Saturday morning for the first time since the Bighorn Fire began in early June. The mountain town of Summerheaven, successfully protected from the fire, is now open for business, although still having to follow HOVID-19 business regulations in Arizona.

Oricle Ridge-72Oracle Ridge and Mt. Lemmon Fire Station

Before entering Summerheaven, there are two ridges going north; Red Ridge and Oracle Ridge. Both ridges were severely burned during the 2003 Aspen Fire that destroyed almost all the homes in Summerheaven. Over the years since the Aspen Fire, the forest canopy has still not returned on these ridges. However, a lot of ground cover containing some bushes and small trees had returned. On June 17th, the two ridges were again burned. On June 19th, I posted two time-delay videos of the fire coming through the area pictured in the above photo. The fire station and most of the pines behind it were spared — not true of the storage building and new growth since the 2003 fire. It has now been 50 days since the fire occurred. Note how green the scared area has become with the return of ferns on the mountain slopes.

Except for the highway and Summerheaven, the public is not allowed to go anywhere in the National Forest. From what I was able to observe from the highway, most of the hiking trails with trailheads near the highway are ok, at least partially. Parts of Lower Butterfly Trail and Green Mountain Trail don’t look good from a distance.

My guess is that the trails in the forest around Summerheaven were burned like the two ridges north of Summerheaven. From a review of burn scar maps, the Marshall Gulch area to the north and west, which would include Carter Canyon, has been badly burned. For those of you who hike this area, It’s possible a lot of the Marshall and Mint Springs trails were destroyed. We may not know until November.

Since Sabino Creek originates along the Marshall Gulch Trail, the monsoon rains can result in a lot of potential flash flooding coming down through Sabino Canyon. So far, the rain amounts are very below average, but we are still in the monsoon season.

— kenne

Slideshow

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Images Taken From Catalina Highway by kenne

 

Thimble Peak   1 comment

Thimble of Catalina Hwy 4-2020-72Thimble Peak As Viewed From Catalina Highway — by Alexa Von Bieberstein
(Alexa is Leaving Today To return To Germany. Looking Forward To Your Return Next Fall.)

Tucson Basin Panorama   Leave a comment

Tucson View on Mt Lemon Road-02-16-10-Panorama1-72Tucson Basin Panorama (February 16, 2010) — Image by kenne

This panorama was composed at one of the vistas along the Catalina Highway, looking
west over the Tucson basin during our home shopping visit to Tucson. We move to
Tucson in late June of 2010, making this image my first panorama over the city.

— kenne 

Balanced Rock   3 comments

Rose Lake August 2012Balanced Rock, Catalina Highway, Santa Catalina Mountains — Image by kenne

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

— Alan Watts

 

Today I thought . . .   Leave a comment

Mt Bigelow 07-15-13Rock Formation Along Catalina Highway — Image by kenne

Today I thought of monsoon skies,
with big puffs of white cotton
gaining height in the midday blue.

Today I thought about the rain,
falling on the mountains
soaking nature’s soul.

Today I thought about raindrops
leaving prints on everything they touch,
congregating down the mountain streams.

Today I thought of my print
walking with nature
aligned with its very being,

my being communicating with its soul,
entering into a dynamic creative flow
experiencing nature’s bonding reality,

connecting all things in a meaningful whole
through which an allowance, a trust,
opens the vessels of my very being,

allowing my snapshots to profile nature’s
abundance of comfort and wealth,
in the horn of plenty on life’s table

where each moment captured becomes
a reminder that “life is just a leap of faith —
so spread your arms and hold your breath . . .”

Today I thought . . .

kenne

(A tip of the hat to Guy Clark.)

My Weekly Mountain Sojourn   Leave a comment

Golden Columbine-3197 blog IIGolden Columbine On Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

We drive the twisting
Catalina Highway
leaving the desert
for alpine forests 
on Mt. Lemmon —  
one hour away. 

Today I guide hikers
on the Aspen Draw
trail among the tall trees
next to the steep slopes
of Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley —
north America’s southernmost.

Wildflowers of the Sky Islands
are in full bloom celebrating
the summer monsoon rains
below the towering conifers —
temperate species of
Apache pine and Chihuahuan pine.

Recent heavy rains
have eroded the trail
exposing trees roots
not always easy to see
in shadows on the trail —
I reminded the hikers.

Moving with more speed
on the downhill return
careful of foot but
not careful enough
as I tripped over a root
now shouldering the pain.

— kenne

 

Catalina Highway Underpass Painting   Leave a comment

Doves, Lightening, HikingCatalina Highway Underpass Near Mt. Bigalow, Santa Catalina Mountains — Painting by kenne

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

— John Muir

Windy Point Girl — Photo Essay   Leave a comment

Rock Climbing Mt LemonWindy Point Vista — Images by kenne

In August 2010 I took over 83 photos a young woman and two men climbing the rock spire at Windy Point Vista along Catalina Highway. It ended up being a fun unplanned project. I put a video together using the photos and also uploaded them to my Flickr account.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kennetu/albums/72157624822900088

kenne

Climbing the Rock Spire at Windy Point Video

Here’s a link to a 360 view at Windy Point Vista:

https://www.360cities.net/image/windy-point-vista-tucson-az

Hiking Bug Springs Trail   2 comments

This Way, Joy blog

Yesterday’s Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists Friday hike was the Bug Springs trail. Six years ago Joy and hiked this trail with the “Monday Morning Milers.” During the hike, Joy’s hiking shoes began to hurt her feet, so Edi Moore and I kept a slower pace with her.

Near the end of the hike, there’s a fork in the trail. At the time there was not a trail marker. When Edi and I reached the fork, we didn’t realize Joy had fallen back and therefore would not see which way we turned. As fate would have it, she turned left toward the toward Sycamore Reservoir.

We didn’t realize that Joy was not behind us till we got to the Bug Springs parking lot, then I turned back to get her. To say the least, Joy was pissed. “How could you go off and leave me?” she said.  To this day Joy has not hike again with me. She will never let me forgot that I had gone off and left her. A lesson learned but not forgiven. The above image is for Joy — Love you!

— kenne

Hiking Bug Springs Trail, April 14, 2017 — Images by kenne
(Click on any of tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Wrongturn Turner blog“Wrongturn” Turner

 

Catalina Highway Panorama   Leave a comment

Catalina Highway from Bug Springs Trail- blogCatalina Highway Panorama (April 14, 2017)  — View from the Bug Springs Trail by kenne

As the desert spring days begin to become too warm for hiking the foothill canyons, we have begun hiking the trails along the Catalina Highway at the 5,000-6,000 foot level. The Bug Springs trail has an accumulated gain of 1,500 feet. (I merged three photos in Photoshop to create the above panorama.) 

— kenne

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people
are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home;
that wildness is a necessity.”

— John Muir

 

Hoodoo Pinnacles   Leave a comment

Catalina Highway July 2012 Hoodoos blogView of Hoodoos and the Rincon Mountains along the Catalina Highway — Panorama by kenne

Hoodoo pinnacles

Scenic diversity charm

Rocks stacked over time.

— kenne

Girl Atop Windy Point Vista Pinnacle Rock   Leave a comment

Girl Atop Windy Point Vista Pinnacle Rock (August 20, 2010) — Image by kenne

out on a mountain highway

two months after moving to

the desert southwest, with

everything new to my eyes

I didn’t have to look hard

for photo opportunities —

pictures were for the taking.

a popular stop on catalina highway

is windy point vista,

6,000 feet over the Tucson basin —

the views are gorgeous.

adding to the view

on this day was

an attractive woman atop a

rock climbing pinnacle.

hot desert summers,

I was too new to the vista,

too old to climb with her.

I never got her name —

with a body like her’s

who needs a name.

— kenne

Hiking The Upper Box Camp Trail   Leave a comment

the Upper Box Camp Trail In The Santa Catalina Mountains — Images by kenne
(Click on any of the images to see a larger view in a slideshow format.)

This past Friday the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) led hike was down the Box Camp trail for about 2 1/2 miles and back. This trail is one of several connecting trails leading down to the base of Sabino Canyon, and before the highway up to Summerhaven, was the main supply trail to Mt. Lemmon. The Box Camp trailhead is in a thick ponderosa forest at 8,000 feet and our planned hike took us down to a more open oak woodland area providing beautiful vistas of the Tucson basin. Later the fall, some of us are planning to hike the Box Camp trail and connecting trails to the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center (approximately 14 miles).

kenne

Sycamore Canyon Panorama   1 comment

sycamore canyon (1 of 1) blogPanorama View of Sycamore Canyon from Catalina Highway In the Santa Catalina Mountains (August 1, 2015)
— Image by kenne

First Summer Hike In The Santa Catalina Mountains, June, 2015   Leave a comment

The remnants of Hurricane Andres moved into southern Arizona yesterday bringing clouds, scattered showers and cooler weather to the area. Hikers gathered at the Lower Butterfly parking at the Bigelow trailhead in a light rain to begin the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) first hike of the summer in the Santa Catalina mountains. By the time we began our scheduled 9:00 am hike to Leopold Point, the rain had stopped and we were able to complete the four mile hike without rain. Temperatures in the fifties and occasional strong wind gusts made wind-breaker jackets standard apparel, it was a perfect day for hiking in the Santa Catalina’s.

kenne

 

Hike to Leopold Point Images by kenne (Click on any image to see larger view in a slideshow format.)

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