Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Arizona: Places

Welcome to the third and final installment of the Arizona pictures. Today I reach you live from St Louis, which is an entirely different story that will be coming to a blog near you soon.

I may have gotten slightly over zealous in posting these pictures for you. I had trouble choosing between various options. Also, some people and things pictures that I missed in the previous rounds snuck in here. So, without further to do, I introduce you to Arizona: Places.

I am a sucker for looking out airplane windows. I can spend hours doing it. Normally I don't take pictures, or I take very few, but I could not resist taking a picture of these literal "crop circles". I am told that they have to do with an irrigation system. Aaron suspects they are alien pie graphs. The first morning there (Friday morning) we went to this experimental rose garden. Unfortunately, most of the roses were done for the year. But, it still was interesting and I really liked the entrance.

Outside of where SILs graduation was, there was a view of this nice church. I really don't know anything about it, but its pretty, eh?

And now to the mountains!! 6000 feet.

There were a lot of interesting rock formations, like this one that effectively looks like a table, likes someone stacked the rocks.

In the distance you an see the Tucson valley.

We wrapped up through the shorter mountains to get to the highest parts. The drive in was beautiful, at times nerve wracking. I am glad FIL was driving!

Is a dead tree a thing or a place? Either way, I found this tree fascinating.

I took this picture because you can see down at the bottom a place where the road we drove up on had collapsed a little. From up above it looked scary, but when you drive past it you could see how they had moved the guard rail and reenforced it and all of that jazz.

More interesting rock formations. These "stacks" were all over.

As we drove farther up the road the temperature dropped off sharply and things got greener and greener. The pine trees at the top were quite beautiful.

Unfortunately, in 2003 there was a serious forrest fire that took down a lot of the trees and the area is clearly still recovering. There was still places where you got a distinctive odor of burnt wood - six years AFTER the fire. This picture is taken in the little town at the top of Mount Lemmon, called Summerhaven. The town consisted of one or two tourist shops and losts of fancy alpine houses.

To the west of the mountains we were up in was Tuscon. Here is what lay to the east: desert. I am glad we got high enough in the mountains to see though because I am always curious!

Another family photo! This one combines people and places, eh?

Its unsurprising that my favorite part about Arizona was up in the mountains where it was cool and green.

Though, as this picture shows, it is suprising how green Tucson appears from above! It certainly does not feel green when you are in it! Sort of like when you see Duluth from above and it just looks like a forrest with the occasional house.

Back down in the city I took a few shots of the mountains to give some perspective. I believe that this picture is of Mount Lemmon, however Summer haven and where we were at are more on the backside of the mountain. In order to get up to Mount Lemmon you have to drive into the mount range much further south.

Saturday afternoon we went to a movie, and when we got out it was dusk. The sun, setting in the west, was making the mountains east of the city glow read, so we pulled over in a parking lot for me to get these shots.

Sunday morning we drove to the mountains to the west. Of course, after mount Lemmon they hardly seemed like mountains at all, but they offered more opportunities to see the desert up close and personal.

This picture looks back east at Tucson.

The little hut in the top right of this photo intrigued me, but SIL assured me there was nothing that interesting about it. So, with the heat I decided not to make the climb.

Looking out west.

Another really cool tree, this one at the turtle pond on the Arizona University campus.

And finally, I took pictures coming in to Tucson, and I could not help but take some leaving. It was actually raining when we left Tucson! Apparently they are having an abnormally wet spring. So, this picture is of rain over the desert, and also the sunspot in the distance where the sun broke through the clouds.

Remember that table-shaped rock formation? Here is some table shaped cloud formations to match it.

And last but not least, look at these mountains that look like an elevation map brought to life.

Today we drive from St Louis, back to Columbus. The wedding I was here for went off without a hitch (except for the fact the bride and groom got hitched - boom boom che!) (Oh, and also except a groomsman passing out from heat during the ceremony.) Tomorrow I try to wrap up my time at OSU, and Wednesday I leave for Duluth!

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