Today Sadira and I took a trip to Red Mountain. It’s a cool spot north of Flagstaff. The remnants of volcanic activity that took place quite some time ago. Still the formations of the Granite Dells are older….. but the scene at Red Mountain was pretty remarkable!
The cool think about Red Mountain has to be the natural “amphitheater” look. It’s like some kind of wild rock stadium with the risers being rock formations. From the road we could see Red Mountain and we knew it would be a great hike!
Red Mountain itself is a cinder cone. It’s one of many in Northern Arizona. From Williams past Flagstaff visitors are seeing the remains of volcanic activity that extended back for millions of years. In the case of Red Mountain we’re only talking 740,000 years give or take. Still, it makes you wonder about the state of those volcanic fields today!
Once we parked the Titan we were off and running. Actually, Sadira was off and running. I was going at the “slow” pace today. Good grief, her time at the Y is showing, and she kicked my backside! 🙂 Of course, I was carrying a very big very heavy pack with lots of heavy gear…..there’s my excuse and I’ll stand by it!
As we made our way toward Red Mountain the terrain was pretty easy. Almost a flat hike in. Lots of small trees, views of Snow Bowl in the distance (there’s still a ton of snow on the mountain), and plenty of pollen to go around. You’d think on a chilly morning hike with heavy wind that you wouldn’t get sacked by a pollen attack, but I did! Whew! My eyes are still burning at this moment!
The closer we got to the rock formations the more the terrain changed. Quick change too. From a flat hike one moment to a flat hike sandwiched between two amazingly steep slopes that seemed to be cinder fields. Black dirt rose up to the right, odd rock formations to the left. And a few sizable pines along the way for good measure!
We rounded one final bend in the trail and caught sight of our first HooDoos. Talk about cool rock formations! I don’t even know if the photos I shot today can really do the area justice!
Mr. Big stuff, hoodo you think you are? Yeah, that’s been in my head all day!
The first interesting site beyond the HooDoos….a “ladder / stair case” into the formations. Haven’t seen handy work like that since the stiles on the AT. I was a little out of practice on the quasi ladder with a heavy pack too. Gotta get back into practice!
Once into the amphitheater we set our packs down, made ourselves comfortable, and then started taking a few photos. I wandered looking for good vantage points to shoot from. One spot that looked good worked out to be a little too steep. Loose rock, lots of dirt, and something that in the end wasn’t climable. The fun part was me coming back down and busting my butt pretty hard. Sadira wasn’t at the ready to take the photo. She totally missed out.
We spent quite a while amongst the rocks. A photo here, wandering there. Overall a very nice morning!
Did I mention that today is the first day I really played with the 5D? Several of today’s photos were shot with it. Very interesting indeed!
On our way out we ran into 3 different groups hiking in. A young couple from NAU, 4 older folks that were from Wisconsin, and one random guy with a 70’s mustache hiking in alone. Oh, and on our way in we met up with 3 older folks making their way out. For an out of the way spot it was certainly busy!
There’s the wrap for the visit to Red Mountain. After our morning hike we headed in to Flagstaff for a little shopping. The Life Is Good store, Best Buy for a new memory card for the 5D (I won’t shop at the Prescott Best Buy any longer), and finally New Frontiers for a few avocado spring rolls (which I’m about to eat).
Finally, one last note. My new lens that I ordered for the 5D arrived this afternoon. A 17-40mm L series lens. See, my 10-22 EF-S lens won’t work on the 5D. It doesn’t take the S series. And I like wide angle, so I had to be certain to have a fantastic wide angle for the new camera……
More about the 5D this week. Still settling in with it. A few differences from what I’m used to, and it’ll take a few days to get totally comfy!