Oh my, it’s another Sunday already. It’s the last Sunday of our Harquahala trip, of the month, the year, and the decade. I should have thought of something profound to memorialize this moment. Alas, I’ve been too busy staring at all of these trees to notice a passing forest. I’ll try to do better ten years from now.
For this week’s episode, we’ve turned the corner, literally. Anne and I had been traveling southwest on the Eagle Eye Road, and to continue, we turned right on the Salome Highway, which runs northwest from Buckeye to Salome. At one time, the highway was a detour while they built Interstate 10. Now, both roads are free of traffic. As when we made stops along the way, I pulled off on the broad shoulders, but I didn’t need to. There was no traffic to block, so I could’ve parked in the middle of the road.
As we drove toward Salome (“Where she danced” Dick Wick Hall; one of Arizona’s famous humorist and former Salome resident), the day grew late. The long shadows on the mountain began to look like a minimalist graphic in the style of an Ivan Earl painting, or a Scotty Mitchell pastel. So, I searched for a spot where I could take a picture of the mountain behind a sea of creosote. I found such a place near a large ranch. So I got a chance to shoot this image with and without buildings in the distance. I preferred this version, and I called it Harquahala Sunset.
The part about “without buildings” is a lie. As I processed this picture, I combed through it, looking for dust spots—a regular part of my routine. That’s when I discovered the ruins of the 1930s solar observatory. At the top of the highest center peak is a white tower and utility building. They’re abandoned now, but a few miles behind us, there’s a ten-mile road that goes to the mountain’s top. It’s a challenge that is too much for Archie, but I’d like to take that trip someday.
You can see a larger version of Harquahala Sunset on its Web Page by clicking here. I hope you enjoy viewing it. Next week, we’ll be talking about a new back-road trip somewhere in Arizona.
Until next time — jw