Blue Tank Saguaro Picture of the Week

It’s only the third month of 2021, and already I can tell it’s a much better year than the last one. If you remember, this time a year ago, I was comforting my dear wife, who was convalescing from knee surgery, we had growing concerns about a new virus that threatened our existence, and we faced travel restrictions to slow its spread. In contrast, this week, I feel like a kid at the end of a time-out, no longer grounded or released from juvy (of course, I was such an exemplary child that I never experienced any of those feelings—my parents just spanked us).

I have this exhilaration of freedom because we got our second vaccination shot this week—and we have passports to prove it. If you’re debating on getting your shots, you shouldn’t be. Queen Anne and I didn’t experience any abnormal side effects. Like any flu shot, your arm is sore for a couple of days, but other than that, our lives went on normally. And as an extra benefit—like a putty knife—the Microsoft chip they snuck into the vaccine scrapes off any plaque in your arteries (but I do have an incredible desire to buy a new version of Windows).

We’re still cautious about our movements—we wear masks and keep our distance, but now we can plan to go on vacation later this summer. In our laundry room, I have a huge wall map of the Colorado Plateau. Whenever Anne gets out of bed this afternoon, I’m going to have her toss a spit-ball at it. Wherever it lands is the place we’ll drag our trailer—The Ritz—this August.

Blue Tank Saguaro - A mature saguaro growing along the bank of the Blue Tank Wash near Wickenburg, Arizona.
Blue Tank Saguaro – A mature saguaro growing along the Blue Tank Wash bank near Wickenburg, Arizona.

I’m so giddy this morning; I almost forgot this week’s new picture. If it looks familiar, it should. That’s because it’s a variation of last week’s featured image. They both show the mountains on the Hassayampa River’s far side, and they both feature saguaro cactus. The difference is that last week’s photo was of the mountains with cactus in the foreground, and this one is a saguaro with the mountains in the background. Who said you couldn’t get two good variations of the same scene by working-the-shot? I called this shot Blue Tank Saguaro for obvious reasons.

I’m interested in hearing what you think. Both images can be seen on their Web Pages, and you can flip between them using the Previous/Next links. You can get to this week’s image by clicking here. Which of the two do you like better? Let me know by leaving your comment at the bottom of this page. Be sure to come back next week for another of my images from the mountains surrounding Wickenburg.

Until next time — jw

UPDATE 4:30 pm: Anne got up and threw her spit-ball at the map, so I guess in August we’re going to . . . the laundry room.

Hualapai Road Picture of the Week

To reiterate what I said in my first post on exploring the Hualapai Mountains, there isn’t much open space there. The little village consists of a cluster of homes, a general store, and the county park for everyone else. There aren’t the amenities that you expect in Flagstaff or the White Mountain communities, but if you like camping and a challenging day hike, the park at the top of Sawmill Canyon Road is a different destination.

Hualapai Road
Hualapai Road-A dirt trail on top of the Hualapai Mountains that reminded me of the Loan Ranger’s opening scenes.

When I first arrived, I explored every road to see what’s there, but the only trail leading out of town soon became to rough and exceeded my road rules, so I turned around and headed back to the park. Before I did, I liked the rustic feeling of the country road, so I composed this week’s featured photo of the scene. I call this image Hualapai Road, although it’s little more than a trail.

The reason that I selected this photo over some others was how the trail curves over a hill between the rocks and trees. It makes me wonder where it leads, and what will I see when I get there. The countryside also reminds me of the opening scene of the old TV show The Lone Ranger that I used to watch as a kid on Saturday mornings. It’s easy for me to imagine the masked hero galloping on his white stallion over the hill—kind of like me and Archie.

You can see a larger version Hualapai Road on its Web Page by clicking here. Be sure to come back next week when we start another series of image from another location.

Until next time — jw