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February 2010

High Plains drifting...

January 2.

A gorgeous day, so out for a stroll in the neighborhood. Originally intended to go to Sedona and then take the curving mountain road up to Flagstaff. As I headed up "the Big Hill" the other side of Black Canyon City, traffic slowed to a standstill at the Bumble Bee, AZ exit. Why not? I've never been to Bumble Bee, so off I went... into the middle-of-nowhere. The nicely paved road turned into a dirt road that became increasingly rough, to the point of being close to impassable at times. But gorgeous views of the high plains. (Bumble Bee, by the way, is mid-way on the dirt road. It is an abandoned attempt at a 1930's tourist ghost town that started life as a stagecoach stop).   

01_09 thumb road to the interstate
01_09 thumb high desert

01_09 three cactus
01_09 thumb bumblebee wash 

After much bouncing around on bad washboard dirt road, shaking loose everything that could shake loose in the truck and much eating of dust, it was back to the interstate to continue on to Sedona. Very quickly it became apparent that I was not alone in my idea of a nice ride on a Saturday afternoon. From the isolation of the high plains, I entered the tourist- saturated Sedona area. The winding drive up 89A to Flagstaff cleared out a bit, but it was still a risk to pull over and take pictures: obnoxious drivers were in much too much of a hurry to get to the top to appreciate what was around them. 

01_09 thumb oak creek canyon rocks

01_09 hdr sedona sunset 2 (BTW, for the photography geeks, this is an HDR- merged image)

01_09 thumb rocks and snow