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In the journey of life, the greatest destinations...

I have a tee- shirt that says

In the journey of life, the greatest destinations can only be reached on foot.

If that's the case, then I have hiked to some great destinations: the base of the Grand Canyon, a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail, some of the highest peaks in Montana and so on. But they are not the only Greatest Destinations. In truth, the greatest destination is the end of that last hike.

It seems in my life that I go long periods without walking, then remember the love and start hiking again. Dust off the boots, find the trusty TrekPod, use the daypack for something more than a bucket to haul stuff through airports with. If you don't hike and don't love doing the trek, then there is no way to explain the experience of having gone away from it and then returning. So it was last Saturday: after a almost a year, 4 miles... an easy walk... on the PIpeline Canyon Trail at Lake Pleasant. A glorious cool  (for Arizona) day and I had, for the most part, the trail to myself. It was just so fine!

 

Down the first long incline, the park built a floating bridge for hikers. The water at some point must require a bridge but this day it sat on dry ground, the nearest water a good 25 yards down the dry creek bed. 

11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
The trail wove up and down the gentle sides of the "Canyon." A pleasant walk with just enough climbing to speed the heart up and stretch out the leg muscles.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
Nothing at Lake Pleasant is far from the water. It was a breezy day and the sailing craft were out in force.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
Unique to the desert: a skeleton. Everyone knows what a cactus looks like alive, this is what one looks like after it has died and all that is left is the skeleton.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
A view from the trail, coming around a bend and looking out over the expanses towards the far mountains.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
Lots of little white sailboats. Yes, the water does appear that blue, not a trick of the camera.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
Cactus Hill
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge
And a lone sentinel on top of another hill.
11_10 thumb pipeline trail bridge


Off on an Adventure

My friend Henry and I were driving back from a (very successful) presentation in Reno. Looking around at the wilds surrounding the city while he drove, I said to him, "Whoa, I think I'll go take pictures of the mountains after you let me off."

Henry, as most people do when I make these kinds of comments, looked at me like I was nuts. We had just finished a grueling 2 1/2 hour presentation that had required several hours prep beforehand... and I wanted to go wander around taking pictures of hills????

Ignoring his look of incredulity, I told him it was early enough in the afternoon that I could go shoot the sunset.

Henry's response clearly suggested that someone should consider shooting me and putting me out of my craziness. He was, however, smart enough to suggest several places to go so I wouldn't just bumble around and fall off a mountain or get eaten by a bear, something he obviously considered a distinct possibility. In any case, he dumped me at the hotel and drove off, shaking his head as he went. I adjourned to my room with all good intentions of losing the jacket and tie for more comfortable clothes, and heading out on Highway 80 towards the Donner Pass to catch the sunset. As usually happens, I made the mistake of looking at my computer "just to do a quick e-mail check." A good while later I finally left the hotel in downtown Reno, headed for adventure. 

Who knew the sun set in Reno at 5:30pm? I guess they do that to encourage more gambling by making the sun go down early. In any case, there I was toodling up Highway 80, realizing that it was close to pitch dark and chasing the sunset was a foregone conclusion. So, to end this sad tale, only two mediocre images from an absolutely gorgeous area with stunning visuals and sunsets.

I guess Henry was right.

11_10 thumb sunset nevada
11_10 thumb moon in silouhette


Reno

Updated 11/11

A cold wet morning in the biggest little city in the world

11_10 thumb wet reno sign
11_10 thumb wet reno sign

11_10 thumb urban landscape
The downturn in the economy hit Reno just like everyplace else, it just seems a little more despondent here

11_10 thumb wet reno sign
11_10 thumb wet reno sign
11_10 thumb wet reno sign Even the Police Department is closed
(it at least looked like it was reopening later in the day)
11_10 thumb wet reno sign

The busiest place on this early morning stroll was the Bus Station
11_10 thumb flying bus 2


Dallas in the Morning

Not the best of scenic sunrises but it was a beautiful, cool, peaceful early morning in Dallas: the start of of an equally beautiful day... well worth preserving as a morning memory image.

11_10 thumb dallas sunrise

And back behind the hotel... if the big dog and razor wire- topped fence weren't enough of a cautionary note, not one but two warnings had to be added. Do they really need to tell everyone that high-voltage electricity will shock, burn or cause death?
11_10 thumb danger