About Me

Great rivers are born from drops of water. Opportunity is never lacking in life. Never shy away from hard work. End the day feeling the satisfaction that comes from a job well done!

09 August 2014

Humphrey's Peak and Flagstaff

I've always loved the Flagstaff area. The first time I saw the area it was barely daylight: I was 'trucking' through on my way to LA. My first impression was 'I want to live here'! I literally fell in love.

Mother and I explored the area in, 1998 and 1999 with good intentions of moving to the area. Except for the higher elevation (7700-7900 feet in Flagstaff proper), the entire area reminded us of Gilford, New Hampshire and the Gunstock Ski area.

The ranger (at Snow Bowl Ski area) where we have been delivering 'asphalt millings' to the parking lots, on the west side of Humphrey's Peak answered my questions when I asked. I'd always thought the mountain was three peaks, thus the name: San Francisco Peaks. Not so. The three peaks (you can see from miles away on approach to Flagstaff) form the bowl of Humphrey's Peak; a long quiet volcano (some 200,000 years quiet).

The San Francisco Peaks are a series of four stratovolcanic mountains in the Flagstaff area. Humphrey's is the highest point in Arizona, 12,633 feet above sea level. The native American population of the area consider these peaks/mountains, Humphrey's especially, sacred. I can understand why.

This mountain draws me, always has. Often I've wondered why until the last few weeks I've been working in the area. It's peaceful, calming. The piney odor of the tall Ponderosa Pines is subtle. The quiet, the whispering of the pines as a slight breeze wafts through the branches. Aspen leaves shimmer in the breezes seeming fickle. Shafts of sunlight filter through the trees into tiny meadows of grass where occasionally you will catch a glimpse of mule deer, white tail deer or a 'mama' elk with a new foal.

04 July 2014

The monsoon has arrived!

Each year about this time, the wind shifts from the southwest to the southeast bringing the monsoon (or summer rains). A few years ago, The National Weather Service changed the naming of our summer thunderstorm season from 'monsoon' to 'summer thunderstorm season' which begins June 15 and ends September 30. Typically, the desert sees the first of these storms around July 2. 

Taken just a couple of hours before looking to the northeast of the city....

 This shot captured looking to the southeast...

What a difference a couple of hours makes! As the sun was dipping low onto the horizon, the skies turned orange and the dust arrived.

 Looking across the street.. the wind was howling, there were flying  awnings, and skirting, tree limbs, trash barrels, all manner of debris.  

This storm produced a wall of dust reaching to 3,000 ft. with winds in excess of 40 MPH. The rains followed the dust... and the winds howled. By 10 PM it was over.