Friday, September 14, 2012

Horton Springs

Our plan was to hike to Fossil Springs today. On the way, we saw a big sign that said Fossil Springs is closed. Denise called the hotline and found out that the AZ game and fish is removing non-native fish for most of the month. Our plan B became Horton Springs. Just 17 miles east of Payson, is an exit for Tonto Creek Picnic Area. Just a bit further up the road, the Horton Springs Trailhead can be found. It is quite an amazing place because Horton Creek is at first dry. After about a 1/2 mile, water seems to suddenly appear. The water must go underground before it meets up with Tonto Creek. I like the Horton Springs hike because of all the water features, which gives me the oppurtunity to use my tripod and long exposure times. The actual springs is basically a hole in the rock with water spewing out. Cool! We did see an elk family frolicking in the water, quite exciting. It was a gorgeous day and quiet! Here are some of my favs:

this young elk was splashing around in the water while ma and pa elk watched, they ran off before we could get any closer

Relaxing next to a mini waterfall

Monday, September 3, 2012

Camping Labor Day Weekend - Near Williams, AZ

I wouldn't normally pick Labor Day weekend to go camping because everyone else in the world has the same idea. I thought we could go near Williams being further away from Phoenix than Flagstaff or the Mogollon Rim. We drove to White Horse Lake, not wanting to camp there, and continued all the way to Sycamore Point to catch the sunset. We back tracked 4 miles and found a lonely spot off a forest road. The mosquitos were suprisingly thick, although not as bad as the midwest. A little insect repelent made the evening bareable as we cooked dinner and set up the tent. The next day, Sunday, we drove to the Sycamore Falls trailhead. The water was not running but the rock cliffs there were amazing (a hot spot for rock climbers). We continued to the Sycamore Vista before returning. We ate lunch at White Horse lake and were serenated by motorized vehicles and other revelers by the lake (not our kind of camping). We returned to our campsite and relaxed. And then, it RAINED! The lightning was close. We took refuge in our tent and flinched at every nearby lightning strike. The rain stopped around 6pm, leaving us daylight to prepare dinner. Monday morning, we packed up after breakfast and hit up Dogtown Lake for a easy 2 mile hike. It was great to get away for a couple days and RELAX. 
Sycamore Point

from Sycamore Falls

storm clouds gathering

after the storm

night time sky show

warmth by the fire

30 second exposure

fire lit trees and full moon rising

fire lit trees and full moon

Bald Eagle at Dogtown Lake

going, going....