Tuesday, February 21, 2017

High Above Canyon Lake




 




Greg had the day off work today for President's Day and my brother and his family are in town, so we arranged to do a hike together.  Since the prettiest and least busy one we've been on is the one just a bit ago by Canyon Lake, we decided to try that.  
Mark and Jillian like to hike and are both fit and healthy, so they were all in, even though they just arrived in the Valley yesterday (with two little girls!)


Here's the first panorama for the day!
(Remember, it's coolest if you look at that link on your phone, but it works on a monitor, too.)
Your challenge is to find my lone foot, disconnected from my body!!!

It looks like this . . .

Then we started climbing up!!!

Perhaps at this point I should tell you that if you want to see any of the photos in larger sizes, just click on the picture and it'll expand.



Here's where we started!
See the Cube in the background? 


This trail was described as going up the drainage path, and that's exactly what we did.
Because it rained a lot on Saturday and Sunday, there was still a lot of wetness left behind.
There were puddles and when we came to the grassy part, it was wet!






Here I am, conquering the world!


I peeked in this arch, too.  
That view is incredible.


Mark and Jillian decided to use his fancy Selfie Stick to take a photo.


"This angle?"


"Let's try this way."



"Wow, we look great from every angle!"


"Ha! Lemme swing my stick around some more!"








Mark went up higher and Christie went down to look at the lake.


There's Mark!







There's Christie!

And there's the lake!


There's Mark, being brave!

Look at the beautiful geode I found!


We found a couple of loose rocks that had sparkly geode bits inside.


Here's a blooming jojoba plant!


Greg took lots of cool photos.






And I took lots of photos of him!


We saw some cute little pink-spined cacti.


Jillian and I went on first.

Mark did some rock climbing and would have perhaps gone higher if Greg had not asked him how he planned to get down . . . 






As is obvious from the disconnected foot above, sometimes the panorama shots give amusing results.
Check this one out:  I have two sets of arms and almost no head, 
but I'm only one person from the waist down.  Ha!





Greg found the cairn and Jillian pointed at it for us
(it's tradition!)


Look at our strong and studly men!
(And look at that amazing view!)




Jillian and I climbed up higher first.
We decided to keep on climbing up until we were at the top of the ridge







There goes the steamboat!




I tried to get Greg to make a smiling face.

Nope.


Uh-uh.


 Um, no.




I'll take it! 


We found a ledge with just enough room for four at the top of the ridge.




The view was even better than down lower.


Greg didn't love being up that high or being on a ledge.
He was very brave about it, though!


The clouds began to roll in.  I thought we might get rain, but we didn't, and the clouds didn't follow us back to Chandler.


From the ledge, we saw a tiny little gecko.
He's on the lower left-hand side of the photo on whitish rock.


Here's a closer shot.  He's on the very left-hand side about half-way up the photo.



Here we are on our ledge.





Some views from the ledge:







Mark decided he needed to water the foliage and he NEEDED to do it off a cliff.
We turned our backs, but I wanted a reminder of this event before the fun started.


After that excitement, I found a little arch and stuck my hand through. 


Mark took a photo. 


Can you see my hand?


Jillian was good with the Selfie Stick, too!


And then we started down!







And yep, Mark got a sun burn.




We did some dithering about which way to get down, but Mark is like a GPS and knew exactly where we went up.  We followed him down.


Jillian discovered veins of quartz through the rocks. 






When we got back to the parking area, Mark went down to splash cold water on his sun burn.
He found a lobe from a Prickly Pear cactus sitting on the ground. 



A helicopter was flying quite low over the lake.




I found a pile of little droppings, possible from a ring-tailed cat (which are actually related to raccoons, not cats!)


What a great day!!!


Someone fell asleep a little bit on the way home, maybe. 



BONUS:

Allistair took his TWO favorite toys up on the bed for nap time 
(Wanda the whale and Maud the blue mousie).


When I was outside in the sun with Juvy, Allistair missed me a lot, 
and so did Maud!  They both came to wait for me by the sliding glass door.


This is the sort of day one of our students was having last Sunday!


Happily, the next week, his day was good enough to draw a happy monster
with a bellybutton.

Happy Tuesday!


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