6/30/2008

City Lights

I thought it would be interesting to go up onto South Mountain and take some night pictures of the city. This first Pic was taken with a 30 second exposure, and processed into an HDR pic.
This is also a 30 second exposure, enhanced with Photoshop.
This one is a 30 second exposure and I set off the flash in the middle of it to bring out the nearby objects.
The final picture was a 30 second exposure with the flash set to rear synch, and triggered with my wireless remote.
While up there we noticed the smell of something burning.

6/25/2008

Pinetop Lakeside (In HDR)

Recently Kathi and I wanted to take our trailer and go camping. We wanted to camp at Woods Canyon Lake, but they are booked till August. After some searching I found a campsite in Lakeside that had openings. Last Friday we went up to Lakeside and stayed at the Lakeside campground. I have no pictures of it as it was pretty boring, plus all the camp sites were crammed very close together. If we had brought a tent we would have had no place to set it up, as the space available was taken up by the picnic table, fire pit, and trees. We left town around 13:30 and arrived at around 17:30 18:00.

When planning the trip I found there were 2 routes to get to Lakeside, one went through Payson and the other went through the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. My Mapping software insisted that going through the Fort Apache Indian Reservation was the faster route, but once I told it not to use any dirt roads It gave the distance as 184.7 miles. I then had it run the route through Payson and I got a distance of 184.7 miles?! So... given the choice we went through Payson.

The trip was very hot, and climbing the 6% grades with a trailer had the engine running quite warm, however once at the top of the rim it was smooth sailing to Lakeside. As we went through Payson the temperature was 102.

This time we left with time to spare and took our time setting up camp. Because of the fire danger in Payson being Extreme I stopped at the Payosn Walmart and picked up a portable propane BBQ. I had to assemble it, and we made hamburgers for dinner. We went to sleep shortly after the sun went down. We did not light a fire as it was very warm.

The next morning we were up with the sun I made breakfast and after a quick shower in our camper we headed out to rainbow lake as I wanted to do some fishing and maybe catch Crayfish.
However Public access to the lake is mostly restricted to the north side. There was very little space to fish from and most of it was in use or the water was shallow or choked with weeds.
I looked for crayfish but only saw dead or the remains of dead crayfish. Kathi looked into renting a boat but they were not renting because of the weed problem.

So instead we went for a drive to Show Low lake, I do not have a picture of the lake but the lake is designed as reservoir and it had steep sides lined with boulders, once again access to shore fishing was very limited. So we went to see if we could find Kathi's friend Suzie's mothers cabin as it is for sale. The cabin is located in a nice little wooded neighborhood in Lakeside, I did not take a picture of it, the cabin consists of an old single wide trailer with an add on on the front. A neighbor reported that it was in need of a lot of repair.

We drove around and found this
It's the "Pinetop Fire Department live Fire Trainer". Right next to
The Pinetop Fire station.

We had lunch at a restaurant whose name escapes me. It was starting to get warm and also looked like rain, so we went back to camp closed up the flaps on the trailer, then went in to town to see "Kung Fu Panda" (funny movie you should go see it). Afterwards we went back to camp and took a nap. Later on we went back to the lake where I tried to fish, but due to very high winds I only got about 45 minutes of fishing before I had to give up. We drove around some more and I took this picture:
We went back to camp I made dinner (Ribeye steaks), and we went to bed shortly after sundown.

The next morning once again up with the sun and we started packing. We had breakfast at a small restaurant called "Darbie's cafe". Where they serve breakfast big enough to choke a horse. We went back to camp finished packing, checked out and headed home. On our way through Heber we saw this:
I didn't take many pictures since when you have seen one pine tree you've seen them all, as illustrated by this picture I took at the Mogollon rim overlook just before you head down from the rim.The trip home was uneventful.

6/09/2008

Flagstaff and Route 66

This last weekend I had to go to Flagstaff on Friday June 6th for non recreational purposes. I finished setting up the kiosk at the Flagstaff mall at about 1pm, and Kathi and I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant (the name escapes me). We visited the Flagstaff train depo and did some train watching.

I estimate that in the town of Flagstaff a train goes by on average every 10 to 15 minutes. We then had a light dinner at the Village inn next to the Super 8 motel we stayed at. Here is the view of from our second story window.
The picture is fuzzy because it was taken through a screen I couldn't remove. The trains go by at night so often you have to sign a waver saying you won't ask for your money back if the trains keep you awake (I never heard them while I was sleeping). The next day we decided to drive Route 66 from Flagstaff to Kingman. Okay... we didn't decide to go to Kingman we just ended up there. When I started my car I got a check engine light, I got the diagnostic code P0455 and called my boss, The code was that my gas cap was not on or I had a severe vacuum leak. I checked the gas cap and found that it was just sitting there. I put it back on and the light didn't go out. I think someone tried to siphon my gas. I decided to get a locking gas cap when we got back into Flagstaff. On our way out of town we passed through Williams, Ash Fork, Seligman, Peach Springs (inspiration for Radiator Springs in the movie Cars), Truxton, Crozier, Valentine, and Hackberry. Except for the fact that the towns we passed through were mostly boring, and there was not much scenery, There was one nice thing about this section of route 66 there was practically no traffic. Here see for yourself:
Generally if I am driving on any highway, at least one yutz will come up behind me and ride my tail. Not only did that not happen but I never saw anyone driving behind me for the entire trip. I only saw a few people in front of me but they were locals and they got off the highway before I got anywhere near them. Until I got to Hackberry I didn't see more than 4 or 5 cars going East. So if your ever on I40 and you get to Seligman, Make sure you have a full tank of gas and take route 66. The speed limit is 65 mph, and I didn't see even one cop car the entire time. You will see several of these:
Yup that's right... Burma Shave signs.
We got to Kingman (and it was boring). We did find this small park with a Locomotive in it.

Next to the park was an old electric generating plant, now a museum. We stopped in to use their bathroom, but did not go into the museum, of course there was a train running nearby.
The ride back to Flagstaff was long and boring and we took I40 this time. We got back into Flagstaff and I got a locking gas cap. I reset the check engine light and it hasn't come on since. We had Dinner at Buster's (Kathi had Salmon and I had Prime Rib), later that night Kathi wanted to sit outside somewhere. So we went down to the train depot and sat out to watch the trains. An Amtrak train was schedule to arrive at 8:51pm, but did not arrive till about 10pm. I decided that this would be good time to get some night shots of light trails as the trains went by. I took alot of pictures but most of them looked alike. Here are the better ones:


Kathi took some video as well.
video
The next day we checked out and headed for Sedona We stopped at a scenic overlook, I took a picture of us and an HDR picture of the Scenery.
We passed through Oak Creek Canyon, and stopped in Sedona for about 45 minutes. We didn't stay very long. I was extremely tired and I didn't even take any pictures. The rest of the ride home was the usual heavy Sunday traffic.