Monday, February 19, 2018

Hiking, wind, colder....

Our Location: Saddle Mountain BLM, Tonopah, AZ
(lots of pictures tonight)
It was cooler this morning with a good breeze that was just a bit cold and told me that if the sun didn't show it's self today it would be very cold. I ventured out taking pictures but didn't go far, taking many of my sunrise pictures from the protection of the Igloo and a full backed chair to help block the wind. 
Noticed this while on a very short walk this morning...
Sun reflecting off the clouds...
Back inside we had our morning hot drink and hot from the oven biscuits. We planned our hike and the rest of the day. Around 10 am we headed out the door. 
Lots of dust in the air already this got worse through out the day...
See the rays peeking through?
The hike was the mountain just outside our door. Although we ventured around to the south side as it was a bit easier climbing. Riley did extremely well with the amount of cumbersome rocks that litters the side of the mountain. It is quite like an angry child would throw sand in all directions, these rocks have been strewn about making it very difficult to find good footing. They come in various shapes and sizes, some are good solid stepping stones and others only pretend until you've put some weight on them before they slip out of place. Toe catchers and under foot rollers also add to the fun. There is also numerous cacti and ocotillo that one doesn't want to run into either. Of course there are few tall stately cacti that stand like sentries on the mountain side, watching over all that passes before it's pointy spines. Some are tall and slim with no appendages, some are single, double or multiple armed soldiers. There are small brightly coloured cacti with red, yellow, pink and purple hues, clusters of spined yellowish cacti, teddy bear cholla, and so on. There are holes, and dips, large steps, sharp inclines, and numerous other reasons to watch carefully. 
Views from our hike looking toward the east....
Views looking south west on our hike...
We angled up the side hoping for a somewhat easy climb and it was until we reached about 3/4 of the way to the top. It became very steep and the rocks more tightly covered the ground with fewer open spaces to step. In to this was strewn some very loose gravel stones that would roll easily under foot. At this point Riley had gone far enough. It was an amazing accomplishment for her and she was very proud of herself as she well should be. This was her biggest climb and she did it very well. Small steps, a slow pace and she rested only once before we started back down. Truly something to be proud of and I think she's now realizing how much fun she can have while hiking and climbing. 
Noticed clumps, and singles growing at various places along the mountain side..

Nestled between two rocks this one has a very warm environment....

The views from up there were fantastic. We could see the layers of mountains with long sweeping valleys and washes spidering their way across the valley sides and floors. These washes were marked with a line of bright green waving in the wind. The valley's themselves had long rolling acres that alternated between greens and browns with curling twisting ribbons of whitish/grey colours that indicated roads. The mountains were of stark contrast, some softer looking with more vegetation visible, the green tint almost hiding the dark black of the stones in many places. The dark black showing off easily against the white of bare shale rock where the water has eroded all other ground cover as it rushes down the hillside in rainy weather. Others were dark and cold, too far away to see any hint of colour or hue other than dark, cold blue.  The tops of some mountains looking like granite domes hovering above the mountain sides, others looking rounded and gentle with various green hues. 

What a riot of colour to see on the hillside...

Amazing colours to see...
The wind was much stronger than it had been earlier in the morning and was a factor in our deciding to stop. It rushed around the mountains curves stealing the warmth from the rocks, at times we could hear it whistle around and between rock outcroppings. It helped to push us along on our way upwards but the further up we went the stronger it became and when it sneaked up behind you it could easily make you waver a bit with it's intensity. Definitely time to get down off the mountain side.  
Looking west during our hike....

Can you see Riley up there?
Down was much easier than going up as we had now arrived to a part of the mountain on the opposite side from which we started our climb that was much less littered with rocks. We managed to get down quickly and walked around the jeep road bypassing our own road way home for a quick flat ground walk to check out a couple of sights I had found a few days ago. Always nice to have a few other sights in mind for next time. 
Looking south east from a different vantage point...

Directly south of the mountain we were climbing...there's a road down there in the middle...
As we're flat footing along the roadway we noticed a silver jeep heading northwards from the base of the mountain. Sure enough it was Doug & Yuma of Miss Adventure Travels heading out for a drive. They pulled in to where we were standing, getting out we chatted for a few minutes, Yuma was happy to see Riley and excited as well. We pointed out things on the surrounding mountains until finally a huge gust of wind made us all decide it was time to be getting on with whatever we each doing. Off they went on their adventure while we headed homeward. 
This is looking north west from the west side of the mountain we hiked...

Looking south west on our hike...
We reached home to find some of our stacked refuse (cardboard, packing from the chairs) had escaped from it's weighted down spot and was now making it's merry way around through the bushes with each wind gust. We quickly gathered them up and secured them even more tightly until we can dispose of them in the upcoming days. 
Can you see the different colours on these mountains?
Love the layers of mountains in this picture....
As it was much too windy to BBQ Riley offered to make lunch today. Works for me I can work on my chair to remove the swivel. Today's lunch was of course a green salad for me, along with chicken stir fry. Excellent lunch Miss Riley. Thank you very much for all your hard work!!
Can you see the road down there?

This is a jeep road that intersects with another one that goes back into the mountains...
I had my chair tipped, the swivel off and the base back on pretty quickly. I was so excited but alas there is an issue. It can't rock with the swivel off. It sits too low and the foot rest won't extend either. Hm.....that's no good. So the swivel goes back on but as I'm putting the bolts in I realize that if I have longer bolts I can use that to stop the swivel. I didn't have the proper size but I managed to find something that will work until I get to a hardware store to buy the proper bolts needed. Yeah...I'm happy to report that new chair is now a rocker/recliner which makes me much happier. I can simply remove the bolts if I change my mind in the future. Riley wanted hers to stay the way it came. Works for me, I'm happy, she's happy. It's all good. 
Standing on a rocky plateau looking north's a long way to those other mountains...

Can you see the second row of mountains back there?
Since Riley made lunch I tidied up and did dishes afterwards. Suddenly the wind really picked up and we had to pull the big slide part way in as it was just too much wind and the topper was making lots of noise. Even tied down it was still working hard at becoming a flag instead of an topper. It's just that slide that seems to have trouble with the wind, the other two are fine but they are also smaller. Looking out the window we could see the dust in the air and noted a few folks pulling off of the road to find spots to park. I would imagine between the wind and the dust driving would have been very difficult today and I'm happy we weren't towing or driving anywhere.
That green way over is cotton fields between us and Interstate 10.

We came down the mountain in this area, much less rocky...
Spent some time reading and soon started getting drowsy and finally laid down on my bed for an hour. I didn't sleep but I did rest. I knew it was getting colder as I needed a blanket while laying down. 

My view to the north while waiting for sunset...

View to north west, cotton fields, nuclear generating plant and blm land...
Around 5:30 I headed out to get some sunset pictures. I needed to layer things as the wind has become quite cold and strong enough to blast through a single layer. I've been looking for the big horn sheep and tonight tried the other side of the mountain with the same results, nothing. However I did get a few good sunset pictures. The wind was stronger and colder as the sun sank behind the mountains taking away even the slightest warmth of it's rays. I hurried my feet homeward and before long was inside the Igloo out of the wind. 
Sunset tonight with lots of sand in the air...

That yellowish/red in the air is sand....
Very yellow tonight...
So time to edit pictures, write this post and get ready for bed. That was our day here at Saddle Mountain. A very good day with lots of exercise and a quick howdy with our friend Doug. I hear it's going to cool off tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night so I think we'll head into town tomorrow to pick up a few things we need. Other than that I think we'll stay home and keep warm. Maybe read a bit and just hang out. However that is of course just a rough plan, one never knows what tomorrow brings until it arrives. 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a fantastic day and managed to stay warm and safe. Everything else would be a bonus. Feel free to drop a comment. I read them all. 

Until next time..... take care, be safe, 

Goodnight from Saddle Mountain BLM.


  1. A very enjoyable hike. The cactii pictures are great......and again a very nice sunset.
    Lots of dust blowing around the Phoenix area today. Not nice to be outside.

    1. It was an excellent hike, we enjoyed it a great deal but the wind was cold and blustery, although it kept us from over heating.

      The sunset was full of dust/sand and I've never seen it so yellow and intense. Off on the edges the AIR was red or various hues of red. It was something I've never seen before.

      We aren't far from Phoenix and I agree it wasn't a nice afternoon due to dust flying around. We couldn't see to Courthouse Road which is very much within noise distance and usually easy to see. It calmed down as the day progressed though and by sunset I know it was still in the air but not as thick and we could once again see vast distances as you could tell from the pictures.

      Take care, be safe,

  2. Beautiful sunset and I missed it. Darn! You two were way up on that mountainside. The views were great!

    Glad you came up with a great reversible idea to stop your swiveling chair from swiveling. I knew you would. Now Miss Kitty is happy.😊

    Nice chatting with you and Riley today.

    1. I thought for sure you'd be out there looking along that jeep road that goes between the mountains, you get great views in there of the sunset.

      Yeah we were pretty far up there, and I enjoyed the views. We could see down in toward the canyons (not far, just enough to say ..come and look) where you were yesterday on your drive.

      Miss Kitty is royally pleased now, she's not too happy about the rocking part but at least it's not going all directions at once now.

      Nice chatting with you too. I thought maybe Yuma was going to hang with Riley there for a bit. He didn't seem to excited to get back in the jeep.

      Take care, be safe,

  3. What a nice hike you got in, great that you were able to unswivel you chair temporarily .
    We have been in a couple of major dust storms over the years on I-10 and just pulled off the highway and called it a day, much safer that way.

    1. Thanks George. I like it with no swivel but we couldn't purchase it that way, or at least no one offered it in the brochures. I'll get the proper bolts when I'm out next time. Until then I'm happy.

      I be getting off the road as well. Way too many dangers out there without adding blinding dust to the list.

      Take care, be safe,

  4. That was a wonderful hike you two managed. Riley did awesome from looking at the views, you were way up there.
    Beautiful pictures of the scenery, cacti and sunset.
    Too bad about the swivel but you seem to have it figured out to enjoy your chair the way you like it.

    1. It was a wonderful hike and Riley did an amazing job. She proud of herself as she should be but I'm also proud of her for the accomplishment, just getting out and enjoying herself, and being able to look up and say, ' I did that.' She is gaining a great deal more self confidence but still not overly bold. A very good thing.

      It's hard to take bad pictures out here in the southwest. There are so many interesting things to see and photograph. I'm often looking at 300 plus pictures at the end of the day if I've been walking much.

      It's actually good that the swivel has to be left on, then I don't have to store it somewhere and try to remember how it attaches or where the bolts are. It's actually a very good set up and had I actually really studied it before I took it off I would have realized I just needed to install four longer bolts. The hardest part is getting up and down from the floor!! Hahaha

      Take care, be safe,

  5. The sunset pictures are gorgeous Deb! Glad you got your chair to where you like it! Nice that Riley is enjoying herself and she's got to be proud of herself! Riley sounds like quite the cook, lucky for you mom! A quick visit with Doug and Yuma..nice!

  6. Thanks Shirley.

    We are both liking the chairs very much.

    She's a pretty good cook when she wants to cook, and I think the self confidence is coming out more and more each day. All of these accomplishments are making her eager to try something new. I'm so proud of her. I am indeed a lucky mom!!

    We really like Doug & Yuma and all visits with them are fun and we learn a lot as well.

    Take care, be safe,