Sunday, April 26, 2009

EMPS: Islands in the Sky, part two

In EMPS: Islands in the Sky, part one, I showed you the first several stops on my drive up Mount Lemmon on Catalina Highway (aka the Sky Island Scenic Byway) on Monday afternoon. I made the trip partly to gather photos for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot: Earth Day, and partly just to get away from the computer for a while. For tonight's entry I was going to cover Windy Point and San Pedro Vistas and maybe Geology Vista, after which I turned around well short of my goal, the formerly fire-ravaged village of Summerhaven. But looking at the pictures I just uploaded to Picasa, I think I'll stretch this out for one more entry, and mostly stick to Windy Point for now.

This rock formation is a frequently-photographed feature at Windy Point.
From the Picasa album Mount Lemmon Highway

This is what Tucsonans probably remember first when they think of Windy Point Vista. I don't know whether it has a name, but it rises behind the parking lot at Windy Point, on the side of the road that's away from the view of the mountains and valley below. When we first came to town, I had a secondhand Canon AE-1 and several decent lenses for it. I used to drive up the mountain and try to photograph hummingbirds and juncos and other birds, and sometimes landscapes. My photo of the Windy Point rock tower was one of my submissions to the monthly photo contests at the local Kit's Camera. I don't think it won more than an honorable mention, but a couple other submissions took first and third places.

A vista from Windy Point

That rocky tower isn't the only point of interest, though. Check out the view! The elevation here is 6,600 feet.

Across from the parking lot is a sidewalk with a recently-constructed wall on both sides. Beyond one wall is the road, on which cars and motorcycles sometimes go by at 35 mph or more despite the twists and turns and the sign warning about Windy Point being a congested area. Beyond the other wall, equally dangerous, is a steep terrain of rocks and trees. It's not an immediate drop-off, however.

From Windy Point you can also see a bit of the road you were just on, far, far below.

Didn't I just say the rocky terrain was dangerous? If you climb the steps to a lookout point of flat boulders, you can just make out this memorial cross, about fifty feet out and thirty feet down. Sometimes rock climbers can be seen going up and down near Windy Point, but it's not something I'd ever attempt!

Here's another view of the road from above. I think this may be a little past Windy Point, but I don't recall for sure.

One more part this this series will be posted on Sunday - I promise! Then again, it's technically Sunday already. I know my posting has been a bit erratic this week, but I just finished reading the Harry Potter novels, and may possibly be getting back in the swing of things now. On the other hand, I'm just starting my next CPA review section, and don't know how daunting or time-consuming that will be. It may be that my never-miss-a-day blogging will continue to falter occasionally. But don't worry; I'll be here, and eventually I'll even catch up on my delinquent blog-jogging - I hope!


1 comment:

Carly said...

Hi Karen

WOW! What a beautiful place! Love the rock formations.