Saturday, May 08, 2010

Round Robin: The Land Rises to Meet the Sun (Part One)

It's that time again! For Round Robin Challenge: Land Or Sea, (as suggested by Carly), there was never any chance that I was going to get to California's Salton Sea to take pictures, let alone to an actual ocean. So Land it is! Fortunately, there's plenty of that in metro Tucson.

The most interesting land around here is up one mountain or another, so that's where I went. To make things extra interesting, to fit this photo shoot into my schedule, and because I was up all night anyway following the UK election, I went up Mount Lemmon Highway at dawn, trying for a sunrise photo or two (or more).

From Mount Lemmon Highway

John had estimated that dawn would be at about 5:30 AM local time, and my 5:10 AM or so departure worked out perfectly. The sky was already light, but the sun had not yet cleared the mountains that ring the city. When I reached Babad Do'Ag Vista, site of many a photo shoot, daylight was starting to steal across the valley below. But no sun yet!

No, this isn't a Stairway to Heaven. This is the ruin of a prison camp. Please see my entry about Gordon Hirabayishi, a college student who challenged the constitutionality of internment camps for Japanese American citizens. This outdoor "Honor Camp" is where he served his sentence for breaking curfew. The site is now a recreation area, named in his honor. Again it was daylight, but the sun still have not yet cleared the horizon.

Pushing on from the Gordon Hirabayishi Recreation Area, I played hide and seek with the sun. Down in the city it was almost certainly daylight, but up here as I climbed - 4000 feet, 5000, 6000 fee in elevation - mountains and rocky outcroppings and tall trees kept getting in the way. Somewhere around the Middle Bear picnic area I found a pullout and risked standing in the road long enough to take this shot.

Above General Hitchcock Campground but before Windy Point Vista, I found Manzanita Vista, where I'd never pulled over before. Here I was able to make the sun rise over and over, just by stepping a few feet in one direction or the other.

In the other direction, during that same minute, Mount Lemmon was in full daylight. Well, mostly.

Scroll down for

Round Robin: The Land Rises to Meet the Sun (Part Two)
in which I drive back down the mountain. The Linking List is there too, so you can see what the other Robins have come up with!



ellen b. said...

Looks like a great adventure. The terrain is so interesting and it really looks like dawn or shortly after is the best time to be there! I'm guessing it can get really hot later in the day...

Carolyn Ford said...

I really enjoy being up so early to see the sunrise. I love road trips that get us going at that time. These are beautiful captures of the grand city of Tucson at dawn...and, your travels up the mountain to catch the light!

maryt/theteach said...

Beautiful shots, Karen, of our great land, the US of A! :) Happy Round Robin Photo Challenges! :)

Gattina said...

It's very interesting and the pictures beautiful, but where is it ?

Jama said...

Interesting place!