THIS IS MY 6:30 A.M. PHOTO OF THE PLANETS MERCURY ON THE LEFT & BRIGHTER VENUS ON THE RIGHT….I WILL HAVE PHOTOS OF THE OTHER 3 PLANETS VISIBLE EACH NIGHT IN TOMORROWS POST
With our day time temperatures on the rise our nights are becoming milder as well & Monday night with no wind it was comfortable enough for me to be outside with camera & tripod trying my luck with a few Star & Planet photos. Thought to myself, ‘I really need to be out at night more & gain some experience at doing this type of photography’. Have always enjoyed being under the stars but these past years I’ve sort of slipped into an unfortunate ‘in house’ routine.
THIS MONDAY NIGHT PHOTO SHOWS THE BIG DIPPER TO THE LEFT OF CENTER & A SOFT GLOW FROM YARNELLS MOUNTAIN TOP LIGHTS
LOOKING TO THE SOUTHEAST THE LIGHTS OF WICKENBURG & POSSIBLY PHOENIX ARE PRESENT IN THE NIGHT SKY
LOOKING NORTH FROM OUR FRONT YARD….2 LARGE HILL SIDE WATER TANKS ON LEFT
LOOKING WEST CAN YOU SEE THE STRAIGHT LINE OF BLINKING LIGHTS FROM 2 F-16 FIGHTER JETS ON NIGHT MANOUVERS….LEFT SIDE
LOOKING NORTH I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO CATCH ONE OF THE F-16’S DROPPING A YELLOW FLARE (CENTER BOTTOM) & YOU CAN SEE A FAINT LIGHT TRAIL TO THE RIGHT OF THE FLARE SHOWING THE JET MAKING A LEFT HAND TURN
Pheebs & I hadn’t been out for a couple days so it was into the Jeep & off we went this morning. Thought I’d slip out just north of Congress & check out the road to Hillside again. It is usually very washboardy at it’s south end but noticed this morning it had been graded not long ago so off we went on the Hillside Road heading Northwest up a long valley with the Date Creek Mountains running along on the south side of us & the Weaver Mountains on the north side. It was 21 miles to the dusty little tumble down town of Hillside & we were in no hurry.
IT’S A ROUGH & TUMBLE LANDSCAPE ALONG SOME SECTIONS OF THE HILLSIDE ROAD
THIS FELLOW EVEN HAS A COW BELL ON
HILLSIDE IS JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT MOUNTAIN RANGE
How nice to roll along in the morning’s warming air with our windows down & how nice to see some different scenery again. We had been up this road a couple times before a few years ago & I did remember a few areas but for the most part it was like I was seeing all this beautiful scenery all over again for the first time. Mountains to the left of us, mountains to the right of us & more mountains straight ahead. On the valley floor prickly pear cactus spread up & over the hillsides interspersed with tall Saguaros climbing over miles of seemingly unending rough terrain. Huge boulders strewn with reckless abandon sometimes thrown together in piles reaching hundreds of feet in the air. If there’s a hundred large boulders in this valley there is a million.
LIKED THIS LITTLE GREEN VALLEY BELOW
THIS PARTICULAR SECTION OF THE VALLEY FLOOR WAS COVERED IN VOLCANIC TYPE LAVA ROCKS & BOULDERS
HILLS ARE BECOMING GREENER & GREENER
The further along Hillside Road we went the more the road improved & by the time we rolled into Hillside we were on a fairly smooth but very dusty surface. Hillside is one of the those typical old western towns with it’s heyday long behind it. Anyone living there has a fair distance to travel for groceries & supplies but like so many other little western towns we have seen over the years people living there have adapted well to their harsh surroundings & I suspect most of them are quite happy to be living far from the maddening crowds.
HOUSE HIGH ON A ROCKY HILL IN HILLSIDE ARIZONA
THE LONG AGO CLOSED HILLSIDE GENERAL STORE
SAW THEM SWITCHING OUT THIS PURPLE TRUCK CAB FOR A WHITE TRUCK IN HILLSIDE….I WAS TEMPTED TO FOLLOW THIS GUY TO SEE HOW IN THE HECK HE WAS GOING TO GET THAT LONG HALF SECTION OF HOUSE AROUND THE CURVES AHEAD
A mile north of Hillside we reached highway 96 which runs from Kirkland Junction through the McCloud Mountains to highway 93 connecting Phoenix with Las Vegas. With a food destination in mind we turned left & headed 23 miles for the wee mining town of Bagdad Arizona just a few miles off highway 96. We had driven this same beautifully scenic road a couple years ago & I so enjoyed driving it again this morning. This finely paved highway with next to no traffic steadily descends & winds it’s way around enough tight curves to make this drive pleasurably exciting. Love these kinds of mountain roads. And then there’s the long sweeping vistas where one can see for miles into the greening canyons all the way up to the towering mountain tops. Twenty one miles of WOWS:))
LOOKING FIRST NORTH THEN SOUTH ALONG THE SANTA MARIA RIVER
Having been in Bagdad Arizona before I knew right where we were heading. Bashas Supermarket. Bagdad’s main street is about 3 blocks long with Bashas right about in the middle. We had been there before so I knew there was a food section to the right soon as I went in the door. Knew they had tasty breaded chicken (Col. Sanders style) so grabbed me a couple pieces along with a coffee to go & I was right back out to the parking lot where my furry little navigator was anxiously waiting. With windows down & a warm breeze blowing through the Jeep we weren’t long in wolfing down our lunch in the warm Arizona sunshine. Nice:))
BAGDAD ARIZONA IS THE SITE OF THE HUGE BAGDAD COPPER MINE
DOWNTOWN BAGDAD & THAT WHITE BUILDING TOP LEFT IS BASHAS….ONE OF MANY TRUCKS HEADS FOR PHOENIX WITH A LOAD FROM THE MINE
LUNCH TIME FOR US GUYS:))
NOW THAT IS CONCENTRATION
THOUGHT ABOUT GOING TO THIS DINER BESIDE BASHAS BUT IT WAS BUSY & I KNEW WE COULD SAVE A FEW BUCKS BY EATING AT BASHAS
From Bashas we took a little 4 minute tour around the downtown area before heading out towards the humungus Coppermine area to see what we could see. Road ended at the mine complex so we doubled back & took another road up to the Bagdad Airport. Nice views from this higher elevation & noticed the airport was locked in behind tall wire fences. It was exactly high noon when I took a picture of the airport sign & from this spot we began our homeward trek to Congress 50 miles to the south.
THIS HIGHWAY RUNNING NORTHEAST OUT OF BAGDAD ENDED DOWN THERE AT THE MINE ENTRANCE
THE HUGE OPEN PIT COPPERMINE CAN BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE
HEADING FOR HIGHWAY 93 ALONG HIGHWAY 97
BIG TRUCK HEADING BACK TO THE BAGDAD MINE FOR ANOTHER LOAD
YEP THAT THERE’S MY VERY MUCH MOST BESTEST PAL OF EVER ALRIGHT
We weren’t long in reaching highway 93 or should I say the racetrack between Phoenix & Las Vegas. I have written about this stretch of highway before & the maniac drivers who use it. As expected today was no exception & it didn’t take long before the Porsches, Audis, BMW’s, & Mercedes Benz cars were screaming by with their wired & whacked out frenzied Mad Max drivers behind the wheel. I was sure glad to get off that race track onto highway 71 heading a short 7 miles into Congress. Don’t think I even saw another car the rest of the way home.
JOSHUA TREES ALONG HIGHWAY 93 NORTHWEST OF CONGRESS
It was just a few weeks ago one of the F-16 fighter jets often high over our house most days crashed about 5 miles Southwest of Bagdad where we were today. Pilot was killed. F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes Near Bagdad Arizona
THE CONSTELLATION PERSEUS IS STRAIGHT OVERHEAD NOW
MY NIGHT TIME CAMERA & TRIPOD SET-UP
Have to say again how so totally nice our weather has finally become. So warm now I didn’t even have to turn turn on my bathrooms ceramic heater for my shower this morning. Don’t think we’ve had a heater running anywhere in the house for a couple days now. Nice, nice, nice:)))))))))
TONIGHT’S CRESCENT MOON FROM OUR BACK YARD TONIGHT
GROANER’S CORNER:(( One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" Her mother replied,
"Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." The little girl thought about this revelation for a while, and then said, "So, Momma, how come ALL of Grandma's hairs are white?"