Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chiricahua National Monument - Arizona

My Brother Bruce and I are looking at the last day of our trip to the Tucson Rock and Mineral show. This is the largest show in the world with thousands of exhibitors. I purchased some nice rocks and Bruce got alot of really impressive specimens.

Yesterday, we took a trip about an hour and half east of Tucson to the Chiricahua National Monument park. This area has some of the best rock pinnacles or as the Apache called them "Standing up rocks" anywhere. These towering formations are also called hoodoos. In a quick explanation, these pinnacles were formed from layers of volcanic ash which withstood the erosion around them.

This beautiful area has forests of cypress, pine and fir. Bruce & I hiked two trails on a photo excursion which was wonderful but very difficult for me. The combination of the altitude and my being out of shape made the six mile afternoon walk the most difficult thing I've done in years. I thought chasing lemurs in the mountainous rain forest of Madagascar was hard. This was harder because of the distance, terrain and slave driver - Bruce. He would only allow me rest with 20 breaths, a sip of water and no sitting down - jerk. But, I wouldn't have made it without him for sure.

Here are some of the shots from our daily outing.

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Bruce at the Massai lookout point. This is a great view of the valley of the hoodoos (standing up rocks)

Some nice formations on the drive up to the trails & Massai point.

Vistas at Massai point. Notice the hoodoos in the background.

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Pano view at Massai Point.

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Bruce hiking the Echo Canyon trail to the Grottos

A view thru to a "Standing up Rock"

Looking through the boulders at the Grottos.

David in the Grotto
Looking up in an area called the grotto. This was a leisurely half hour walk and had some beautiful formations in a cave like setting.

A happy Brother on the Echo Canyon trail.

These two photos are one of the most photographed Hoodoo which we found on the way out of Echo Canyon.

This hoodoo is the first one we came upon on the afternoon hike.

Mushroom Rock, a pretty amazing sight.

Back at Massai Point for sunset. We waited and positioned ourselves to capture this photo at the exact time the sun came thru this formation.

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