Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Morning Road Trip (w/photos!)

Tara had to go to a work meeting this morning, so I decided to take a drive to McDowell Mountain Regional Park northeast of Phoenix to take some pictures of my new car. I was hoping for slightly better weather, but at least it wasn't actually raining. The hills are very green from all the rain we've had so far this year. I think they are about the greenest I can remember.

I started my trip with a stop at DJ's Bagel Cafe in Fountain Hills. It was right on my route, as it's at 13693 N Fountain Hills Blvd. I grabbed a pumpernickel bagel with egg and sausage sandwich and a half dozen pumpernickel bagels, as they aren't readily available. The sandwich was really good. They have a huge selection of bagels. We may have to take a trip out there some weekend so I can show Tara.

The park is a bit under five miles north of DJ's on the same road. After paying the $6 entry fee, I drove along the road until I came to the Visitor's Center. I took this picture from the parking lot. I really like how the clouds obscure the top of the mountain. The white rectangles in the distance are camper trailers. Despite the cold, wet weather, there were tons of folks camping.

Inside the Visitor's Center, they have the usual assortment of tshirt, maps, drinks, and other stuff gift shops are populated with. They also had some of the local fauna on display in terrariums. This diamondback rattler named Huey was a very feisty character. He got in strike position and was rattling something fierce.

After I finished annoying Huey, I bought an orange soda and asked the volunteer behind the counter where would be a good place for picts. She gave me a map and pointed out some likely spots. I thanked her and headed further into the park.

I drove through a few campgrounds and took various pictures. These were taken at the Ironwood picnic area. I wanted to get some saguaros in the picts for that Arizona feeling.

Once we get some sunny weather, I'll probably head back up to see if I can get any better ones. Still, it made for a fun morning. I have an informal tradition of taking my new cars on excursions to christen them. While shorter than most of the ones I've done, it was still fun. I'm really enjoying the Sirius satellite radio. No losing signals in the mountains and I got to drive with Alternative Nation and Punk channels. Stuff Tara wouldn't let me listen to with her in the car in a million years. :)

1 comment:

David SB said...

If you like to hike at all, try the Scenic Trail at McDowell Mountain Regional Park some time. It's a relatively gentle trail (about 3.5 miles without much elevation gain), but it provides excellent views of the Four Peaks and the Verde River. It should be spectacular when the wildflowers bloom in a few weeks.