Some Photos from a Desert Trek

A handful of photos.

I don’t usually put a lot of large photos on this site, but I thought I’d give it a try today. Yesterday, Mike, Jack the Dog, and I went for a combination Jeep ride/hike out in the desert northeast of Wickenburg. All of these photos were taken within 15 miles of my home, so it gives you an idea of the landscape I live in.

Winter is a great time for enjoying Arizona’s Sonoran desert. Oddly enough, however, our party of seven (including Jack the Dog) didn’t run into anyone else along the way.

We started at the Rodeo Grounds on Constellation Road in Wickenburg, then headed out on Constellation Road. We made the left hand turn just before Monte Cristo Mine, followed that road for a short while and took a right where it forked off. We drove through one drag gate, closing it behind us to keep the cattle on their appropriate sides of the fence, and continued down the road. Eventually, it merged with Slim Jim Creek. We followed the dry creek bed as far as we could, maneuvering around and over two nasty places where the last flood had scattered boulders in the wash. When we reached a point where we could follow the creek no further, we pulled onto the side and parked our pickup and two Jeeps. The road continued, but there were two narrow places just beyond where we parked. Besides, it climbed away from the creek, which was our intended trail.

We geared up with drinking water, lunch bags, and cameras and headed down the creekbed on foot. I figure we walked about 1-1/2 to 2 miles. The creek wound through some of the most beautiful Sonoran Desert scenery before ending abruptly at the Hassayampa River. Although there isn’t a drop of water flowing under the bridge in town, there was quite a bit at the mouth of Slim Jim Creek.

Here are my favorite photos of the day, along with some captions.

The south-facing hills were absolutely covered with saguaro cacti.

I played with my fisheye lens here. This rock face was actually quite flat, but the lens makes it look like it curves out into the river. Not very realistic, but it looks cool.

Here’s Jack the Dog with that fisheye lens again. He found some quicksand near this spot and almost got stuck in it.

The river flowed a lot higher earlier in the week. This sand shows the pattern from the receded water. It was still quite wet.

Believe it or not, this is the skeletal remains of a type of prickly pear cactus. (We also found the decomposing body of a javelina, but I didn’t photograph it, primarily because it was really gross.)

This is the windmill near the remains of Sayer’s Station, which we passed on our way on Constellation Road. The road climbs past the windmill and I took this shot from the road, just about level with the top of the windmill. I like taking photos of windmills.

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