I happened to be driving from Prescott to Wickenburg around sunset when Mother Nature put on a good show. I stopped at the little rest area/lookout point on the downhill side of Yarnell Hill for a better look and a photo.
I first stopped at Yarnell Hill around sunset way back in 1995. That was the year I’d decided I was sick of the New York Metro Area’s harsh winters and spent three months in Arizona. I lived in a tiny apartment in Yarnell that season and the road between Congress and Yarnell was one I’d take regularly on a trip to Wickenburg or Phoenix.
Much later, after I moved to Wickenburg with my future wasband, the road and its viewpoint were on a regular route between Wickenburg and Prescott and points beyond. As I stopped for this shot, I had a crystal clear memory of stopping in the parking area on a summer day after a motorcycle ride to Prescott. We’d douse ourselves with whatever water was left in our water bottles, relying on evaporative cooling for the last 20 miles in temperatures that were often above 100 degrees. Soaking wet in the parking area 1500 feet above the Sonoran desert, we’d be bone dry before we got home.
It was cold and windy when I stopped for this shot. I watched the fading colors from the comfort of my truck. But I remember how the spot was on all my previous stops, with the sound of the wind or of cows in the dairy farm far below. Quiet desert solitude and a view that goes on for miles and miles, all at the side of the road.