Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tonto National Monument and Tortilla Flat

I woke this morning about 0530....made some coffee and watched as the sun came over the horizon...and the moon was still up on the I started clicking away trying to capture the moon and the morning glow of the mountains...

that photo needs a lot of work...but has potential....after cleaning up I decided to go to Tonto National has two cliff is closed, the other is a self guided tour.....a half mile hike on a paved road....with 350 feet of elevation gain.....I missed any chance of good need to be there when it opens at 0800..onto National Monument...and the long way around, which ended up being about 90 miles from the was a great drive... a lot of scenery....and the roads where well maintained.

Horst Kelly Photographer
Now for the history lesson about the Cliff Dwelling...."Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in central ArizonaUnited States. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert, which is generally arid land with annual rainfall of about 16 inches (400 mm) here.[1] The Salt River runs through this area, providing a rare, year-round source of water.
Horst Kelly Photographer..Tonto Cliff Dwelling

The National Monument is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, which includes low plains, desert scrubland, and alpine pine forests. The Upper Sonoran ecosystem is known for its characteristic saguaro cacti. Other common plants include: chollaprickly pear, hedgehog, and barrel cactus (flowering from April to June); yucca, sotol, and agavecreosote bush and ocotillopalo verde and mesquite trees; an amazing variety of colorful wild flowers in good years (February to March); and a lush riparian area which supports large Arizona WalnutArizona Sycamore, and hackberry trees.
The area around Tonto National Monument also includes several designated National Wilderness Areas, including Four PeaksSuperstition, and Salome Wilderness Areas."

By the time I got back it was close to another "Golden Hour", so I headed up to Tortilla Flat...what a great drive that was..mountains on both sides...about a 20 mile drive from the camp...also ends with Canyon lake...another gem.....I'm going to take the drive again tomorrow ...early....will download and share photo's back about 630pm and sat outside watching the mountains,,,wondering where the lost mine was.....maybe tomorrow it will show me the way..until then...Happy Trails...Horst
View from camp site.....say good night.....

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