Monday, August 24, 2009

National Parks of the U.S.A.

In honor of the free days we have had and will have in the National Parks. I submit this post. I have a lot more photos of the parks, and plan on updating soon. Can you name where some/all of these photos were taken?

All Photos were taken by myself or by someone with myself of myself.

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.
 John Muir -- Our National Parks , 1901, page 56.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

South Mountain - petroglyphs in plain site

Petroglyphs are abundant in South Mountain park. In fact there are many right near the parking lot at 48 st and Guadalupe.

Many near the 'desert classic' trail as well as the smaller trails on the other side that I used to ride all the time when I lived in Chandler and mom lived in Ahwatukee.

There you will also find the 'Marcos De Niza' rock. It's been reported to chiseled there in 1539 by the famous father.
Marcos de Niza history
Many of the petroglyphs are even older.

This photo looks like trail 100 but the timestamp says desert classic. 'Desert Classic' is probably an even more popular trail than 100. The parking lot near the point always reminded me of a parking lot at ski resort. Everyone has a bike rack.

The Warpaint area is much less crowded, plus it has a nice trail that leads into 'Desert Classic'.

Here is a video of Steve and I returning to our trucks at the 'Warpaint' parking lot.

Many Saguaros in hidden valley and even on the west end of the desert classic trail.

The water tower is a popular resting spot, destination and 3.7 mile marker for mountain bikers on the 'desert classic' trail.

National trail is popular with Mountain bikers, but it's become a nice hike for me.

Here is Phil, he has the nickname of 'RestBreak Phil', but we got a good workout this morning in spite of all the breaks. I actually needed some rest breaks this morning. Phil has an interesting story about how he came to the US. He arrived by accident when he was eleven from Vietnam and couldn't go back. He was raised by his brothers. Anyway, that's his story. I would like him to start a blog of his own so he could tell it himself.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Phoenix Mtns trail 8 rock circles

I've been wanting to write about my experiences on trail 8, but I already have in a sense on fat tire Trail 8

Just copied my rides here and added photos.

I don't know who made the concentric circles, maybe it's a desert version of the crop circle. Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Stories of mechanicals and face plants are documented elsewhere and I don't care to relive.

I love how this trail can make you feel like it's in the middle of nowhere even though it's in the middle of the city. More isolated than 100. Starting from 40th street it's a long easy climb followed by one fun roll back down.

May 30, 09Rode early, climbed early to avoid the heat. When temps got hotter around 7 am, was rewarded with fun glide back down. Had to finish on the 'privative' portion.
Feb 20, 09Hot day today for Mtn biking. Talked to Ranger about becoming a park steward. Have application online for it but most don't get paid. Volunteer thing but they give you a bike. A lot of fire men do it. Mostly on South mountain rather than the phx mtns
Jan 01, 09s.t. 12: New shimano deore xt v-brakes work great. Rode solo. Think I may have found a way to the dreamy draw without going over the pass. Some lady's were talking about going through a valley.
Dec 27, 08suggested route 12: started at tatum on trail 100. Took first left up trail 8. Rode until first single track on right. Did not dab until came out of wash on this track. Rode across; took high trail up some more then down to trail 100. Took left on 100; then right (north) around mt on the fun tracks. Back up to 100; then back to tatum.
Dec 07, 08Took Amith to the 40th street and shea starting point for the first time. Got his bike in shape and is getting back in shape. Had a good time. Trail 8; some 100 and some of the lower no name fun trails. Could have gone all day.
Dec 07, 08Started 4oth st. climbed and climbed slight incline up the rocky trail. Then bombed straight down. That was a blast. Rode lesser used trails this time.
Nov 23, 08I do not know why this ride is not mentioned in any trail guide; but it is one of my favorite trails. Challenging enough; smooth enough; fast enough pretty enough. Looked like it was going to be hot but it was perfect. Between 2 and 4.
Nov 08, 08Tried the ride starting at the sqaw peak trail head. Mostly a hike a bike. Hit a rock and otb; face plant experience. Bike fell into cactus resulting in a flat. Brought patch kit; but didn't feel like finding hole. Next time will bring spare tubes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Travels - India


This is the Charminar in Hyderbad, Venu's home town.

the house no longer exists.

I have a video of the drive downtown to the district.

Believe it or not, the traffic in this video is quite tame compared to Mumbai (Bombay).

The Red fort -Dehli

the red fort in Dehli. Dehli is a wonderful city. It's at once both Modern and ancient, rich and poor, eurpoean and asian.

We had a wonderful guide for the red fort. (sadly somewhat of a rarity). He was a pleasant old man who had published several books on the history of Dehli and the fort.

We stayed in a National park on the way from Dehli to Rajisthan. It used to belong to some Raja who created the waterways to attact birds so he could hunt them.

Rajihistan is one hot area. Manmade streams were used to cool the palaces.

There were so many palaces in Rajihsthan that we grew tired of them. So many interesting places, but they all paled in comparisson to the Taj.


The sights, sounds and smells of India can wear a person down. It's just sensory overload. However, there are those places that are famous for tranquility. Such is the Taj Majal. Once you fight past the crowd through the gates, you are rewarded with the beauty of the Taj.The Grounds are green, massive and manicured.

Beauty in abundance.

Here I am with the 1964 Pentax spotmatic. Got it at a garage sale with all the lenses for 16 bucks. The guy got rid of it because he went totally digital. I got it because it needs no batteries, takes great photos and it was cheap.

We were on the grounds until the sun started to set. A day well spent.