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Headin' outta Flagstaff
Early in the morning, the San Francisco Peaks stand behind the trees and meadows around Flagstaff. The grass alongside the road was bright with sunflowers and indian paintbrush.
The day is clear, the road not so much. It's not as bad as LA during rush hour, but I've got a lot of pictures with the butt end of a truck in them.
The road starts down the long slope to Seligman, with enthusiastic sunflowers to wave as we go by.
I took this picture to capture the winding road. I didn't realize until later, I had a picture that showed the blaze of vivid mustard on both sides of the road.
Imagine both sides of the road awash in golden blooms. The Yellow Brick Road was never so golden.
Edged in the ever-present sunflowers.
Six percent grade, headed down out of the mountains.
Road is steep, the view is magnificent. I remember driving this grade last week, tucked in behind a trucker, strobe flashes of lightning showing the mountains around me, the downpour trying to wash us all off the road. This is easier, but... that was exciting!
West of Flagstaff, long sections of Route 66 no longer exist as a separate road. Segments may exist as dirt roads on private property, or simply a wide stripe through the trees. The bare green stripes to the right of the road may be all that's left of Route 66 in this place.
Sometimes, road crews just cut on through, adapting the land to our needs.
And sometimes, we gotta go around
I've taken a lot of pictures of mountains, clouds, sky, but I never get over my delight and joy at the layers of colors and textures each vista presents.
Sometimes looking like cardboard cutouts or painted backdrops for a play.
Crossing the Colorado,
the pictures are full of railing and railroad bridge.
The view back across the valley shows the Colorado River and the green of the agriculture that it generates.
Casualties of the road. And stacked neatly behind, their ever ready replacements.
Heading into the Mojave
The joshua trees in bloom.
Driving thru the Mojave, sometimes the only sign of man's impact is the double ribbon of the interstate sliding into the hazy distance, punctuated by signs, rest stops, and very small towns.
When you think of desert, often low rolling sand dunes come to mind. The Mojave has long rolling hills of rock and sparse scrub.
This dry lake brings to mind the words of the song "Horse With No Name" about a river that's dead. Rivers in deserts are never dead, only dormant. If you can see the riverbed, it's been scoured clean by flashflood, and kept alive by the sporadic rainfall. This lakebed still lives, probably flourishing when the snow melts.
The Mojave has some fascinating geology: lava flows
And mountains with a split personality. I saw a lot of cloud shadows on the land, and thought this was another. It's not.
And, of course, the many layers of landscape I love.
The mountains seemingly floating in the distance.
Sometimes the road gets a bit crowded. I have more faith in the common sense of long haul truckers than I do many others on the road, but even so...
It's a leetle tight in here.
These power transmission lines may be bringing power in from Hoover Dam. They're coming from the right direction.
End Of The Road
I suppose I should have taken more pics as we went thru LA. Maybe the mountains from the other side. But I've seen the mountains, and the traffic. If you want to come visit, I'll give you a tour. Right now, I'm taking a nap. It's been a long trip.