Tom’s Thumb and the Last of Phoenix
Welcome back, my dear readers! To commemorate my seasonal move from Phoenix to Flagstaff, I have put together four new galleries featuring the latest and last (for a while) photos I took in the Valley of the Sun. Three of the galleries are for the Phoenix Mountains, which have built up quite a list of dates in the menu, and the fourth is from the McDowell mountains which border the city on its northeast end.
I have only been to the McDowells once before, and they again did not fail to amaze. The geology there is quite different from the more familiar Phoenix Mountains, being built from tan, smooth granite boulders in place of sharp quartzite fractures. The terrain is quite similar to places in middle Arizona and southern California, with the plant life to match.
The hike itself started at the east end from a new, beautiful trailhead way out in the desert. The first section is a grueling uphill climb, but once the ridgeline is reached it becomes easier and much more scenic. The boulder hills take on strange flowing shapes from millennia of weathering, creating spires and sculptures when viewed from the right angle.
At the top of the trail sits its namesake, Tom’s Thumb. The Thumb can be seen from most parts of Phoenix as a distinct outcrop against the otherwise lofty mountains. The giant granite tower is a popular destination for rock climbers, evidenced that day by two people in the process of scaling its side. From its base can be seen expansive views from the Verde River in the east to the South Mountains below Phoenix, likely rivaled only by the highest peaks in the McDowells, East End Peak and McDowell Peak itself.
Now, to switch gears, I’ll put up a few photos from the Phoenix Mountains, all linked to their respective galleries. I’m a bit low on commentary right now (the Mysterious Project is taking up my creative resources on that front), but I will say that they were taken between December 29th and January 4th, and represent two mountain scalings and one low-key evening walk.
That’s all I have for you today, be sure to check the updated D’ni Proverb of the Week (it’s a good one) and feel free to browse the galleries new and old. I must be sounding like a scratched record by now but there are glimmers of things fantastic and prosperous just over the horizon, so stay close and have a productive weekend!