Lake Mary Road
To coincide with the launching of my webstore (more info shortly), I am pleased to present my first gallery for Lake Mary and Mormon Lake, the main attractions along Lake Mary Road southeast of Flagstaff. Lake Mary, divided into Upper and Lower, is an artificial reservoir which traps the seasonal Walnut Creek (of Walnut Canyon fame) for fishing, watersports, and fresh water. The two lakes are several miles long yet fairly narrow, and at times can be little more than marshes. Further east is Mormon Lake, which is Arizona’s largest natural lake at its highest point, which is not reached often. In shape it is much rounder and covers several square miles, with one small town on the southern edge. During my visit the sun was low in the sky and it was quite windy, but I was graced with a beautiful sunset and many interesting lakeshore scenes.
My first stop was the further Mormon Lake, which was my only planned destination as I had some tests to make with a new camera (more details soon as I finally get to see the negatives) and wanted a bit of guaranteed peace and quiet to set it up. My shots were taken from a small overlook just off the main road with a panoramic view of the entire lake to the south. The water level was low but with still a fair pool in the middle, with oddly patterned marshes all around the edges. The sun sparkled across these when it broke through the clouds, and the driving wind made ripples all across the surface.
As the sun began setting I got a great view of the cloud-crowned peaks far in the distance, and with that I planned to leave. On the drive back, however, the sun started breaking through its clouds and threw the whole lake valley into golden light, so I found a little turnoff and took a walk down the shore of Upper Lake Mary. The shore is made of broken volcanic rock, making parts difficult to walk through, but eventually a Jeep track higher up descended near the waterline which made the going much easier. The clouds were turning orange and red as I walked, reflecting off the reed-pierced waters and distorting in the low waves.
After a short while I reached the spot I had seen from the road which made me pick this turnoff – a serpentine kind of path which cut through the marshy reeds in wandering curves. When I arrived the sun had set completely but the sky still had most of its colors, and I was glad for the impromptu walk along the waterside.
From there I turned back, as the sky was darkening and the temperature was dropping fast. There are a few places like this off of the lakes which I would like to explore more in the future, but that evening I was pleased just to have my negatives and a few nice sunset shots to boot.
As I mentioned before, this gallery is to usher in the grand opening of my webstore, to be explained in a follow-up post. Enjoy your spring weekend, and keep an eye out for more photos in the near future!