Monday, October 27, 2008

South Empire Mountains, Davidson Canyon, Southern Arizona

It seems that our cooler fall weather has decided not to join us anytime soon. Yesterday we decided to ride, even though the temps here were forecasted to be 90+. Uhg. We hadn't explored this area, a few miles south of where we live. The southern tip of the Empire Mountains, in thru Davidson Canyon. I'm going to have to go find a topo map to give me the exact names.
We loaded up the mules, and off we went. A beautiful clear day that started out cool, but rapidly warmed up, but with a soft breeze at least.

This is Echo. Isn't she cute? I'm ashamed to say that they haven't been ridden out for way to long... and I was a bit hesitant about how she was going to behave. She was a little bit tense at the trailer.
Maybe she just didn't want her picture taken?
Most of these images I'm going to share with you were taken in the saddle, so, excuse them if they are blurry or could have had a better composition hahaha! Sometimes it's not so easy to get a nice steady shot when it's not you that's moving. However after a few miles she agreed with me that a "whoa" was a nice time to just stand and relax, even with the camera clicking away.
This is the view as we left the trailer, a view you can kiss goodbye if the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine passes. This mountain range will be ugly and useless.
This is Daisy. The kids say she's got a face only a mother could love, but they don't know Daisy! She's an awesome trail mule.
Jimmy and Daisy, she's always rearing to go, even after not being out for so long!
Daisy doing what Daisy does best... and she just goes and goes and goes...
Here we were checking out some deer sign. I don't like riding thru the ocotillo thickets ... while the mules are in the clear, the ocotillo branches arch over and can be a real pain if your up high in the saddle.

My usual view lol... Daisy just enjoys working so much, it's like she can't wait to see what's over the next ridge. She walks the legs off my short little Echo, so I always bring up the rear which is fine with Echo and I.
Obviously something is more interesting over there than I was!
Looking north, you can see the Rincon Mts. back there.
Not sure what spring this is, but we came across a few.
We dismounted for awhile at this spring and I spied this kewl dragonfly hanging out down by the water, just asking for it's picture to be taken.
Oh, and this one too!
I should be more careful where I'm walking... I almost missed this large spider while I was taking pictures of the dragonflies. Ewwwww....
But wait.. it has friends and neighbors! Ewwww! See the second one? I *think these may be a type of Orb-weaver spider but I'm not a spider expert. If anyone knows for sure, I'd like to know.
When I was done taking pictures of things by the water I turned to walk back up to the mules, I had to take this picture, I just loved the strong light and shadow,
As we climbed a little higher in elevation there were some Mexican Blue Oaks and Junipers.
The Empires, home is just on the other side.
Sometimes you ride into places that are actually so thick you have two choices. You can get off and walk or you can ride around. We decided to get off and walk. I love the shadows and the quiet feeling here. Really very quiet, just the birds and the soft sound of the mules walking in the sand.
This is where our walk ended at.. a dry water hole surrounded by more Mexican Blue Oaks and Junipers.
Not sure what ranch this is, on the way back out for the day.
This is overlooking Gunsight pass...oh which is another "kiss it good-bye " view if the Rosemont Copper Mine goes in. I say NO MINE!
Will this spring be polluted? What do you think? What about the air... and the noise pollution? No, this will be gone forever if the mine goes in. What a waste. How greedy is Gov. Napolitano? She's very much a spend, spend, spend Governor. Will the importance of this historic/scenic area of Arizona and the people of Arizona and our communtity weigh out against a corporation out of Canada and the money Napolitanos spend thrift ways need?
Earlier I mentioned that Echo was a bit tense at the trailer, and I wasn't sure how she was going to behave. Well, silly me! She was so good. She quickly settled down into work mode, and we even did some gate work, it's been a long time. We didn't push them very hard, because it's been a while since they've been out, but we covered quite a few miles. Here we are at the end of our adventure. Hope you enjoyed exploring with us!
Have a wonderful week!


Wendy said...

Hey Toni, glad to see you and Jimmy out with the mules!!! Hope you're doing well.

Dave & I have been riding a bit this spring; rode at Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley with 3 women from the Tucson area over the weekend. They were quite favorably impressed with the mules ;-)


Toni James, Toni, Tj, pencils4me said...

Late is better than Never! Hey Wendy!

They were favorably impressed.. as they should have been!

Get the remodel all finished?