Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sycamore Pass Road

Looking for some more back road adventure, Judy and I decided to try some of the "difficult" trails leading toward a place called Sycamore Canyon. The main access to the canyon is from the north. But that would mean going west from Flagstaff, then south. We thought we would take the short cut.

We took the first dirt road we found once we got off the highway and it lead us through a cattle ranch where we were getting up close and personal with a lot of hefty beasts. They seemed to be pretty used to humans. They just turned their heads toward us, stared at us and continued munching away at the sparse grass. We took lots of pictures and I've started a portrait of one of my favorites. Maybe she'll buy it. I think it is a she. It had udders, but also horns. So I guess females have horns on this breed.

We kept going further and further off the beaten path. There were spectacular long range vistas as well as some flowering cactus we came upon.

The trail took us part way up Sugarloaf Mountain. We circled around the back of the mountain and could see a trail winding steeply up the hill, when we ran into a metal gate that blocked the trail. I think we had gone far enough anyway. I needed an excuse to turn back. See Judy scoping out the trail.

The next day, we decided to go again and take Ian McEwan, a friend of Woody and Margaret Flowers, with us. He is here with his wife, Connie, who is on a plein air painting trip. Ian seemed to really enjoy the ride. He is retired from the GM truck division so he was used to rough riding. We drove to a great spot just below the gate. Then we tried to cut across the landscape going through ranches until we could get to a trail that runs along the red rocks, giving Ian a closer look at the formations. At one point we were a bit lost/confused on one of the connecting dirt roads when we saw a UPS truck and asked directions. Yes, a UPS truck was out there deliverying to the ranches. We finally found one of the smaller trails and dove back into the outback and made it through Outlaw Trail and back in time for Margaritas and a great dinner with the painters. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.


  1. Tony, so far this is my favorite post. What a great blend of art, scenic vistas, off-roading, and some humor---I do hope the portrait isn't for a 'be back.'

    Can't wait for the next post.

  2. Sounds like a fun ride. Which of the cows are you painting?

    Recognize the prickly pear cactus. Was the flowering one a barrel cactus?

    Poor Jeep looks like its been rid hard and not put away wet.

  3. If she doesn't buy it, I hope I can MOO-ve it.

    I think the flowering cactus is some sort of hedgehog cactus. There are lots of varieties of hedgehog cactus. Lacking a docent out in the boonies, I'll just say it is a hedgehog.

    There are a few more rattles in the Jeep than we had when we arrived.

  4. Thanks for taking Ian and Connie on the Jeep trip! Sounds like another fun trip! That was so kind of you and Judy to include them. I'm sure they enjoyed it!

    What a wonderful story about the UPS truck.

    We want to see the cow paintings!!!!

    . . . . and to be rewarded with Margaritas after a full day. Yea!

    Margaret and Woodie