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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Views from a Mountain

Another place that we took my sisters was South Mountain Park. According to Wikipedia, "South Mountain Park, in Phoenix, Arizona, is the largest city park in the United States, one of the largest urban parks in North America and IN THE WORLD."

The park covers a mountainous area of over 16,000 acres of land, with 58 miles of trails for cycling, hiking and horseback riding. The park was originally called Phoenix Mountain Park when President Calvin Coolidge sold 13,000 acres of land for $17,000 to the city of Phoenix back in 1924. It has expanded since the 1970's and 1980's.

On the drive into the park we saw this sign. I always love these, being that we drive in Big Blue.

 
I'm not sure what this building was originally used for (I think administration), but it was built by the CCC, Civil Conservation Core back in the 1930's. I love the texture of the brick and how this building was built.


The restrooms were right next door to this building. We continued on our way up Summit Drive to get to the top of the mountain.

We could easily see all the towers for the radio and TV stations and cell towers sitting at the highest point.


This is Dobbins Lookout, at the top of one of the peaks of South Mountain.

That tall metal structure in the middle of the lookout shows the various points of interest like mountains and cities.

This is the city of Phoenix through my zoom lens. That is a combination of haze and smog hanging low over the mountains in the background. It used to be that people came to Arizona because of the clean, dry air. Well, not anymore! The air is still pretty dry, but there is a lot of pollution!


Another view from Dobbins Point.



The airport was in the distance and we could see the planes taking off. A little to the left of this picture was this cool shelter made of rock.


Inside the shelter


Looking out from the shelter



Another view


Couldn't you just sit here for hours and just soak up the sun and scenery?


We drove to another viewpoint.


My sister, Ann, and Jim decided to walk a little bit down the path.


They didn't venture too far, because it was already getting hot. Here are my sisters and me:

Ann (l), me (c), Linda, (r)
We started the drive down the mountain and saw this ambitious bicyclist riding downhill at a good clip. The one white arrow is pointing to the curvy road that we had just driven on.


Now here's a REAL trooper. He's riding his bike UP the hill!


We also saw a paraglider coming over the mountain while we drove on by. Now that has to take a lot of talent, landing perfectly with all those saguaro, cholla, prickly pear, and barrel cacti around!


We got to the bottom of the mountain and had a wonderful picnic in the shade. The afternoon was spent in the pool.

16 comments:

David Allen Waters said...

such breathtaking beauty....true Gods country. amazing.

Rae said...

Incredible views. I bet it would be even more awesome to see the city lights from up there at nighttime.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i love all the stone work...bet it was cool inside there...and even wiht the pollution, nice view...

Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos. Never been there but your post has made me feel like I have just gone on then trip thanx for sharing. Have a great day !

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

nice, extremely nice. i would love to sit in that shelter and take in the scenery.

Ed said...

Southpark?

Did you guys see Cartman and Kyle and Kenny and Stan?

Bonnie said...

Wonderful photographs Pat. I especially liked the ones taken from inside the shelter. The contrast of the shade and the outside blue light is lovely.

Eva Gallant said...

Arizona is a gorgeous state! My son lived there for 7 years and we visited several times. He was Conference Planning Manager at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. One of the best meals I ever had was at The Grill at the Fairmont.

Lynda said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures. I love that stone shelter. I can tell you had fun from the way you wrote. Aren't sisters the best?!!!

Barb said...

Thanks for the tour. Too bad about the smog. :)

Carletta said...

Look at all that urban sprawl down below. No wonder there is pollution.
I love that stone shelter! Wonder what the intention of it was other than just a cool place out of the sun.
Bet you miss your sisters already. :)

Valerie said...

Spectacular scenery, Pat. I was surprised to read about the pollution but there was a lot of housing etc so it's only to be expected. Sad, though.

Snowflake said...

Another place to add to my Arizona bucket list!!! Thanks for the wonderful photos and guided tour!!

Donna B said...

You make me lonesome for Arizona. We are going to Tucson next month to visit good friends. As always, your pictures are wonderful! Love the shot of you and your sisters.

Missy said...

Great photos!

labbie1 said...

Wonderful pictures!!!! Thanks for sharing this fabulous park!