Cindy and I left Phx at 6:15am, arriving early in Flag, spent some time at the Starbux and then met Jody at the Snowbowl turn off for our hike of the Kachina Trail to the east Weatherford TH. Once we got done Jody took a phone call from Jake regarding the meetup, we picked up Tonto at the Humphreys TH and then headed over to join the rest of the group at the campsite near the Bismarck Lake TH. The road to Hart Prairie is nothing if consistent... rough.
Introductions were exchanged while the campers were setting up their camp. It was delightful to meet people you felt you already knew and express delight at others you hadn't seen in awhile. We visited for a short time before loading up and heading out north and west to the photo shoot a few miles past the Hart Prairie Conservancy.
We were fortunate that Humphreys was slightly covered in snow to the east and there was some aspen turning in the meadow to the west so between these two sights, everyone seemed to scatter trying to take advantage of what light there was due to some intermittent clouds. I was debating between
just following RedRoxx44 around or taking advantage of using the tripod Ambika had sent up here with me. I ended up going west toward the turning aspen first since that's where I saw her go and then I kind of did my own thing trying to see if I could see what she might see to photograph. Well I really didn't do too well here altho I covered a lot of ground walking from south to north.
We all eventually ended up near where we parked to take advantage of the setting sun on the Peak. It was nice to shoot the breeze while waiting to take the perfectly timed photo. Joel helped me adjust the settings on my camera such as framing the northwest side of the Peak in a certain way and lowering my exposure by a couple points. I thot because of less light I should increase the exposure to bring out the color but that's not the case. The point of the shot was the peak with the bright snow on it so that's why he suggested lowering my exposure. I think it mattered as I think my photo turned out pretty good
... that and using the tripod really helps in photo quality when you have low light.
We headed back to the camp site and started unloading
the freshly cut aspen wood from Chumley's truck and stacking it while Todd built the fire. It was such a nice fire and kept our big crowd very nice and warm. We then enjoyed some libations including some sangria and strawberries by Janelle, snacks including not too spicy salsa by Randy with chips, green chili stew that wasn't too spicy by Randy and low fat wonderful tasting chili by Jon finishing with chocolate cake and hot cocoa by Jody.
We visited a little longer with a lot of conversation based on what goes on at HAZ
(how much we love the site among other things) and then decided it was time, as did Jody, to head out. Cindy and I opted to return to Phx rather than camp out in the chilly temps arriving back at 12:30. This was a wonderful event and
HAZ (especially Jake, Joel and Jonny) for making it possible. I think most of us are looking foward to what Randall calls a "redux".