Chad not only took me on some great Hikes, but on the drives to and from the Hikes, he also showed me some other very cool areas up in the Pinalenos. I can't even begin to tell how many neat areas he showed me, but I took quite a few pictures of some of these areas, so I wanted to post a few of the highlights.
After we completed the Heliograph Peak Loop, we had time to drive down to Snow Flat, in hopes of spotting some Wildlife and get some pictures as the Sun was setting. The Pond in this meadow is pretty cool and a magnet for the local Wildlife. We barely got into the area, when we spotted a very colorful Tom and his harem of Hens. With the Lighting getting very dark, and the fact that the Turkeys didn't like us being there and were being uncooperative with the Photo shoot, it was extremely difficult to get any decent pictures. Chad managed to prevail however, with one very good one of the Tom in a full spread. Every time we got out of the car for a shot, he would gobble and walk away, posturing as he went. It was pretty comical and challenging.
We stayed in the area, taking some more pictures of the Pond and the everchanging Light before packing up and heading down the Mountain.
On the way up to Riggs Lake a couple of days later, Chad had me stop the vehicle at a pullout quite a bit up the Mountain, where Soldier Creek was cascading down a nice grade before going under the highway. It was a beautiful sight and worth the extra stop time.... He then showed me around the Soldier Creek campground which has some extremely huge rocks and boulder formations right in the campground itself. Some of the campsites included these boulders and it made for some very cool camp spots.
We also stopped by several overlook areas and on the way back from Riggs Lake, I took a picture of Large Rock and yes, it is actually named that, there is a sign.... Apparently people like to climb it and get their picture taken. We passed on the climb, as we were on our way to Ash Creek to hike....I got my climbing in on a big rock there....
We managed to see a few deer on the drives back down the Mountain, and I also got to see the "Arrow" tree a few times up and back. Too bad I sold my Bow a few years ago, I would have tried to contribute to the tree and leave my mark.... I have always enjoyed driving this Scenic Highway and this trip was no different. What made this trip even better was having a Tour Guide, whose passion for this Mountain is just short of amazing. Thanks Chad for your incredible enthusiasm and knowledge. It certainly enhanced an already beautiful drive.