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Polar Aspen Alley - aka Aspen Corner
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mini location map2010-07-27
5 by photographer avatarhippiepunkpirate
photographer avatar
 
Polar Aspen Alley - aka Aspen CornerFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2010
hippiepunkpirate
Hiking2.50 Miles 560 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
560 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After Veit Springs, I drove up the road to this one. Walked a bit of the trail on the uphill side of the road, it seems to be more of a mountain bike trail as I saw numerous jumps. I have a hunch that this connects to the Veit Springs Trailhead. Turned around at the jumps and head down to Alfa Fia Tank.

Took the trail on the left out of the parking area, which descended through a dense, rocky section of forest. Eventually hit the Arizona Trail, which I took north to Alfa Fia Tank. I was excited as fluffy clouds were floating over the Peaks and the sky didn't look as ominous as my Hart Prairie trip the week before. I was hoping for better light on the Peaks for pictures. Wandered around looking for nice compositions as the sky grew darker and darker.

Right before the sun went down, a menacing cloud began to swoop down the western slopes of the mountain. The wind picked up dramatically, the quaking in the stand of aspens to the south west was eerie. I could see the torrential sheets of rain blanketing the slopes of Humphrey's and Agassiz. Bursts of lightning jumped from cloud to cloud. I cursed as I knew this beast of a storm was headed right at me. One part of me wanted to stay and take pictures of the lightning flashes, another part of me wanted to scurry up to the safety of my car. I waited a few more moments to get a few more shots, but the flashes were to quick. I made a run for it.

I retracted the legs of my tripod as I bolted toward the aspen grove to the west where my car was parked. It looked like it was getting drenched. As I ran I set my f-stop to 3.5 and tried to take pictures of the lightning. I could feel sprinkles pelting me from above. My pace slowed as I struggled to get my camera into its bag. I wished I had put my rain jacket on, but it was too late now. I finally got the zipper unstuck on the camera bag and resumed sprinting uphill. As I entered the aspen grove, sprinkles turned into a torrent of fat, beastly drops. I ripped the headlamp out of my pocket and strapped it to my head, but it wasn't necessary with the bright flashes of electricity directly directly overhead.

As I got in my car and drove off, I was completely soaked. I couldn't have been in the downpour for more than 5 minutes. Rain continued to pound, and my descent down Snowbowl Road was slow. The lightning above would cast an incredible glare across the water logged roadway, and at times I would be blinded for a couple seconds. I guess I should expect no less during the monsoon season.
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Throwing a Wendy
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My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply
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hippiepunkpirat's
315 Photosets

  2010-08-03
  2010-08-02
  2010-07-28
  2010-07-28
  2010-07-28
  2010-07-27
  2010-07-27
  2010-07-26
  2010-07-22
  2010-07-22
  2010-07-20
  2010-07-14
  2010-07-12
  2010-07-08
  2010-07-08
  2010-07-07
  2010-07-06
  2010-06-30
  2010-06-28
  2010-06-24
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