While driving home the other night I noticed the sky was prepping for a spectacular sunset so I diverted to a nearby hill hoping to scramble to the top in time for the coming scene. As I got about half way up I looked to the east and realized the Superstitions looked brilliant. I know how important light is to photography but I love shadows just as much. There have been so many times I’ve been mesmerized by the shadows cast across the Superstitions by the clouds I couldn’t help but forget about the sunset and spend my time enjoying the changing shadows across the Superstitions.
I originally processed this as a normal image then as a normal looking HDR. But as I played around with tone mapping I decided I liked this rendition best. I like how it makes the cliffs look prehistoric capped by the ancient castle with modern power lines across the horizon. Another fascinating piece of Two Guns. I’m guessing these structures were built for the tourist attraction dubbed as the Apache Death Cave. It appears no one has ever actually discovered the legendary Apache Death Cave so there’s no way of knowing if the legend is fact or fiction but it’s clear these structures were used as tourist attractions. There are remnants of hand rails and ladders that led to what appears to be a mine shaft but is most likely where Miller claimed the Apache Death Cave is. I haven’t found a credible source of information on the events surrounding this legend but the geology of the location surely fit the story.
The San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff as viewed through a window in the remnants of one of the stone structures that remains of Two Guns. This particular structure was likely a living quarters as it appears to have had multiple rooms, was upgraded to running water at some point, and was victim of one of two fires that occurred at Two Guns. Access to the root cellar was only for those of lesser stature as the very narrow opening could hardly accommodate my thirteen year old. There even appeared to have been wood fired stoves in more than one of the rooms. Makes me wonder if it was an early hostel of the area. Improvements to the structure were easy to spot by the presence of concrete rather than mortar.
This little guy greeted us at Two Guns shortly after crossing through the “Mountain Lions” threshold. He was quite comfortable around us and posed for numerous photos. At the time we were the only humans around but his behavior gave me a clue that Two Guns is visited often enough for him to be comfortable in close proximity to us. Before we departed two other vehicles arrived for their exploration of the old ruins.
As we encountered other lizards in different locations of the ruins it became clear that most visitors don’t venture far beyond the “Mountain Lions” structure that gets your attention from I-40. The further from that entrance we got the more skittish the lizards became. Of course, the more interesting the ruins became as well. The point? If you journey to Two Guns, take the time to walk all of the ruins, it’s worth the effort.
In our recent travels along portions of Route 66 I took a few out the car window shots (yes, I occasionally relinquish control of the vehicle) just for fun and a few came out surprisingly well. This is actually a pretty sharp image but I preferred applying a soft layer mask to it softening the image into a dreamy state reflecting our discussions of what traveling along Route 66 must have been like back in the day.
While the 300 MPH barrier may have been broken a few years ago by streamliners, Bill Warner recently accomplished this feat on a real motorcycle. Quite an accomplishment. My hats off to him. I dream of tasting 200 MPH so can’t imagine what 300 MPH must feel like. Thanks to Kneeslider for bringing this one to my attention.
The video only shows the start of his run, but you can just feel the excitement when the news comes over the radio of his record-setting run of 311.945 MPH. Thank goodness some of our abandoned air bases are being put to such good use!
YouTube video: Bill Warner 311 MPH