And waterfalls? Plural? We didn't go near them, but the binoculars showed us they were huge. Just as the binoculars showed us the unfortunate fate of the cars that drove off the road at the Seven Cataracts Vista. If there was anyone in the cars when they went over the edge, they certainly didn't survive. And they didn't even roll all the way down to the bottom.
Windy Point Vista was unanimously the scariest part of the trip. Mainly because the scenic overlook was built away from the side of the mountain so you were really looking straight down on... well, everything you had seen so far. Not a place for those afraid of heights, yet three out of four of us were just that. (Myself included.) I'm not ashamed to say that I clutched the iron railing as I took pictures. Yet, if you look at the pictures, you'll notice which idiot went up even higher to take pictures of the other three? Looking down at the road, and the previous stop, wayyyy down there... yikes.
And the sky kept putting on a show for us. Sunny, then cloudy, then thunder. Always raining over part of the city (or state). For us, though, it was comfortable and breezy.
Drive up a little (ha!) more, and there's a sign informing you that what you see in the distance is New Mexico. I do not know exactly how far that is, but Google maps estimates 120 miles as the crow flies. (That's like being able to see Montauk Point from Brooklyn, or Oswego from my parents' house.) (Putting things in perspective for my faithful readers.) (And don't quote me on distances, OK? Close comparative analogy, here.)
Also of note were the stone walls, made of indigenous rocks. What kind of rocks? Neat kinds. Like rocks with mica, and iron pyrite (fool's gold).
Further we drove, and things kept changing. There was a lake up there, but we didn't stop. At just over 8,000 feet, we hit the ski resort. And grass. Lots of it. Pretty cool.
On the way back down, we were treated to a textbook Arizona sunset. The sky changes so rapidly through so many colors, if you look away for a minute and look back it's as if you're looking at an entirely different sky.
The whole trip was amazing. We travelled the climatic equivalent of Mexico to Canada in under 100 miles. It took us a little over five hours, but I'm ready to spend another 5000 hours there. I want to explore every rock, every waterfall, every precipitous drop. But I'll need to get a few more cards for the ol' digital camera first...
Oh yeah. Irony. At the apex of our journey we encountered a family consisting of mommy (Barbie), daddy (Lloyd), and Brittany/Morgan/Paige/Paisley/Ampersand/Insert pretentious name here. Barbie did not shut up. Not once. Lloyd was taking pictures, but then it came time for the "spontaneous" photo of the little offspring. The kid was four, and wanted nothing to do with it. We think she was actually having fun getting Barbie all annoyed. (When we got back in the car, I turned to Deb and told her she was wonderful. She asked me why I said that, to which I responded "because you are nothing at all like that woman.") Here's the irony: Barbie & Company were on the same flight out of Tucson as Scott & Matt. Way to put a cap on the vacation!