Beating the Heat

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Arizona’s incredibly diverse climate and topography never cease to amaze. On any given day, it can be scorching in one part of the state while it is glacial in another. This is what happens when desert rather abruptly collides with mountains. According to USA Today, Arizona’s high and low temperatures since 1970 have ranged from a low of -40°F to +128°F. Wow!Near_Top-2j (1 of 1)

Before doctors discovered that a lumbar fracture was causing my vertebrae column to dangerously tumble over my tailbone in 2008, I used to enjoy beating the heat by working up a sweat in the cool country. It’s just a couple of hour drive from Anthem to the base of the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort in Flagtaff, where you can climb more than 1,800 feet in elevation on a six mile road. It’s a lot of work, but it is an awesome experience for bike riders. Plus the adult beverages rarely taste better than at the base of the ski lift.Snowbowl_Chrlift_Summer-1j (1 of 1)

In late June, on a day that featured rapidly changing weather conditions, I traveled up to Snowbowl with my buddy Pete. It was the first time I made this trip since my three back surgeries.Fly-By-GIF

While it is becoming increasing obvious there is little chance I’ll be riding a bike again in this lifetime, I didn’t have time to do anything other than enjoy the experience. While Pete was hustling up (and down, as shown above) the mountain on his bike, I was elevated in spirit with incredibly diverse mountain top photoremedy. And, at the end of the trail, Pete got his beer and I got my Bloody Mary. It was a remarkable day, and an extraordinary way to beat the desert heat.

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All of the photos below, and the images that support the photo art, were taken during our June Snowbowl trip. Just click on one of the smaller individual photos below to view in slide show mode.

Summer’s Two Gifts

A wise woman once said that relatives give you two gifts when they come to visit. One when they arrive, and one when they leave.AZ_Mail_Boxes-1 (1 of 1)

I feel the same way about what I consider to be the Metro Phoenix area’s summer period – when temperatures consistently rise above 100 degrees up to the period when temperatures consistently fall below 90 degrees. Forget the dates; it’s all about the heat. I love the sun and the warmth it radiates, but it can wear me out when temperatures are consistently rising above 110 degrees. As a result, I usually can’t wait for Arizona’s summer to both arrive and depart.

Those who live in Arizona’s higher elevation areas, obviously, may not feel the same way. I’ll write about that in an upcoming post.

A_Man_Outstanding_In_His_Field-1 (1 of 1)Interestingly enough, many of the flowers (both wild and of the garden variety) that color our desert landscape appear to react very similarly to me. They tend to thrive in the spring, and eventually wilt as the mercury rises.Table_Mesa-4-DaveDriving-1 (1 of 1)

A sample of some of the wild- and garden-related flower photos I’ve been able to capture this year is featured below. The garden photos come from my garden.

Special thanks to my buddy Dave and his very cool Polaris Razor Jagged X for helping me with the wild flower images. Dave and his high-performance off-road vehicle (I jokingly call it a jalopy) got me to beautiful back country to which few get the opportunity to travel. Just click on one of the smaller individual photos below to view in slide show mode.

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Note: The photoremedy mission is to encourage those fighting chronic pain and other afflictions to consider using photography as a powerful tool to move their focus away from the pain. In the process, we strive to enhance readers’ ability to see beauty and experience elevated joy in their lives. There are many gifts that can accompany health challenges; one of the greatest offerings is it frequently forces sufferers to set better priorities for their lives and assists them in seeing the world in new and more meaningful ways.