The Salt River, AZ , Part 1, March 20-22

A combination of low water years and no success in the annual lottery kept us away from our second most favorite river in Arizona for 7 years. We had first run the 52 mile Salt River Canyon in 1982, and returned practically every April thereafter for one or more trips. This year, because of the effects of climate change, which had moved the advent of warm temperatures forward by 3 weeks, we put in for a March date, and drew March 20. There is no limit on the number of days one can spend on the river, and we decided on a 6-day trip, which makes for a leisurely pace and at least one lay-over camp (where one spends two nights at the same camp) possible. Our party consisted of my wife Kathy, me, Britt Runyon Huggins (Operations Manager for our river company – New Wave Rafting Co.), my son Ethan and his wife Florence Landau.

Kathy, Britt and I arrived at the put-in, just downstream of the Hwy 60 bridge, in mid-afternoon, and were soon joined by Ethan and Flo, who had flown-in to Phoenix from Alameda, CA. Ethan is a former NWRCo. guide, who also has a few Grand Canyon trips under his belt, but had never run the Salt. Flo had no prior river experience.

There was plenty of activity in the launch area – commercial parties, other private parties and a group training in Swiftwater Rescue. We busied ourselves with rigging our boats for the balance of the afternoon, and were ready to crawl in as it got dark.

We were the first private party to get underway the next morning, and enjoyed a day of exhilarating whitewater on what is known as “The Daily”. It’s called that because commercial one-day trips are made possible by the fact that the White Mountain Apache Tribe Road #1 parallels the river to the Hoodoo River Access, 9.3 miles downstream of the put-in. It’s a great one-day trip.

Our party. From left to right: Ethan, Flo, Britt, Kathy and me. Our boats are behind us: 2 14′ Sotars and a 14′ Aire

Kiss and Tell Rapid, barely 50 yds. downstream from the launch beach (Mile 0.1). The current runs directly into the quartzite cliff and then takes a 90 degree turn to the left.

Below: Video of Kiss and Tell Rapid, Mile 0.1. All the videos shot from the boat were done with a little Lumix waterproof camera that I kept in a pocket of my PFD (“personal flotation device”). Please forgive bouncy videos caused by bouncy rapids!

From here, the river runs 2.7 miles around Mule Hoof Bend, returning to a point 0.2 miles away from this rapid, on the other side of a low saddle.

Below: Video of Bump and Grind Rapid, Mile o.9.

Ethan and Flo, at the foot of Bump and Grind Rapid, Mile 0.9

The shiny surface of this quartzite boulder is a cast of a ripplemarked and cracked near-shore seabed

Below: Video of Maytag Rapid, Mile 1.1.

Below: Video of Reforma Rapid (aka Grumman Rapid), Mile 1.7.

Below: Video of Exhibition Rapid, Mile 5.5

Below: Video of T-Shirt Rapid (aka Mescal Falls), Mile 8.6. This is the biggest hole on the day stretch.

We passed the Hoodoo River Access and continued into a roadless canyon, with the Salt Banks the next stop. The name of the river is derived from this geological phenomenon, a salt spring that has created an overhang and walls laden with salt formations.

Ethan and Flo drift under the overhang at the  Salt Banks, Mile 10.0. Mini waterfalls of mineral-laden water spatter the surface to the left of the raft.

Salt Banks

Salt Banks

Salt Banks overhang, with very small waterfalls

Salt Banks overhang, with very small waterfalls

Salt Banks. Cliff swallow nests occupy some recesses

I had put together, two years or so ago, a draft of an iBook on the Salt, similar to my published iBook on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon ( But I was holding off on publishing it until I had had another opportunity to run the river, take more photos and video and see what changes had taken place. And, indeed, significant changes had taken place. The river corridor we saw this March was now hugely overgrown with three invasive plant species. This process had started 20 or more years ago, with the establishment of tamarisk along the shorelines. We had seen this bushy tree take over numerous campsites over the last number of years, and the invasion had continued while we were away. And now, added to the tamarisk were cattails (Typha angustifolia T. x glauca) and Phragmites reed (Phragmites australis, or common reed). The cattails were sparsely distributed, but the reed had taken over the lower canyon, as will be seen farther along. And, the low water years had enabled the tamarisk to both reach farther out into the channel, and establish new islands in mid-channel. Many areas of shoreline were now harder to access (see photo below).

We had to shove our way through the tamarisk to get to the camp. Yes, those are saguaros on the slope across the river

Evening view downstream from our first camp, Mile 11.2


The anticline at Rock Creek, with a paleo-Indian ruin located under the overhang seen in the center of the photo, Mile 11.8. This ruin is now included in a White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) sensitive area, which forbids entry to the public. Ahead, the river makes a hard left turn at Rockgarden Rapid.

Below: Video of Rockgarden Rapid, Mile 11.9

The river turns to the left below Rockgarden Camp, and runs straight for just under a mile. Then it turns right, and one is now on the approach to The Cheese and Rat Trap rapids.

Below: The Cheese Rapid, Mile 13.3. The river enters the Ruin Granite.

The Cheese Rapid leads directly to Rat Trap Rapid, which is seen ahead as this video ends. Why didn’t I video this scenic and interesting rapid, you may ask? I had intended to do so, but the camera battery ran out with no time to change! The Cheese and Rat Trap rapids begin the White Granite Gorge. A short ways below the latter, the river turns right, and immediately drops into White Rock Rapid.

Below: Video of White Rock Rapid, Mile 13.6

On river-left, just downstream of White Rock Rapid, is a gorgeous display of fluted and polished granite. It’s worth a few minutes examination.

Sculpted Ruin Granite, Mile 13.7

Sculpted Ruin Granite, Mile 13.7

The White Rock Gorge continues with delightful Class 3.

Below: Video of Class 3 whitewater, with Ethan followed by Britt, Mile 14.

More sculpted granite is seen on river left, opposite a granite island, at approx. Mile 14.5.

More sculpted Ruin Granite, just upstream from the former Boatpatch Beach, Mile 14

31.6 WhiteGraniteCanyonX DSCN8018

same as above

Brittlebush, saguaros, ocotillo and sotol

Next up is Canyon Creek, on river right at Mile 16.0.

Below: Video of approaching Canyon Creek, Mile 16.0. The video ends as we head for the eddy, which now has a grove of tamarisk growing in it. These are, however, handy for tying off to … but one can easily foresee the tamarisk eventually filling the eddy completely.

Below: Video of the approach to Canyon Creek, Mile 16.0.

Gleaming Ruin Granite at the mouth of Canyon Creek, Mile 16.0

Ruin Granite at the mouth of Canyon Creek, downstream view, Mile 16.0

Fairydusters, at Canyon Creek

Group of rafts heads downstream from Canyon Creek towards Granite Rapid

Don’t miss the short hike up Canyon Creek, to a deep pool surrounded by beautifully sculpted granite rocks.

Long deep pool on Canyon Creek, downstream view

Sculpted granite

Eddy at Canyon Creek, a few yards upstream of the mouth

Below: Video of the mouth of Canyon Creek, Mile 16.0.

Granite (aka Hades) Rapid is located just downstream of Canyon Creek, at Mile 16.1.

Below: 2 videos of the very scenic Granite Rapid, Mile 16.1

Crested saguaro and ocotillo

Camp #2, Mile 16.6

Camp #2, Mile 16.6, with first light on Canyon Creek Butte

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Just below the mouth of Ash Creek, downstream view, Mile 16.8. Canyon Creek Butte is seen ahead.

37.3 WhiteGraniteCanyonAshCkX DSCN8064

Small rapid at the mouth of Ash Creek, Mile 16.8, upstream view

38. RockM.17DSCN8067

Granite monolith, Mile 17

38.1 GleasonSaguaroDSCN8086

Saguaro, in Gleason Flat, Mile 18

The Black phoebe, a flycatcher, is the most common bird seen along the river corridor

Rapid in Gleason Flat, Mile 19

There is 4 WD road access to both sides of the river at Gleason Flat. The Salt River Canyon Wilderness begins downstream of those accesses, at Mile 19.3.

Gleason Flats ends at at Mile 21.2, as the river enters a canyon of the metamorphic Redmond Formation. Eye of the Needle Rapid is found a short ways downstream.

Below: Video of the approach to Eye of the Needle Rapid. Watch out for a large hole on a bend to the left. Then stay left for the slot that is the “eye”of the rapid.

Below: Video of Eye of the Needle Rapid, Mile 21.5

The excitement continues with Black Rock Rapid, less than a mile downstream, at Mile 22.2.

Brittlebush, at Black Rock Rapid, Mile 22.2

Below: Video of Black Rock Rapid, Mile 22.2. This video was shot with my good camera – a Nikon Coolpix P900.

Below: Video of Black Rock Rapid, Mile 22.2.

After Black Rock, the canyon opens up and runs straight for just under a mile. You pass Hess Canyon, on the left, at Mile 25.5. About a half-mile below Hess, at a hard turn to the right, you encounter the channels and islands seen below.

Bedrock channels and islands, Mile 25.8

Screwdriver Rapid, Mile 26.4

Below: Video of Devil’s Pendejo Rapid, Mile 26.6.

Lower Corral Rapid, Mile 29.2

The start of the Pinball stretch, Mile 29.4



Britt enters The Maze Rapid, Mile 29.8

Below: Video of The Maze Rapid, Mile 29.8.

Notice the big rock to the left of the raft, at 30 sec. into the video. This rock fell into the rapid at some un-determined time in the last few years. Here, for comparison sake, is a photo of this rapid (at a similar water level), before the rock fell in. This rock added to the maze-like nature of the rapid.

The Maze Rapid, before the big rock fell in

Mid-stream bedrock obstructions, below the Maze, Mile 30

The White Ledges run along the ridge top seen downstream. Mile 30.5

The White Ledges are a very unusual and striking geologic feature. They are formed of the White Ledges Quartzite, which is an extremely hard and erosion-resistant rock unit. The softer rocks found both beneath and above the White Ledges have eroded away to the degree that the White Ledges are often seen to stick out from the slope, such as in the photo below.

Just before Blackjack Camp, sycamores grow along a hillside spring. The White Ledges, which the river cuts through at Blackjack Camp, are seen just overhead, Mile 29.9.

Day 3 ended at Blackjack Camp, Mile 31.0, where we had to battle our way through the reeds to gain access to the campsite, which we intended to occupy for two nights.

Part 2 of this post will cover days 4-6 of our Salt River trip.

Posted in 2017, Birding, Environment, Family, Nature, Photography, River-running (USA&Mexico), Travel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Donald Chronicles, #45 – Apr. 18, 2017

First, some natural beauty, to remind you that The Donald has begun the process that will  ravage our natural heritage.

Swallowtail butterfly on lilacs

So … Stunt #1 was the bombardment of the Syrian airfield with 49 Tomahawk missiles. Bravo Donald!

Stunt #2 was the dropping of the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan. Bravo again, Donald!

What will The Donald do for Stunt #3?, one must ask. Will he start a war with North Korea? There is certainly plenty of saber-rattling going on, as regards that miserable place. The American public will love it … unless NK retaliates with an  A-bomb topped missile that takes out Seattle, of course.

Never have so many been in so much danger before. The Donald seems poised to bring hell to earth. If I were half my current age, I would be thinking hard about where I could go to get away from The Donald. The Donald has brought a new kind of exceptionalism to the America I was once so proud of. Now America is exceptionally dangerous to the rest of the world, and I shudder to think of what the future will bring.

But allow me to close with a glimpse of natural splendor:

Bighorn ram, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, NM


Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Environment, Nature, Photography, Politics/Economics, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Donald Chronicles, #44 – Apr. 13, 2017

I took an extended vacation from Trump, doing fun things with family members. Here I am with wife Kathy and grandkids Kara and Benet, skiing in California (Alpine Meadows) last week.

Kathy, me and the kids, at Alpine Meadows

So … as regards The Donald, it’s been more of the same insane shit. The most insane of which was the bombing of an airbase in Syria, which can only be regarded as a stunt intended to bring up the ratings of out Entertainer-in Chief. DT has been called a lot of things, but what term best summarizes his various styles of dysfunction? I suggest this one word: pathology. DT is one pathological puppy.

And here, Robert Reich (Huffington Post) presents Trump voters with a comprehensive list of DT’s broken promises.

  1. He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. You bought it. Then he bombed Syria.
  2. He said he’d build a wall along the border with Mexico. You bought it. Now his secretary of homeland security says “It’s unlikely that we will build a wall.”
  3. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. You bought it. Then he brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses.
  4. He said he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “wonderful.” You bought it. Then he didn’t.
  5. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. Then he created the most chaotic, dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, in which no one is in charge.
  6. He said he’d release his tax returns, eventually. You bought it. He hasn’t, and says he never will.
  7. He said he’d divest himself from his financial empire, to avoid any conflicts of interest. You bought it. He remains heavily involved in his businesses, makes money off of foreign dignitaries staying at his Washington hotel, gets China to give the Trump brand trademark and copyright rights, manipulates the stock market on a daily basis, and has more conflicts of interest than can even be counted.
  8. He said Clinton was in the pockets of Goldman Sachs, and would do whatever they said. You bought it. Then he put half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives in positions of power in his administration.
  9. He said he’d surround himself with all the best and smartest people. You bought it. Then he put Betsy DeVos, opponent of public education, in charge of education; Jeff Sessions, opponent of the Voting Rights Act, in charge of voting rights; Ben Carson, opponent of the Fair Housing Act, in charge of fair housing; Scott Pruitt, climate change denier, in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Russian quisling Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
  10. He said he’d faithfully execute the law. You bought it. Then he said his predecessor, Barack Obama, spied on him, without any evidence of Obama ever doing so, in order to divert attention from the FBI’s investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives to win the election.
  11. He said he knew more about strategy and terrorism than the generals did. You bought it. Then he green lighted a disastrous raid in Yemen- even though  his generals said it would be a terrible idea. This raid resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL, an 8-year old American girl, and numerous civilians. The actual target of the raid escaped, and no useful intel was gained
  12. He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and accused him of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods. He promised to never be the kind of president who took cushy vacations on the taxpayer’s dime, not when there was so much important work to be done. You bought it. He has by now spent more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama did in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business.
  13. He called CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times “fake news” and said they were his enemy. You bought it. Now he gets his information from Fox News, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, and InfoWars. 

That’s all. Let me help calm you by offering some mountain beauty.

Dead tree, Alpine Meadows Ski Area, CA

Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Environment, Family, Nature, Photography, Politics/Economics, Skiing, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SWA Flight, Las Vegas to Reno, Apr. 3, 2017

One very rewarding aspect of air travel that takes you over  familiar landscapes is the opportunity it gives you to see and identify particular landforms and landmarks from above. I have enjoyed photographing such on the many flights I’ve taken between New Mexico and the West Coast, all of which can be seen in other posts on this blog.

On April 3, 2017, Kathy and I flew from Albuquerque to Reno by way of Las Vegas, to meet Kathy’s daughter Laina and family in Truckee, CA. For the Las Vegas to Reno flight we chose window seats on the left side of the plane, based on the presumption that those seats would afford us good views of the Sierra Nevada – and indeed they did. We flew in a northwesterly direction, gradually getting closer and closer to the Sierras. The views were nothing less than spectacular. All photos taken with an iPhone 6S.

To the southwest, Death Valley (1:24 PM)

Looking west, the upper end of Death Valley and the distant Sierras (1:27 PM)

To the southwest, Mt. Whitney and satellite peaks are seen in the center of the photo, as a dark line of peaks sitting above large snowfields, with clouds beyond (1:34 PM)

To the southwest, Mt. Whitney and the Palisades. To the west, Owens Valley and the White Mountains (1:41 PM)

4.5 FishlakeValleyIMG_0391

Fishlake Valley, NV, with center-pivot irrigated fields, on the east side of the White Mountains

Looking to the southwest, Mono Lake, Yosemite NP and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (1:50 PM)

The valley of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Reservoir, Twin Lakes and the Sawtooth Ridge. The Sawtooth Ridge is located in northern Yosemite NP (1:53 PM)

The East Walker River flows from Twin Lakes into Bridgeport Reservoir, and then out and into Nevada a few miles below the dam. Kathy and I have enjoyed excellent fishing in the Rosachi Ranch section of the river, seen immediately below (1:53 PM).

Topaz Reservoir, on the West Walker River (1:57 PM)

Lake Tahoe and Heavenly Valley Ski Area (2:03 PM)

Lake Tahoe and Homewood Ski Area on the far side of the lake (2:05 PM)

Mt. Rose Ski Area (2:07 PM)

Mt. Rose Ski Area and the southern fringe of Reno (2:07 PM)

The span of time between the taking of the first and last photos was 43 minutes.

Posted in 2017, Nature, Photography, Skiing, SWA Flights-photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cabela’s in Reno, April 7, 2017

On April 3, Kathy and I flew into Reno, and rented a car for the drive uphill to Tahoe Donner, a subdivision of expensive vacation homes where Kathy’s daughter Laina and family were spending Spring Break at their rented “ski house”. We skied at Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl, having a delightful time with the grandkids – Kara and Benet -and Laina and her husband Matt. On the 7th, Kathy and I left early, to avoid a developing blizzard. With some time on our hands, Kathy said: “Let’s go to Cabela’s!” We had been there one time before, on which occasion I had bought a very reasonably-priced 2-handed fly rod. This became my rod of choice for fishing Pyramid Lake, which, coincidentally, is located about a 45 minute drive north of Reno.

Here is the link to the post on the skiing:

and here is a link to a post on my most recent trip to Pyramid Lake:

Back to Cabela’s. How best to characterize this outdoor sports emporium? The word “edifice” comes to mind, as does the word “temple”, or “pilgrimage site”. Whatever it is, it is way beyond being merely a store. For some, it is practically a holy place (you should have seen the reverential mien of the dozen men (no women) assembled before the gun cases), but one where a love of the outdoors intersects with thoroughly modern and unrestrained consumerism. A friend tells me that the grandiosity of this and other like stores began with the Mall of America, which was the first to provide a kind of entertainment to the mall shopping experience. Here is how Wikipedia describes the Cabela’s stores: Cabela’s has a distinctive look to its retail operations, a look which turns its retail stores into tourist attractions. The stores are more like cavernous showrooms, bringing the outdoors inside. They feature museum-quality displays of taxidermied wildlife, large aquariums, indoor mountains, and archery ranges. The success of the format is illustrated by the company’s Kansas City, Kansas store at over 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2), which attracted more than four million customer visits in one year. Currently, the largest Cabela’s retail facility is in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, with more than 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of floor space.”

Front entrance, with Bighorn sheep sculpture

Bighorn sheep sculpture

Front entrance, side view

Front doors

Kathy tries out the fishing cat

Big game decoys

Javelina decoy

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout info sign

Big game display panorama

“A Tribute to America’s Sportsmen”

Big game display

Moose, with pool (which contains some trout)

Seen in the video are brown trout, brook trout and a hybrid trout.

Big game display

Large gamefish mounts

More large gamefish mounts

Trout mounts

Research for this post informed me that Cabela’s was recently purchased by Bass Pro Shops – also known for its very large stores. Based on the popularity of these stores, I have to conclude that, amongst other things, the typical American sportsman is in love with the gear as much as in the pursuit of the quarry. Of course, they wear certain brands with recognizable labels, despite the fact that these brands are (IMHO) way over-priced. Cabela’s, like Herter’s before them, started out as a people-priced mail order outfit. Now their stuff is as expensive as North Face or Columbia. Go figure.

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Ski Trip with the Levys, Tahoe Donner, 4-3 to 4-7, 2017

On April 3, Kathy and I flew into Reno, and rented a car for the drive uphill to Tahoe Donner, a subdivision of expensive vacation homes where Kathy’s daughter Laina and family were spending Spring Break at their rented “ski house”. We skied at Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl, having a delightful time with the grandkids – Kara and Benet -and Laina and her husband Matt. In comparison to Rocky Mountain ski areas, what is especially notable about the larger Tahoe ski areas is the amount of open and varied terrain. Also notable (to me, at least) are the huge trees of the Sierra Nevada, which make for great scenery and memorable glade skiing.

This year, the snow depths in the Sierras were at or beyond record levels, just like the pre-drought “good old days”. Wow, what coverage!

Our rental car in the driveway of the ski house. Note the depth of snow!

Video: The depths of snow and trees swaying in the wind, from the ski house back deck.

We skied Alpine Meadows on our first day.

At the base of Alpine Meadows. My first time back after having taught skiing there on weekends, once upon a time, while attending UC-Berkeley, in the mid-60s

Benet, with Kara, Matt and Laina, behind

Benet and Kathy, on the chair ahead

Benet and view

Big beautiful lichen-bedecked trees

Dead tree, lower half

Dead tree, upper half

Kathy, the kids and Lake Tahoe

Near the “Chalet”

Kathy, Matt and Lake Tahoe

What a handsome devil!

Kathy, me and the kids

Expansive open slopes

Beautiful trees. You don’t see trees of this size outside of California.

Wolverine Bowl

The next day saw my triumphal return to Sugar Bowl, where I had worked part of the season of 1964 as a ski patroller.

The parking lot at Sugar Bowl, from where you board a gondola that takes you on a level ride above and beyond the railroad tracks. Left to right: Laina, Benet, Matt, Kara and Kathy.

The gondola ride, with the base lodge and ski area ahead

Benet. What a good-looking and pleasant kid!

Mt. Disney lift

Video: Benet. He loves to side-slip.

Video: Laina and Benet

Dead tree art, Sugar Bowl style

Yet more dead tree art, Sugar Bowl style

From the Mt. Lincoln lift, looking over to the Palisades

Mt. Lincoln steeps

Mt. Lincoln steeps

Top of Mt. Lincoln, Matt, Laina and Benet

It rained on Thursday, and on Friday we drove down to Reno, to get away from a promised blizzard in the mountains.

Posted in 2017, Family, Nature, Photography, Skiing, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Donald Chronicles, #43 – Apr. 2, 2017

Blackjack Camp, in the Salt River Canyon Wilderness, AZ, upstream view

**Photo – some public land wilderness that Trump appears ready to sell to the highest bidder. What do I, personally, find most hard-to-accept about our new President? It is his complete disregard for both the public lands of this great country, and the climate future of the planet. That’s all. May he soon be taken from us!!

*From Robert Reich: “Federal Judge David J. Hale has ruled against efforts by Trump’s attorneys to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville.

At that rally, Trump repeatedly said “get ’em out of here” before his supporters shoved and punched them.

Trump’s attorneys tried to have the case dismissed on free speech grounds, arguing that Trump didn’t intend for his words to be taken literally. But Hale noted that speech inciting violence is not protected by the First Amendment, and ruled that there is plenty of evidence that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s words.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command.”

**It seems fairly certain that there’s no lack of stuff out there that could bring DT down. But what might he try, should his fate as President begin to look shaky? A coup attempt? A staged provocation? We best ready ourselves for such a tactic.

**Here’s another shot of public land that DT would dispose of!

Blackjack Camp, in the Salt River Canyon Wilderness, AZ, downstream view


Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Environment, Nature, Photography, Politics/Economics, River-running (USA&Mexico), Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment