Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On the road again Part II

I wrote yesterday that I was visiting Chiricahua National Monument and had gone on a short 3 hour walk. Today I tackled the longest hike since getting the M9. I started out at the Visitor Center taking the Lower Rhyolite Canyon Trail for 1.5 miles where it branched out to Sarah Deming Trail through Sarah Deming Canyon for another 1.5 miles. The elevation was all up hill with an elevation change of 580' on the first part that allowed me to make the trip in less than an hour then things got interesting. The Sarah Deming Trail is another 1.5 miles however the elevation change is 860'. The Sarah Deming Trail is all uphill and very rocky; it took me just a little over 90 minutes to negotiate this section. I stopped and had lunch at the trailhead for Heart of Rocks before going on. The Heart of Rock Trail is 1.1 mile roundtrip (it's actually a loop). I did the loop then began the hike back to the jeep. All told I hiked somewhere between 7 1/2 and 8 miles making it back to the jeep in 6 hours 13 minutes.

I feel I need to add a word or two of caution about the trails. They are very steep and sometimes almost nonexistent and you really need to keep a sharp eye out for the cairns. Make certain you have footwear suitable for dirt, and rocks ( I added this as I saw a person begin the trail in only sandals). Make certain you have plenty of water ( I had two quarts with me).

On to the business of the camera gear. I packed my Leica M9, 35, 50 and 90mm lenses along with a spare battery and a monopod. I ended up using the monopod more for hiking than for the camera so it was a good idea. I've said this before and will keep saying it - the light weight system of the M9 and lenses has allowed me to push into areas that I haven't been able to with my Cambo/P45. While I haven't weighed the bag I feel the M9 and lenses plus battery weight just about the same as the Cambo/P45+ and a lens. I need a heavy tripod to accurately capture with the medium format and I'd like to carry additional lenses such as I do with the Leica. Simply put, there's no way I would have even thought about taking this hike today if all I had was the medium format. Kudos to the Leica gear.

Now for the images...

"Pinnacle Balanced Rock"
Cron 35mm f/11 1/250 ISO 160
"Camels Head"
Cron 35mm f/9.5 1/350 ISO 160
"Old Maid"
Cron 35mm f/9.5 1/250 ISO 160
"Thor's Hammer"
Cron 50mm f/9.5 1/500 ISO 160
"Punch and Judy"
Cron 50mm f/5.7 1/750 ISO 160
"Duck on a Rock"
Cron 50mm f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 160
"Kissing Rocks"
Cron 50mm f/3.4 1/1500 ISO 160
"Big Balanced Rock"
Cron 50mm f/3.4 1/3000 ISO 160

Two samples of the trails

Going up to Heart of Rocks Loop
Cron 35mm f/13 1/125 ISO 160
Somewhere within the Heart of Rocks Loop
Cron 35mm f/11 1/80 ISO 160

Views of the Chiricahua National Monument

3 shot panorama
Cron 50mm f/6.7 1/1000 ISO 160
View just past Thor's Hammer
Cron 50mm f/6.7 1/500 ISO 160

Last but not least - I figured if we can name rocks why not a piece of wood? Does anyone else besides me see a horses head?

Cron 50mm f/3.4 1/750 ISO 160

Heading home in the morning where I'll be staying till mid May when Sandy & I revisit two of our favorite local places, Monument Valley and Moab.

Thanks for visiting and as always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.


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