By Ted Grussing
… the entire Northern Arizona area is inundated with smoke from fires out of state, the sky was pretty much overcast when I took off this morning and the broadcast from Flagstaff ATIS (Air Traffic Information Service) on 125.8, was visibility greater than 5 and 5 which meets/exceed VFR flight. Kept the strobes and navigation lights on as it was very smokey/hazy and as a friend of mine is wont to say, it is good to be seen. The goal this morning was to shoot Red Mountain (volcano) as Bob wanted some shots of it for the article we are doing on the San Francisco Volcanic Field. Usually I don’t fly that direction much and when I do I am usually above 12,000’ as I head to the Grand Canyon or wherever since I am restricted to 14,500’ or higher in the GC area. Red Mountain is about 30 miles NW of Flagstaff and about a mile to the W of Hwy 180. There is signage on the road and from the parking lot about a half hour walk to get into the amphitheater area of the mountain … a volcanic cinder cone.
So I really wasn’t expecting much given the lighting and visibility. I flew close by Kendrick Peak on the east side and it looks like a lot of aspen with leaves which means there might be good fall color on it again this year. Then it was the descent to about 8,000’ as I approached Red Mountain which is 7,968’ and the ground about 6900’. I spent about 40 minutes cruising the mountain taking shots from various altitudes both above and below the peak, and focused primarily on the amphitheater area which contains all the Hoo Doos and to be honest the primary beauty of the mountain. While I was doing the shooting a hole appeared in the clouds which illuminated the mountain and it was spectacular … It is now one of my favorite places to go and for sure I’ll be making many more trips up there to get it in better light. Morning works best for this mountain as the amphitheater is on the east side of the mountain. The actual cone is on the other side of the mountain but not that spectacular. Red Mountain has been around for a while … something like 740,000 years. USGS has done a very good write up on the mountain which you can read at: https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs024-02/
Both shots were taken from about 8300’ and in the first one you can see the spread of the volcanic field to the west of Red Mountain. I wasn’t paying that close of attention to the background, but I think the mountain on the horizon on the left is Sitgreaves Mountain … all of them are of volcanic origin. I think the number is something in excess of 600 volcanic cones in the field. The second shot is from a close flyby from approximately left of center of the amphitheater. I plan on going there on the ground too as it has easy access and Bob tells me it is spectacularly beautiful inside … you can see the path leading into there on the lower left side of the full image.
Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend … September is here and my favorite season of all … fall!
Have a terrific day, drive safely and enjoy the day.
A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.
I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing.
I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night.
Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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