Tufa and Granite

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December 2010 10:08 Written by Chris Marzonie Sunday, 12 December 2010 09:58

It was unseasonably warm today in Prescott, so my friend Matt Turner and I hatched a plan to go see an enormous formation of exposed granite near Yava, Arizona. Unfortunately, the whole area was locked up tighter than a drum, so Matt took me on a hike through an area of silica-rich volcanic tufa near Kirkland. The wind and water had done a magnificent job at sculpting the rock. We hiked back into an area that Matt had seen on aerial maps to scout for some new slots or gorges, but did not encounter any. It was warm enough for me to hike without a shirt (in mid-December) – nice! After our hike, Matt headed back to Prescott and I went on to explore some new-to-me 4WD roads near Skull Valley. After many miles of bumpy low-range and a few steep climbs, I discovered a valley rich with granite boulders and studded with pine and oak. The day was getting away, so I headed out on a power line road and enjoyed the last light of the sun as it turned the west side of Granite Mountain a beautiful shade of pink. Sometimes local adventure is the best adventure.

Tufa rock

Tufa formations near Kirkland, AZ

Wild tufa formation

A wild tufa sculpture

walking into wonderland

Walking into wonderland

Matt Turner, photographer

Matt Turner above the tufa canyon

limestone hydraulics

Hydraulic stone sculpture

Prickley pear

Prickley Pear cactus, Kirkland Peak in the background

Matt Turner

Yea, it looks like he's offering a pack of cigs to the Marlboro god, but that's really a camera.

Toyota Tacoma in Granite Basin

Winding my way back into the "other" Granite Basin

Chock full of granite, pines, juniper and oak

Chock full of granite, pines, juniper and oak

cattle tank reflection

Funny how light and color can make a muddy cattle tank look good

Tacoma and granite rocks

The Tacoma with some ruggedly beautiful granite for a backdrop

Late afternoon sun on granite

Late afternoon sun on granite

Windmill silhouette

Windmill silhouettes in front of Granite Mountain near Prescott, AZ

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