The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 29: Up to the Peregrine’s House

June 29, 2020-

Each day, as I walk downtown, Granite Mountain rises above the northwest horizon. I have hiked to the summit,twice. The first time was in April, 2011, with Aram. The second time was after I returned from Europe, in September, 2014. As it happened, the photos from that second climb were lost, when in a relapse into my mental fog of 2011-13, I put the SIM card into its slot in the computer, without using the guide sleeve. That took care of most of the photos from the latter part of my European visit (Metz, France to Berga, Germany and Frankfurt, Part II) plus Granite Mountain, Part II.

So, as it had been six years, anyway, and ,there is a two-day cooling off, before the July Oven heats up, I took a hike up Granite Mountain-not all the way to the summit, but to the closing-off point, past which peregrine falcons are in the last part of their nesting season.

I wanted to make this trip more about Granite Basin and Blair Pass, the approaches to the peak, anyway, so this was especially worthwhile.

Here are some of the scenes of those areas, and the lower part of the mountain.

The serene trailhead of Metate Point
This is the boulder called Metate.
The trail opens wide, headed towards Granite Basin.
This dam helps form Granite Basin Lake.
So often, boulders can appear to be rogues from the Great Beyond. Here is one such image.
Once in the heart of Granite Basin, boulder flows abound.
There are several golden staircases, along the Basin path, and on the north slope of the mountain.
These are some penstemon flowers, which are seen only on occasion, along Metate Trail.
Prescott has lots of corvids. These look like they got petrified, way back when.
Here is another Watch Lizard of the Basin.
Now, we are approaching the Basin’s boundary, and Blair Pass.
A view of the summit, where the pergrine falcons are still rearing their young.
Remnants of the 2013 Doce Fire are seen ahead.
The sky is bluer than it’s been in several years.
From this bench, also called Metate Point, is a clear view of Little Granite Mountain and the Santa Maria Mountains, in the far distance.
This is a northward view, towards Williamson Valley and the Cornell Range.
After apprising a young lady, who appeared more interested in running, about the course of the the trail to the summit, I determined to only walk until I heard the first little peregrine chick peeps. That took me most of the way up this ridge.
Here is a second “Golden Staircase”.
I took one final look at the Cornell Mountains, from this viewpoint near the first nests I encountered, then headed back.

All told, I met five people along the trail, including the runner. It was thus a bit more active than six years ago, when the only soul I met was a young lady, who appeared out of nowhere, took my picture and disappeared just as quickly. I encounter souls like that, every so often, but not today.

This was a perfect day, in an area where perfection can come as easily as a brief walk to a bouldered area for a picnic as from a hard march to the summit. I stopped upon hearing the first faint peeps, then headed happily down.

4 thoughts on “The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 29: Up to the Peregrine’s House

    • I recall, being in the Lafayette and Portage areas, overnight, two Julys in a row, that the rain came just before daybreak and stayed while I broke camp. I love challenges, so as a number of people looked on in amusement, I just threw on my poncho and took it all down.


  1. That looks like a lovely hike on a beautiful day! Your photos are wonderful, showing how blue the sky (after a thorough cleansing by the virus), how vast the countryside, and yet how close the boulders are. Thanks for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the benefits of this summer’s hiatus from the road is that I can devote outdoor time to those local places that are most relaxing. All farflung friends (like you) and family understand, of course, as the wise among them are dong the same thing.


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