Last week, I boarded a plane and flew across the country to Phoenix. Year-round, eighty degrees, always-sunny, never rainy, Arizona. Unfortunately, I found myself battling rain and clouds for most of the trip, though it made for some great photos. I had the opportunity to utilize my wide-angle lens to capture the peaks, mountains and valleys on many of my day hikes in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. This was my second trip to the Arizona area and I was once again stunned by the magnificent colors that come to life through photography of the landscapes, wildlife, and vegetation. On my first day, I drove south to South Mountain Park area to explore the Mormon Loop trail. Though not extremely tedious, I was impressed by the views of the valley from the peak after only a mile. The trails were not marked well, so it was advantageous to have the AllTrails app on my iPhone. I got a bit lost and ended up walking almost five miles on my first day.

Day two was all rain, so I found myself in the Northeastern region exploring the expansive Music Instrument Museum and man, was I impressed – there are exhibits from almost every country on the globe, featuring native music styles, instruments and videos. I could spend an entire day there!

The most memorable hike on the trip was Camelback Mountain, which publicizes warnings of extreme difficulty, a trail only for avid and experienced hikers. I was not susceptible to these cautionary notes as I vertically scaled rocks, up 1,400 feet, to the peak in just about an hour. Though strenuous, this was my favorite hike of the trip and I was happy to save the best for last.

Please enjoy these photos from my southwest adventure!