|Gravel to gulch before sunrise|
The dark gulches dumped us out onto a steep road, with more bushwhacking ahead. But our goal was within sight, with only a barbed wire fence to slither through to get near the water.
|Sun still not up yet. High-ISO shot with my camera brightens up the scene, although noisy.|
Scoring the alternative choices, we rated "walk down to the Verde River to watch the sunrise together" at +50 compared to "go shopping with crowds of crazed bargain-seekers for crap you don't need that will end up in the landfill in a year or two" at -75. Sunrise over the river was the clear choice. This was our Bright Friday. Condolences if yours was black.
|I felt the water at this point|
I may have mentioned something in the previous, Puscifer-crazed post about going swimming here. My woman talked sense into me regarding this point, stressing the greater sense of doing so some summer morning, rather on a November morning when the air temperature was 43F. But, I did bend down here, plunged my hands in, splashed the Verde's waters onto my face and neck, to feel the water's chill.
|The air was fluffy with cotton from the cottonwoods, the ground littered with their golden leaves|
|Ah, there's the sun|
The sun peers over the mountain and lights the tops of the yellow trees on fire above a shadow line shaped like the mountaintop. That shadow line drops lower and lower, as the chorus of mist hanging over the river chants goodbye.
|Bringer of life to a dry valley, coloring it green|
We startled a small group of mule deer, gray with their big ears. They slipped through the brush, quite silent, then stopped on a hill on the other side to regard us warily. I took one step toward them, and they vanished. A bit like in a dream. I try to hold on to moments like that one. Like a mountain-shaped sunrise shadow line, these moments all fall into the river and wash away, though.
|Mountain-shaped sunrise shadow-line dropping into the water|
|Mule deer about to bolt|
the Verde River inviting me to stay
Also check out the map of Arizona's rivers, each miraculous, and troubled, and dammed, in its own way.