J.S. and S.W. Aber
|Introduction to Arizona||Tucson, Greasewood Park|
|Tucson, J. Murrieta Park||Prescott, Fain Lake|
|Coconino, National Forest||References|
Greasewood Park, Tucson (2019)
Tucson weather was generally not favorable for KAP. Temperature ranged from the 20s to 70s °F. Two storm systems moved through with rain, clouds, and windy conditions, while other days were nearly calm. Finally our last full day in Tucson had completely sunny sky and southeasterly wind of 5-10 mph. This is the minimum we need for successful KAP. With such light wind our full attention was focused on flying the kite. We selected our large rokkaku without a tail and used our new autoKAP rig—see Sony camera.
Greasewood Park is located in the northwestern portion of Tucson and is set aside as a natural desert park. Facilities are minimal beyond a small vehicle parking area, a few picnic tables, and numerous walking paths. Two ecozones are represented, namely the Palo Verde-Saguaro upland zone and the Sonoran Desert riparian zone. Anklam Wash is the principle drainage, although it is dry most of the time.
While in Tucson, we acquired a new cargo/tool box with large wheels and used it to transport our equipment along a concrete walking path to a picnic area close to Anklam Wash. We set up there in the late morning after determining that no sagauro cactus, cholla, or other obstacles were in the immediate vicinity. Ground elevation is approximately 2500 feet (~760 m). The southeasterly breeze carried the kite and camera up and out above Anklam Wash.
|Overview toward the northeast (left) showing Anklam Wash in the left foreground and the Santa Catalina Mountains on the right skyline. Mt. Lemmon is the highest peak at ~9160 feet. View to southeast (right). Pima Community College appears in the right background.|
|Looking toward the southwest (left) showing Anklam Wash in the foreground. Closer view (right) with a "forest" of saguaro cactus. The green trees are palo verde. A walking path leads toward houses in the background.|
|Close-up shots of Anklam Wash. Picnic tables and a concrete walkway allow good access and resting places.|
|Parking area and main picnic shelter (left). Greasewood Road and Speedway Boulevard intersect in the left background. Close-up view (right) of saguaro, cholla, and other upland vegetation.|
|JSA (left) flying the kite from a picnic area. Line real is anchored to the grill post. Low-height view (right) of prickly pear cactus; note shadow of camera rig at top center.|
Joaquin Murrieta Park, Tucson (2020)
Like Greasewook Park, Joaquin Murrieta Park (JMP) is located in the northern part of Tucson. Our flying site was approximately 8 miles from the nearest border of Tucson International Airport, well beyond the 5-mile limit required by the FAA. JMP is a traditional city park with playgrounds, picnic tables, and baseball fields. JMP is located on the alluvial plain of the Santa Cruz River, as is most of central Tucson. Elevation is approximately 2340 feet (~715 m). The dry drainage channel on the east side of JMP is Silvercroft Wash, which begins to the southwest near Starr Pass and empties into the Santa Cruz River north of the park.
Entrance sign (left) for Joaquin Murrieta Park and scoreboard (right) for the Western Little League ball field.
|Left: view toward the northeast with the Santa Catalina Mountains in the background. Silvercroft Wash extends across the scene from the lower right corner. Right: looking eastward with Silvercroft Wash at bottom of scene.|
|Overview to southeast (left) toward downtown Tucson in the distance. Closer shot (right) showing the City of Tucson Trini Alvarez-El Rio Golf Course. The green fairways and greens contrast nicely with the tan-brown rough areas. The large white and blue building in lower right is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, Steve Daru Clubhouse.|
|Left: view toward the northwest over residential housing. The major street that runs diagonally across the scene is Silverbell Rd. Right: close-up shot of houses just north of the park. Notice the palm trees and light-colored roofs to reflect heat.|
|Looking southward (left). The dark hills in the distance are Sentinel Park (left) and Tumamoc Hill (right). Ball diamonds (right). Upper right is the Western Little League field with a practice field to lower right. Larger fields are on the left side.|
Fain Lake is a small reservoir dammed in a narrow valley on Linx Creek. Lake surface elevation is 5075 feet (~1560 m). The lake is designated as "community fishing water" by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Several sport fish include channel catfish, rainbow trout, sunfish, and largemouth bass. Surrounding rocky outcrops consist of granodiorite, which is similar to granite but with a higher portion of dark-colored minerals. Age of the granodiorite is middle Proterozoic, approximately 1680 million years old (Johnson et al. 2013). Tailings piles and gravel pits from old mines are found along Lynx Creek valley nearby.
|The Linx Creek District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Monument at Fain Park adjacent to our flying station on the ground.|
|Fain Lake with picnic area and fishing dock (left). Linx Creek enters the lake at upper right. Kite flyers to lower left (*). Lake and dam (right) with the Chapel of the Valley on the adjacent hill top.|
|View westward (left). Linx Creek enters the lake at lower left, another small tributary, Alberson Wash comes in at lower right. The road in background is Stoneridge Drive. Overview looking to south (right). Again, Stoneridge Drive is the road in background.|
|Overview toward north (left) along 5th Street. Commercial enterprises and residential area beyond. Note the powerline across bottom of view; we set up to avoid this obstacle. Also a water-supply canal is visible. Water is diverted from upstream and feeds into Mesa Reservoir downstream (right).|
|Close-up shot of the Fain Lake dam (left). An observation deck (*) overlooks the narrow canyon below the dam. Even closer view of granodiorite rock outcrop (right) next to dam.|
the Hwy 89A Trailhead. Assembled from two wide-angle shots.
|Overview (left) and closer shot (right) looking northward. Loy Butte Road appears on left and Hwy 89A on right of overview. Red and buff colors of the Mogollon Rim are highlighted in the afternoon sun.|
|Left: red patch in the center of view is Dad Jones Tank. The term "tank" refers to a desert water hole, such as a spring, well or depression that may hold water and contain a pond or wetland. Right: close-up view of parking area for vehicles and trailers used for dirt bikes and ATVs.|
|White Flat Tank just east of Hwy 89A appears to be the site of some irritation—note white pipes on ground and water sprays. Overview (left) and close-up shot (right). The purpose of irrigating the desert vegetation is unknown.|
|Ground shots of juniper trees, grass, small flowering plants, and prickly-pear cactus growing on rocky basalt outcrops. We had to step carefully in this terrain.|
Return to KAP gallery or KAP home.
Last update: February 2020.