West Clear Creek

Definitely a better sign than the last post! Either that or Rick took it to remind me where we hiked!

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There are many hiking paths along Clear Creek. We took the easiest and it was worth every single foot of the 2.49 miles we hiked. We were struck by the varied vegetation, the most interesting trees, an easy path and finally . . .  water! We did not go beyond the first crossing of the Creek. Two hikers told us that if we crossed the creek four times and headed up the hill we would be able to see the red rocks of Sedona. Maybe next time.

After a 'too long for us' very bumpy rough road and before dropping into the creek's path, we were treated with a hint of things to come. The new spring green was definitely in 'show off' mode. Suppose that is why they call this area Camp Verde? From this point you can hear the creek. Smiles all around!!

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The hike started off with us walking under a canopy of HUGE trees. We did not get far before our tripods were firmly planted and the clicking started. Right off, Rick composes a tack sharp sunburst! We are impressed.

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Then Tom goes for two. Show offs!!

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Nancy pointed out that this tree looked like a dragon.

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When your neck gets tired of looking way up, you can find all sorts of interesting bark at a more reasonable shooting level.

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Even the roots did not disappoint.

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Just a couple more before we leave the trees. Barbara goes for black and white and dead branches and wildly placed rocks. Tom creates odd looking trees paired with cactus (fish eye). It is an easy place to get a visual overload.

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Leaving the shade of the trees we headed out onto grassier, almost savannah-like, fields. To our right we could hear the creek but there were no real paths down to the water. It was cool so the easy walk just turned into another photo-stopping opportunity.

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Below, Barbara, Rick and Nancy. Tom was behind me so he was missed.

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What great scenery! And birds everywhere. Just one group of hikers passed us. Heavenly hike.

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Below them, in front of them, a moderately steep trail down to water for Barbara and Nancy.

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Finally! Water!!! Rick was very serious in working shots with his Big Stopper, a 10 stop ND filter that looks like black glass. It allows a photographer to take longer exposures than can be achieved by just using camera settings. I don't even have a polarizing filter for my new lens yet (much less a 10 stop ND) so I focused on some damselflies. You know I want one of those for my new lens!! His photos are awesome. We were at the creek for a long time. Enjoy our photos.

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Barbara does not miss a trick! I love this image.

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Nancy sent me a photo to post and it stumped me. "Where did she take this photo?" I asked Tom. "Oh, from an inside wall of the rock house with the roof caving in." He did not get any good photos from there and I did not even try. The rock structure is just off the trail. Great job Nancy! We hope you go with us often. Nancy has a knack for seeing trees as dragons or rabbits, and in finding faces in trees, rocks and even painted walls!!

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Finally, we headed back to the car, another bumpy ride and trip home. But, not without a few more stops.

Rick got water swirls. Barbara went for cloud swirls.

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Yes, there were some beautiful flowers . . . 

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My special thanks to friends who share my passion for photography. A very special thanks to Rick for driving his car down a miserable road. Kudos to Nancy for trusting us and bringing a very nice presence to our group. Am grateful to Barbara for getting a fabulous photo of my #1 photo buddy and very best friend in the world. I am so very blessed.

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Thanks for sharing.