AZ mountains

Beautiful Elephant rock shines in the late afternoon. I drove up to Whipple Observatory today, then went farther up the mountain on a one-lane gravel road. Eventually I got near the top, although I couldn't get all the way to the top where the observatories are. Here is the road I took.

When nearly at the top, I was convinced I was the only one on the mountain. I hadn't met a car in twenty miles. Perhaps the observatory was closed for the weekend. I pulled over and started down a trail on foot. It was utterly silent. I had a view fifty miles in three directions. It was exhilirating.

Suddenly, ahead on the trail I came face to face with a German Shepherd. It was wearing a halter, so I assumed it was domestic and said, "Hi puppy!"

The dog approached me gently, but its owner appeared and called the dog back. The man was in full Army gear with radio equipment, weapons, the whole nine yards.

"Thanks for not running," he said. "It is difficult to control the dog when people run."

Well, I know enough not to run when facing a dog. But I still wonder what the Army guy was doing. He wasn't real talkative, and moved on quickly after telling me that ahead were some spectacular views.