Monday, March 06, 2023

First Friday Phoenix

By  Valerie Millett 

That mindless droning of the downtown business hub transforms into an eclectic mix of art, crafts, music, dancing, drinking, eating, incense, hedonism, religion, and the "warm smell of colitas rising up through the air" 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Horton Creek Trail, Payson, Az

The creek and spring is named after cattle rancher L.J. Horton who settled near the creek in the 1880’s. While we still don’t know much about L.J. Horton, he did write memoirs while residing in the Arizona Pioneer Home about the Pleasant Valley War which can be found at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. Horton Creek Trail, originally an old wagon road, gave cattlemen like Horton access to the rim country and its many resources. Unfortunately, shortly after settling near the creek he lost his heard to thieves and never ranched again. The rim lakes (Canyon, Bear, Knoll) drain into the the natural spring which literally gushes from the side of the rim like an an enormous faucet.

 Once you cross the creek bridge you will look for parking on the left in the Horton Picnic site. After parking, you will hike back down the road and cross the bridge. Turn left on the dirt road and this will lead you to a sign for trail #285. The trail drops quickly into Horton Creek. The trail with then evolve into a larger path along the west side of the creek and at .25 mi you will come to an old fence and turnstile.
At .75 mi the trail forks. The left fork is the official trail and you’re more likely to encounter other hikers on this route. The right fork takes you along the creak where you will come across several small campsites. The right fork is certainly more scenic as it traverses right along the creek allowing you to see all the waterfalls and foliage. Both forks will rejoin about 1 mi from the trailhead. 

The trail with course the creek for another 2 mi with some rocky parts on the old wagon trail, but the grade is easy. The trail ends at Highline Trail #31. To reach Horton Springs you will continue on Highline Trail for about 300 feet and to your right you will see this unusual spring gushing from the side of the rim. The spring runs year around. You can return the way you hiked or make a loop by continuing along the Highline Trail and taking Derrick Trail #33 back to the trailhead.

Friday, May 15, 2020


4 days of hiking and camping in The Salt River Canyon was spectacular!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Interview: Landscape Photography Magazine 2019

I ran into an ole friend the other day. We worked together in the medical field in Pediatrics some 17 years ago!  Since leaving, I'd seen her children grow up on social media and it was so cool to see them all in person, all grown.  As we were catching up, she says ..."and what about you and your photography!!"   When we worked together, I wasn't a photographer, I was a painter.  In fact, I painted the murals for the entire Pediatrics Center and got a big kick out of the whimsical nature of the art and how the kids reacted.  It was good times.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

A Photographer's Love Letter: The American Southwest

Zabriskie Point


his mysterious land of enchantment—the American Southwest—is a siren song seducing many an explorer, writer, poet, artist and even those seeking healing of the metaphysical kind. It’s an indescribable allure that promises those of a curious nature to provide endless fascination. For those suffering the ills of industrialized urbanization, the open road and vast empty spaces have long inspired romantic notions, uplifted spirits, encouraged self-discovery and delivered an unabashed sense of freedom. You’re entering a realm imbued with a magical charm and a tangible presence of ancient people.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Classic West Fork 2018

I've put to thought often,
how it is that
certain locations just resonate so brilliantly
with your own psyche.
When I look at my own images, it's the first thing I see or I don't see. 
This place 
is always full of magic. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The Sonoran Desert: My Backyard

A desert storm is something to be experienced, over and over again. I love the storm seasons, especially the warm monsoons.  Beautiful dramatic backdrops, the sand travels in waves, the lightning strikes, the thunder cracks and rolls  all mixed with fragrant sage, acacias and mesquite for a unique desert bouquet.

Monday, September 17, 2018


It's been raining on and off now for a few days and this morning.  I wanted to see the Dells saturated by the rain as the colors deepen and the patterns stand out.  On a subdued morning, under a broody monsoon haze, we spied some kayakers.  The Dells are spellbinding. One could easily meander around these formations for days.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Published by National Geographic 2019

Several years ago, I wrote a story about my first hiking trip into the Narrows of Zion.  On this particular trip I was fortunate enough to have the hike all to myself in the wee hours of a warm May morning.  It was a rich experience the felt entrancing and humbling to be in a place of such intense beauty.  At times, I'm bathed in the soft canyon bounce light and got lost in the sounds of the Virgin River rambling on by as my legs, my whole body sways with it's rhythm. 

The echos of the canyon wrens keep me company and I just can't stop looking up. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Desert Oasis

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. 
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong_Lao-Tzu

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Desert Landscapes Rock

“A plant needs to do more than stretch its leaves toward the sun. 
It also needs to send down roots deep into the ground. 
They hold on tightly in the dark,
 out of sight where it is easy to forget about them. 

But it is the fact that a plant can do these two things at once, 

anchoring itself to the earth even as it reaches for the sky, that makes it strong.” 
― Cameron Dokey

Sunrise on the desert landscapes at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum 
This place could easily be addicting! 

Horton Creek Trail

Payson, Arizona

One of my most favorite hikes, especially in the Spring. Head out on the trail early and you wont see another hiker for hours. I like to start on the trail at sunrise and have these amazing pools and run-offs all to myself.