Smoking grass

02 July 2008

Smoking grass

As in parts of California, where wild fires are still burning (the Governor's Office has a map showing the California fires' locations that makes fantastic use of Google Maps), Arizona is battling its own blazes.

From tonight's campground outside of Black Canyon City, we can see plumes of smoke rising from a large wildfire that is burning out of control across the mountains near Crown King. According to

The fire sparked Saturday, possibly after lost hikers lit a signal fire to attract rescue workers, authorities said. By Tuesday, the fire was still zero percent contained, creeping as close as a quarter-mile to the small community of Crown King. Authorities reported early Tuesday morning that there are 250 residences and 450 other buildings threatened by the fire, including 10 commercial structures such as a bar and a store.

As the sun goes down, we can see the faint red glow of the flames lighting up the sky as the mountain burns.

Arizona is known for being, amongst other things, a dry place and the grass around the campground is a beautiful golden yellow in the evening sun. I know that the landscapes that we'll pass through on our way to Minneapolis are going to change dramatically and on a large scale, but I'm also fascinated to see how the details will change too. I've decided tonight to start photographing how the grasses change as we pass along our route through six states. As with all my photos, I'll be posting them to Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

By Andy Clarke

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You’re on a journey I have been wanting to take myself. It’s been over 20 years since I last ventured out west to the desert land of Arizona. Stay safe and enjoy the journey and the country. I love seeing the photos and reading the journal. One day, I hope to make it across the ocean and do a trip like this in your country.

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