Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Prescott's mountain icon

No wonder Thumb Butte is the symbol for Prescott. You can't miss it! For tonight's post, I combed my archives for pictures that included this iconic volcanic pipe and found more than I had expected, from more vantages that I had expected. The one image that completely disappeared was the standard shot looking straight up Gurley from the Square. There was such a picture, I know, but the archive gnomes must have eaten it. So I made do looking straight up Gurley from near the Sharlot Hall Museum.

The Butte is quite evident coming from the east down Bullwhacker Hill (above); it forms striking a backdrop for the Prescott Resort/Casino (below), though I should warn you that the zoom lens really magnifies the mountain in this and several other pictures.

Here's Thumb Butte from a little knoll on the east end of town (above) and looming over Fair Street (below). The latter picture dates from before the muffler man changed occupations, BTW.

A pair from the 4th floor of the hospital. Very different perspectives, thanks again to the zoom lens.

These two views are from a more northerly vantage and note how the shape of the butte has changed. Looks more like a thumb, don't you think? The picture above, across a sea of roofs from Willow Lake Park; the lights below in the parking lot at WalMart west (and my favorite picture of the lot).

For a totally different perspective, drive out Iron Springs Road where the Butte resembles the Sphinx or a recumbent lion.

In the forest, the Butte is often hidden by the pines or the hillsides.

Above, one of Prescott's favorite trails, which provides either a gradual climb or a steep series of switchbacks to the saddle, but not up the rocky tor. Thumb Butte is a great noon hike for the downtown worker, as it takes about one hour up and back. The dead trees? Part of the great western bark beetle plague which has killed conifers from Alaska to Arizona.

No, hardly a different viewpoint of our favorite mountain. This is Little Thumb Butte, up north near the Verde River just east of SR89. In the old, old days, more than one group of explorers was misled by the instruction to find the butte that looks like a thumb. If I remember correctly, that's why the first Fort Whipple was built north of Chino at Del Rio Springs instead of at the site of Prescott, as intended.


Anonymous said...

Ah, this post ought to win an award from the Chamber, especially the sunset finish!

You are really making us want to come back out there soon, a long with a ton of your other Commentors!

Yes, the Chamber owes you something good, GJ. LOL

~Anon in AV.

Anonymous said...

Very nice shots from different angles. Do you know where the name Bullwhacker hill came from?

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Bloody good post==now for a shot from the top.


Last Minute Lyn said...

It looks a lot like Pilot Mountain in N.C.
Great picks

Catalyst said...

A nice collection, GJ. And you're right, only from the north does it truly look like a thumb.

You Know Where You Are With said...

When I first got to P, I couldn't figure out why the native tribes had named it (in their tongue) "the sleeping lion." Then I rode out to Skull Valley. From where they lived, it is indeed that recumbent lion.

Granny J said...

anon av -- if they come to visit, OK; if they come to buy an existing house, OK. Otherwise, stay in California!

steve -- I would guess that the name had to do with the problem of getting oxen to pull the wagons up that hill!

lyn -- North Carolina is terra incognito to me, unfortunately; I've been told that it's very pretty.

bro -- never quite made it to the top; most of the way up that crag. Or were you suggesting that I hire a chopper to take a set of very, very expensive photos?

cat-A -- it's funny -- I had not realized that until I put all those pictures up on my screen, side-by-each...

ykwyaw -- thank you for a new slant on the subject. And I thought I was being so dang original in my observation!

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