Monday, December 22, 2008

White Spar wildfire remains

My LH hated I-17; that's the reason we drove the White Spar so many times over the years to visit my mom when she lived down in Sun City. And I have to grant that all those curves take one through beautiful mountain scenery. Besides, if you drive up I-17, you completely miss the pines as you enter Prescott. (Of course, when I was a kid, SR 89 (then US 89) was the only paved road between Phoenix and US 66 across the top of Arizona -- and considered a very fine highway, indeed.)

Returning from out desert excursion Sunday, the dotter drove us back via the White Spar, which is now a heavy-duty reminder of the 2002 Indian Fire that came within three miles of downtown Prescott. The scenery on both sides of the highway consists of dead snags and downed trees for several miles.

Plus an occasional cluster of trees that survived, but lost their lower branches.

There's only one good change as we wait many years for the trees to grow back -- it is now possible to get a good view of the White Spar mountain for which the road was named. Because the big quartz outcroppings were previously hidden by ponderosas, I had never realized exactly why the road got its name -- even though one of my uncles worked for the highway department back in the aught-20s when the road was built.

Linkables: Remember our last storm? Dagny got a beautiful image of Thumb Butte in the clouds (and from her office window, yet!) And, speaking of photography, here's the URL for the Prescott Camera Club.


worldphotos4 said...

That was a nice drive. Thanks.

quilteddogs said...

That was a scary time. Indian Creek Campground is still closed.

Granny J said...

steve -- one of these days I'll do two posts about the White Spar -- one showing the scenery as you move through chaparral into the pines, the other focused entirely on the signs indicating tight curves on a mountain road.

qd -- that was indeed a scary fire. Not nearly as bad as California, but it threatened houses both on the city outskirts and in forest enclaves. Five homes did burn, as you know.

TomboCheck said...

The hike from copper basin road to white spar is one of my absolute favorites in the area! The view from the top is great except for all the bald spots on the landscape.

Granny J said...

tombo -- is that cool panorama taken from the top of the white spar hill?

TomboCheck said...

indeed. a 360.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering for a while how the road got its name. I suspected that it had something to do w/geology or some natural feature but didn't really know...Thanks for the answer!

Granny J said...

anon-2 -- glad to be of help. There's also a mine called the White Spar which is a lot closer to the Wilhoit end of the road.

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