Yesterday I took a seven mile out-and-back hike along the Chuckwagon Trail. This is an area I want to explore more.

It didn’t look like a good day for pictures, so I didn’t take the Canon EOS-M. But the smoke from a couple of burns on the Rim cleared and some nice clouds appeared, so I shot this picture with my iPhone. The phone did better than I expected. Click for a 2000 pixel image.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

In the evening I watched the movie Memphis Belle, about the Eighth Air Force’s first B-17 to complete 25 daylight bombing missions over occupied Europe in WWII. It reminded me of another hike, years ago, where I met a veteran of the Eighth on the trail. He was wearing an Army Air Force insignia, I asked about it, and we chatted about his experience in the War.

He had the good fortune to start in 1944, when the worst of the daylight bombing losses were over, thanks to the long-range P-51 Mustang fighter, and the gradual decimation of the Luftwaffe. I asked him what he thought of Memphis Belle and he complained that it wasn’t accurate because the actors weren’t always wearing the oxygen masks required above 10,000 feet.

I saw his point, but it’s hard to act with a mask on. It was a pleasure to meet a veteran of the USAAF Eighth Air Force.

The StorageMojo take
I haven’t been hiking much. With the summer heat starting the best time to hike is early morning. But the smoke from the burns northward pours off the Mogollon Rim in the evening as the air up there – ≈7000 feet – cools, making morning hikes less pleasant.

As each day warms up, the smoky air gets pushed back up on the Rim, but by then it is hot. The burns should cease soon, and as long as no large fires start, the air will be back to its usual mountain purity.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.