As this is being written on Thursday, April 9, for publication in early May, Lynn and I are just starting our preparations for traveling from Buckeye back to our home in Fargo, North Dakota. Even though I thought last Saturday’s hike would be our last, the warm, sunny day this morning beckoned us to the hiking trail. We chose to hike part of the Quartz Mine Trail in Buckeye’s newest mountain preserve, Skyline Park. Right now all of the park facilities are closed due to the potential for COVID-19 exposure, however, the walking trails in Skyline, and throughout the city for that matter, have been kept open so that people have some place to get some exercise and fresh air.
From the parking lot connector, we hiked up a 316 feet (96 m) route to the junction of the Tortuga Trail for a total distance of 3 miles (4.8 km) round trip. Along the way, hikers actually pass the quartz mine that is the trail’s namesake. No longer active, it’s basically been filled in with rocks and is little more than an outcropping near the trail’s edge. A very short trail stub leads to the top of that outcropping, and that lead me to this week’s photograph.
About the photo: At the entrance to that trail stub, someone very carefully laid out a collection of rocks that spells the phrase “LOVE IS STILL THE ANSWER”, and below it, a copper colored heart. I have no idea when they were placed there, but it wasn’t that long ago as we hike this trail fairly often and this is the first we’ve seen the message. The photo is a simple snapshot captured with my Samsung S20U in automatic mode at f/1.8, 1/728 sec, ISO 16. After downloading, I processed it via Lightroom and Luminar Flex.