Last Saturday was a typical 75 degree sunny day, so I pumped up the tires on the old two-wheeler and headed off for a little exercise. I rode along the canal, through the golf resort, past the mansions, under the freeway a few times, and into Dreamy Draw Park. From there, I parked my bike and headed up the Christensen trail for a leisurely hike into the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
The hills in the mountain preserve are a mixture of foliated metamorphic rocks, mostly phyllite and schist, with some quartzite. The various colors of the rocks create a painted landscape, apparent in a cut along highway 51. Colors include shades of gray and pinkish tan, the dark reddish brown of desert varnish, some greenish metamorphic layers, and isolated whitish veins of bull quartz. These colors influence the color of the terrain, and in places, the hues of the ground are influenced by the underlying bedrock.
The gray and orange colors near the previously mentioned arroyo are much less apparent on the ground than seen with Google maps. Unfortunately, the day was late and I had insufficient time to discover why some ground is orange while other is gray, I did, however, learn a few things that I will get into in a later posting.