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A HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN

A HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN

By EDUARDO CALDERA

When I feel the need to get away, I often find myself making a trip to Windy Point on Mount Lemmon.

There I can leave the stresses of life behind, escape reality and find peace in nature while connecting with myself.

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Ryan Petronella (bottom) and Nathan Wikstrom take a moment to catch their breath as they climb Hitchcock Pinnacle. Visitors find a variety of ways to enjoy Windy Point, from picnics to photography to simply enjoying scenic overlooks. (Eduardo Caldera/Aztec Press)

The summit, only a short drive from Tucson, provides therapy and healing to the soul.

In less than an hour you can be surrounded by hills and nothing but the soothing sound of the wind rustling through trees. With no cell phone service and just the right amount of distance from town, it’s the perfect location to clear your head and recharge your batteries.

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Hikers enjoy panoramic views of the Tucson valley from atop Windy Point rocks.

Before moving to Tucson, I was not much of a hiker. Besides the occasional walk in the park or drive on a long open back road, I was rarely outdoors. I moved to Tucson mid-January and quickly realized I needed an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I had moved from a town on the fringe of the suburbs of Phoenix where in seconds you could be on a dirt farm road with no one around. I desperately needed an oasis.

One day, on a spontaneous decision, I grabbed my camera, filled my tank with gas and started driving with no plan in sight.

Pg16-Foggy Catalina Highway

Fog shrouds the 25-mile Catalina Highway that traverses Mount Lemmon.

I shortly found myself navigating the twists and turns of the Catalina Highway. Popular among tourists and residents, this lonely highway is the main route up and down Mount Lemmon.

Before I knew it, I came across Windy Point. With its breathtaking sunset views and therapeutic effect, I realized that I had found my safe haven.

Some of life’s greatest joys stem from a spontaneous decision. Don’t be afraid to jump out on a limb, do something crazy, something different. You’ll never know what lies ahead until you go find out.

Who knows, your Windy Point might lie just beyond the horizon.

Pg16-Windy Point sunset

Awe-inspiring sunsets await visitors to Windy Point on Mount Lemmon. Sites all along the Catalina Highway provide relaxing get-aways for stressed-out Tucson city dwellers. (Eduardo Caldera/Aztec Press)

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Sparks fly at contest

Sparks fly at contest

Local high school students put their welding and automotive skills to the test at Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus Feb. 7-8 in two Skills USA competitions. The events took place at the welding lab and the automotive lab.

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High schooler Patsy Ortega competes under watchful eyes and a “Think Safety When Welding” sign.
(Aztec Press photos by Nellie Silva)

Pg09-Logo

The welding lab at Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus sports a welded copper PCC logo

Pg09-Sparks

A high school student wears a protective jacket while welding during the Skills USA competition

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Photo Spotlight

Photo Spotlight

Photo by Patrick Mueller: “I took this photo last semester at Gates Pass with a large-format camera.”

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Lightning

Lightning

Photo by ERNESTO ESQUER Using my Pentax K1000 film camera, I was able to capture this shot during an amazing midnight lightning show last summer. My cameras will be within arm's reach once again this monsoon season.

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Circe's Tears

Circe’s Tears

Photo by KIKI NELSON I found Circe's tears tangled up in a web in a forgotten cemetery on the California coast.

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Assail

Assail

Photo by LEE WHITNEY I photographed this reflection of the Unisourse Energy Building while talking with some of the Occupy Tucson residents. I never grow tired of capturing visions of Tucson, further strengthening my love for photography, both digital and film.

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Cyanotype

Cyanotype

Photo by KARLA BURROLA. Alternative process in photography has opened infinite possibilities for my interest in darkroom manipulation and experimentation. This 19th-century cyanotype process has taught me to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness in every print, by learning to appreciate the process of creation.

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Lil' cowboys

Lil’ cowboys

I took this photo at the 87th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo. These two lil' cowboys were talking about the buckin' stock before they rode the sheep as "Mutton Busters." Photo by LEFTRICK HERD

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Tucson Sunset

Tucson Sunset

photo By Megyn Fitzgerald

photo by Megyn Fitzgerald. As a pizza driver, I get the opportunity to view and photograph lots of sunsets. I took this photo on my iPhone.

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Photo spotlight

Photo spotlight

Photo by Cherice Engle. "Flowers in the Rain" This is a double exposure of a macro flower and the rain drops on my windshield.

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Malibu Lilies

Malibu Lilies

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Photo by KYLE WASSON. This photo was taken from my balcony, downtown Tucson. Every day I try to take at least 2 photos from this exact spot. Hopefully the collection will be fun to flip through in a year or so.

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Fox Theatre

Fox Theatre

Photo By DONALD HANSEN. The standard photo of the Fox was changed with a painting program and Photoshop CS5. I enjoy stepping out of the box. I have to remind myself it's not all black and white.

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Sunset

Sunset

Photo by MARIA ELENA MORENO. I took this sunset photo from PimaCommunity College-West Campus.

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Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson

Photo by PARICK MUELLER. I used 35mm Kodacolor Gold 400 film and a 360 camera to take a photo at Dry Tortugas National Park-Fort Jefferson. Key West, Florida.

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