Today will be a hike in the Superstition Mountains and I will take gear and try for a painting at the crest of “Weaver’s Needle” at approximately 3,800 elevation. We are joined by Cathy’s friend, Tracy, with whom she works, who leads us up and away from a starting elevation of 2,400. A two-plus mile trail, the Peralta Trail, takes over five hours there and back and I am thoroughly wiped-out.
While only moderate in its difficulty, I am burdened with too much gear, although I have shifted most everything simply to my French easel and carried an additional bag and my camera. The women are sympathetic and trying to help with the load; I let them about three-quarters of the way up and some of the way down.
Only paint for about an hour as the girls return from making a jaunt to the Lone Tree. Some almonds and a brief Heineken and we are set for descent. Truly spectacular in its beauty and sheer dramatic light, this has been most rewarding.
We bid farewell to Tracy; Cathy has put in a call to an artist friend of international importance and success, and the call is returned with an invitation to come see the house and studio. It isn’t fifteen minutes and not in the least out of the way. In fact, he is tucked into the base of the Superstitions and has an incredible property and home that he built.
I am introduced to Guenther Riess and will be enthralled for the next ninety minutes. He has just finished his day in the studio, which is an attached annex to the house, fully-equipped with every conceivable wood-working machine. The house is sprawling and sunlight-filled and is packed with artwork – some his, others executed by artist friends. Guenther has a fascinating life-story, and I am tremendously honored to visit with him and see his home and work space.
We snag Chinese food on the way home, and that concludes a very full and joyous day.