My ankle has been getting better all week, but still didn't feel quite up to par to be able to handle my original plan for Romero Canyon for today. I decided to do some mostly level trails locally so as to still rehab the ankle, but not push it too much. I settled on the western section of the McDowell Sonoran preserve again and got in touch with rdavisiii to see if he was interested, since it's right in his back yard and he's also dealing with foot issues. My buddy Ted also twisted his knee on Friday, so we made it a hat trick of crippled hikers for a rehab hike
We started at the TH off of 104th St. south of McDowell Mt. Ranch Rd and headed west on the Quartz Trail. We lost it for a little bit before we got to the WestWorld Trail, but eventually found our there, and then took the Taliesin Trail east to the Quartz Trail again back to the TH. The Quartz and Taliesin Trails are ok, weaving between subdivisions, but still giving some nice views of the McDowells and sometimes Camelback and Phoenix to the south. The WestWorld Trail is basically a converted service road under power lines that is marked rather vaguely in some spots. It is a good idea to have the official 24"x36" map from Scottsdale with you for reference, if you can find room to carry it.
On our way back to the TH, at the junction for the Paradise Trail, Ted and I decided to head north on that up to the junction with the Levee Trail for extra distance while rdavisiii decided to not push it too much and headed back to his car. Ted and I made it up the Levee Trail, and then also made our way up to the abandoned mine, which now has a new grate across the entrance with a plaque on it dated Nov. 9, 2009. Some evidence of partiers also was still present just inside the entrance (see picture).
All the trails were very lush and green from the recent rains. Nice to see the "green fuzz" all over the mountains, which will be gone once the heat hits. The temps got over 70 for sure, and many jokes were made about friends and relatives dealing with the continuing snow storms back east
. Made it thru this hike for a good distance and even a couple steep spots without re-aggravating my ankle. Even later now, it feels pretty loose and better than it has since before I injured it. Think I might ramp it up a bit next week, press my luck and try my previously posted Toms Thumb loop.