I wasn't sure if the weather would hold for a hike I had planned with John for Sunday so I decided I better get something in while the weather was good. As I started to drive it looked like it was really windy so I decided to go and do Lookout Mtn instead. No sooner had I got out of the car then I realized, it was just gusty wind so I got back in and made the 1/2 hr drive to Cave Creek Recreational area.
This hike I wanted to try a couple things. One was clearing Scout's trip report to see if I could get a more accurate read on my mileage etc. About 1/2 way along the trail I ran into a couple going in the opposite direction with their big black fancy dog and they asked how far it was... I said "let me check" and I pulled out Scout and was able to tell them 2.6; so my reset work. I would see them again at the TH to give them the total mileage.
The temps were near perfect with gusty winds. From what I could see all of the saguaros were standing except one. The views were great every which way. However, I found the gun fire to the south, on State Land, quite annoying; in some cases it was rapid.
I finally made my way up the back side of the trail and decided to try breathing differently in longer breaths rather than short ones. I'd like to increase my stamina a little more so I thot I'd see if this method helped. Still can't decide so I'll have to try it some more. Most of the time my body is willing but my lungs don't want to come along as easily. As I rounded the corner to where you're almost at the top of the hill, the sun ducked behind some clouds and the wind came up so I almost had to put my jacket on.
On the way down the hill to the TH I encountered a woodpecker pounding on a tree so I took a movie (I'll post later) and a couple of cowboys on horses which makes for some good pictures. At the bottom I was able to get some pictures of the storm front and a Phainopepla couple in a tree. I think I now know their sound too, a quick whistle. There were probably a couple dozen people on the trail, which is in great shape, including about 8 on bikes.
A short video of a Gila Woodpecker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tScb3iqrXGA&feature=channel