|Hiking||13.55 Miles|| 9 Hrs 10 Mns || ||1.48 mph|
|4,096 ft AEG|| || || |
Hiked up Six Shooter to the Middle Trail then over to Pinal Peak for lunch. Made our way west via the Pineline trail to FR 651, and then up to Signal Peak. Went down Icehouse.
The start of the hike was brutally humid, and pretty warm. The conditions improved about halfway up Six Shooter, and we eventually made our way to the Death Ramp and the final push to the road and Ferndell Spring where I refilled my water bottles. Ate lunch at Pinal Peak watching the clouds roll in. I showed Bruce the ladder lookout east of Pinal Peak, and saw a cool little frog hanging out on top of that rock. We saw a good number of Coeus deer and hummingbirds, but never got any good pictures. BTW Bruce hates ladybug beetles.
The Middle Trail was in excellent shape, and I understand it was recently cleared. The Pineline trail was in poor shape, but we easily followed it until it ended at FR 651. From there we went up to the top of Signal Peak, and had a nice visit with the fire lookout Jerry. Seriously, Jerry was about the coolest and most informative fire lookout person I've ever encountered. FWIW he's also a field ranger in the Sierra Anchas tasked with keeping people in line and looking after the ruins, and he confirmed that there's a ruin in the Devil's Chasm drainage, but it's really close to the top and fairly close to the Moody trail.
As we traveled down from Signal Peak the thunder really started to boom. The rain was steady as we began the Icehouse trail, and we were moving pretty fast. About 2/5 of the way down from FR 651 on Icehouse we heard a very loud thunderclap, and a spark of lightning erupted out of the metal pipe that runs down the trail at that point. It was only about 10-15' away from me on my 7 o'clock, and I felt it in my dental fillings. My only regrets were making a comment along the lines of "I think we're cool because of all these trees" about a minute before, and not getting a picture of Bruce's face while he was suffering in abject terror while he was embracing a large ponderosa pine tree that he dove towards in reaction to me almost getting smoked. Good times.
The rain kept up until we were 1/2 mile down from Doghouse Spring, and finally let up as we crossed Icehouse Creek for the last time near the TH.
Always a great day in the Pinals. We saw some really cool wildflowers.
||Wildflowers Observation Moderate
|"Oak-town is the city of dope...couldn't be saved by John the Pope"|
Fran & Kimo please keep watching over us with your aloha spirit so that we may remain safe. A Hui Hou Kakou