After a frigid encounter with persistent rains up north, we decided the best medicine was a complete 180 degree change in environment. I have a sort of favorite area of the Squaw Preserves off the Circumference Trail and wanted to show Randy & Steve a lesser-traveled area than the Summit Trail. We started the circumference loop clockwise from the Apache TH, navigated the masses on #300, and then made a quick exit to continue on #302 at the 0.6 mile marker. Phew! The heat felt good and dried my clothes out from the earlier showers. Walked around on the circumference for a while, then hit up Irregular Link - 1A - VOAZ before coming back to #302. The views are nice on this segment. Another reason I'd chosen that route was to avoid the quick change in elevation on the #302 at that spot, but looking more closely at the route it seems the AEG is pretty much the same; just not as noticeable. There's a nice lookout point also on the VOAZ. The trail goes south for some meters before coming to a bench.. going beyond the bench gives some good views. We returned to the parking lot via #302/#304 and then hung out for some time with some good conversation.
Thanks for the fun trips, guys.. as usual, it was great hiking with you both!