Drove up to Wolf Creek Campground Friday afternoon to camp in the pines before doing the hike Saturday. Very warm and dry Friday, totally different than what was to come. Woke up at 4am Saturday morning to the sound of the first raindrops hitting the tent, along with lots of lightning to the south and west. Interesting. That told me a surge of moisture was heading up from the Gulf of California. My morning at camp wasn't so much fun as a steady light rain got everything wet after I got up at 530. I was able to escape some of the rain by sitting under a friendly oak tree, while enjoying my coffee and a can of spaghetti and meatballs with corn chips for breakfast. After the fun (not) of packing all the wet gear into the vehicle, it was off a short ways down the road to meet Liz and Steve for the hike at 830am.
Normally, you would expect the morning debris cloudiness to burn off and give way to sunny conditions before the afternoon thunderstorms fire up. But it was becoming obvious this was not going to be a typical day. The moisture, low clouds and rain simply persisted the whole morning, which made the hike far less enjoyable (though the cool air was nice). It is actually a very nice loop hike and there are some fine views of the area from up at the Spruce Mountain Lookout, so I felt sorry for my hiking partners that they didn't get to experience that. We pretty much put it in the "let's just get it over with" mode, and arrived back at the cars totally soaked and ready to head to Whiskey Row for food and drink.
Liz came up with the excellent idea of heading back to Phoenix and doing a hike in Piestewa Park. That turned out to be just the right plan!