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2010-09-11  

Joshua Tree off trail, AZ
2010-09-117 by
 
Joshua Tree off trail, AZ  
Hiking4.00 Miles          
    
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Every time I zip through this area on my way to Vegas I always promise myself that I'll make it back to explore, far away from the hum of Highway 93. Noting cooler afternoon/evening temps and a nearly moonless night (moon set was around 8:30PM), I made good on that promise to do some off trail exploration. This trip was quickly thrown together at the last minute, so it was nearly 2PM when I stopped at one of the pull outs between Wickenburg and Wikieup in the general vicinity of the Santa Maria River. From there I headed out on a mostly western heading toward the Black Mountains and foothills. I turned around after approx. 4 miles. The forest of Joshua trees create a striking backdrop to the mountains and the billions of bright stars. Tempted to come back again in the spring to check out other canyons before the vegetation gets nuked by the summer sun.
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Havasu Canyon Trail - Sep 15 2014
Down to the Colorado and back... blah blah.

On the way back out I took a long break on the patio of the restaurant. I was watching the helicopter make multi-drops of people and supplies when, at one point, a stray horse wandered into the landing field (the gate was open). The guys unloading the supplies chased it around the field until it went back out the gate. Then as it was running up the main drag, another resident must have thought it got loose so he shooed it back into another open gate and back into the field. So now these guys are chasing it around the field again but this time they start pelting it with rocks. The horse was panicking and didn't know where to go. Rocks were being hurled at it from all directions. He ended up falling down after a really hard rock hit and it looked like he broke or hurt a leg. He was finally able to limp out of the field and scurried off towards the lodge. So what started off as sort of comical turned into a sad case of animal abuse. At least they learned to close the gates. I noticed afterwards that they were unloading horse feed. I guess they were worried that the skinny, malnourished horse was going to, you know, get something to eat.
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