This morning I debated going to the Total Strength class at the club or going for a hike. I decided since I don't have a choice for so much of the year AND that I am heading for that big hole in the ground
in a couple weeks, I better get hiking. After planting the last of the flowers I bot, finally winning the trimming battle with both my Bogeys
(bougainvillea) and getting both arms scratched up good (NOTE - wear long sleeve shirt), I ate some lunch, grabbed Scout and headed out... almost forgot my camera.
I decided before starting the hike that I wanted to beat my previous leisurely time of 2 hr 45 min. I also decided to hike it clockwise which I feel is harder than starting east. (I think, however, it is still debatable as to which is the harder direction.) I just had my old tennis shoes on and I can tell you, it was their last trip. I also tried my new fanny pack and a new "summit" pack that I had purchased a couple days ago. (Gosh between Summer Winds Nursery and REI I dropped a bundle this week.)
I made it up the first hill (.89 miles and 460 feet at 2492 elevation) in 20 minutes (2.7 MPH). The switch-backed hill didn't quite seem as bad as I recall. It was interesting to see the old route just below me as there were a lot less switchbacks several years ago. And then it's the long hill of gradual switchbacks (the Overton intersection is at 1.34 miles from TH) to the intersection with the State land at the bottom of the long hill 2.17 miles from the TH (2,048 elevation) and I was averaging 2.7 MPH in almost 49 minutes.
From there it's a bit of a roller coaster as you make your way east to the last big up of this hike. Once I was done with that hill at 2,436 elevation I dropped down to 2.5 MPH. I would be curious to see if I could get my average speed back up to 2.7 MPH by the time I finished as it was back to the roller coaster terrain until the last big hill down to the TH.
Out of curiosity, I took Scout out of my pack to see how fast I would walk at a fairly normal pace on decent ground and it is around 3.4 MPH. It was a nice day though slightly hot at times. I saw 3 people on bikes, one person I saw twice (and no, I wasn't seeing things this Hazoween) - once on the west side and once on the east side as he was traversing the trail twice. The east side is not the smoothest trail but gets quite nice once you hit the State land intersection going up the long hill on the west side. I saw only 6 other hikers. I thot I would see so many more for a Sunday afternoon but I guess folks had other things to occupy their time.
I did spook (after all it was Hazoween
) two different groups of quail while I was talking to a cactus wren (no comments
from the peanut gallery). The quail groups flew off en masse twice cuz I guess my two steps further upset them; they sure are skittish. I did see an orange-red wasp (seemed butterfly shaped) that was flying around the Desert Trumpet plant acting like it wanted to get in the plant. I think I got one good photo before it flew away as it was fluttering so madly my camera wouldn't focus.
It was a great hike. I could have used my umbrella and definitely a different pair of shoes. I think the new fanny pack that is flatter than my old one should work well. I did get used to the "summit" pack (REI Flash 18) in spite of its slightly awkward fit (it's a little tough to get on and off too). It is essentially a large stuff sack with compartments including a place for your platypus or camelbak (in fact, you can turn it inside out and use it as a stuff sack). I think it will suffice for those side trips on a backpack trip.
Time including taking 65 pictures (several of Scout at waypoints) is 2:10; moving time alone is 1:57 for a total of 5.80 miles.
Here is the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg5fPkcZZtg