Sorry this took so long but I was finishing up my previous Bluff Spring Mountain photo set. Plus I just purchased the Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements 10 so I wanted to try it out on the Picketpost Videos.
After having previous plans to hike/climb this, an opportunity presented itself when Randy let it be known he wouldn't mind doing this hike again so I asked, he obliged. I also saw that MNLumberjack had been there recently so somehow the cactus aligned and we were able to "get 'er done". Fortunately we would have good weather, good fun and good company for this task. I think due to some consistent hiking in the last month, I had maybe an easier time of it than I thought. Of course, the laughter on the way up really helped.
I was pleased that we got to warm up our legs with a little walk on level ground before making our way up that first little hill by the mine. And as we made progress we would finally see the route we would be taking
okay then. Randy would present us with several uphill crawls along the way with his devious but friendly laugh. Jack and I were both up for the challenge.
Soon we would be at the mini-shelf that is similar to the Flatiron as would be the small waterfall basin where we encountered the overniters (1 satisfied, 1 disgruntled and 1 not too happy dog) as they were making their way down. It was a short but fun conversation http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=223354
. Going up this basin section there are a few helpful cement foot size steps and one rock that is cemented in as well.
We continued our climb up this chute with the concessional little amount of level ground before the next challenge. And of course, you would have to take moments to observe the views which gave me a chance to catch my breath. As we got near the top, the sun was lighting up some of the cactus so that was
and I like the tall rock pillar you walk by as you merge into the more brushy environ. The closer you get the more pumped you get and just like Flatiron, the anticipation of seeing "it" builds and before long, there "it" is: the red
Altho, you still have a quick short hike to see if there is anything in the box for you. However, we got side-tracked and walked around to the SW corner to take in our initial views of Newman Peak and the Casa Grande area. But now, let's go get the mail. Yep, it was worth the climb, I mean hike, to see these views. We had a very clear day
so we could see and see and see.
Having Randy there was quite helpful as usual since he could answer a lot of my questions and help me with my landmarks such as Pinal Mtn (it's a double peak to the NE), Iron Mountain, Mount Lemmon with Mica behind it in the far distance, the Catalina's Pusch Ridge and of course, the cool-looking Apache Leap as well as the White Canyon Wilderness with the closest yet I've been to Battle Axe.
We enjoyed our snacks including the nicely chilled Pumpkin-Spice beer along with the apples snack from Q-Trip and the prosciutto wrapped mozzarella and basil. Sometimes life can be so good and I have to say, my lunches with a view have been pretty spectacular lately
. But alas, we now faced the daunting task of getting down this big pile of land. This is where you are really glad there is only a little more than a mile of non-stop down because you will slip and slide from time to time.
Surprisingly, it is easy to get a little off trail as you make your way back down. In fact, Jack seemed to make a habit of it altho all of us, at one time or another, led off the route. There was a little rumpaging but I don't mind that so much; I think it's fun for the most part. I do have to say at about the 3/4 point of coming down the steep section, the fun has dissipated significantly and you just want to be done with it
. Fortunately, at that point, there's not too much more to go and you get down to the big rock with the big saguaro and your body can assume its natural hiking position
We walked by the mine remains again but this time we took the main route back to the TH as earlier in the AM, we had followed the jeep road before crossing over to the main route. It looks like the burn, though bad, did not devastate the entire area around the base of Picketpost so that's a good thing.
Once back at the vehicles, Jack broke out Pat's scrumptious cookies (Kat, you may have some competition
). We had a beer while admiring Picketpost and glad we accomplished our task. We were going to visit the BTA but our time got away from us so we went and had a wonderful meal and friendly service at Los Hermanos.
We were surprised we only saw 10 hikers on this wonderful weather Sunday.
Randy for leading us up that magnificent mountain. I really appreciate you taking your time; especially on top of the busy weekend you already had. And Jack, as always, a pleasure to hike with you.
Video 1 is of our hike up to the mailbox: http://youtu.be/KpTo7pra-Ps
Video 2 is at the mail box and views from atop as well as our hike back down to the TH: