I had done this loop almost two years ago except we did the Willow side first and I didn't have my camera
. A lot of the hikers in this group are much faster than me but it was a county trail so I didn't have to worry about losing my way or anything so I thought I would tag along. Plus, there was a BBQ/Potluck afterward and as we all know; hikers/backpackers can make some incredible food
Most of us met at Gary's house and then took two cars to the #7 Ramada. As soon as I got Scout (my GPS) fired up, these people were off. And as I suspected, it would be a race. Little did I know we would do a little over 8 miles without stopping
and at a pretty good clip (see break time above). Fortunately, there were areas of the trail where you would level out enough to catch your breath.
It was a beautiful day for a hike. Clyde decided to be the herder
, I mean sweeper, so he stayed back with me. He said he was nursing a knee injury too but I know he could have still hiked up with the others so it was nice to have the company as I spent most of the day chasing these folks. Gary would hold up about four or five times along the way for us to catch up. I think I only took about 50 pics/movies
for the whole 8 miles, 3 hr and 15 minutes. However, I did know it's a pretty hike but not as scenic.
We were quite surprised to see the first bit of icy snow on the Mesquite part of the trail at around 2600 feet. We found even more of it on the north side of the Willow trail at 2300 feet; I was beginning to think we should have brot our Yaktrax
. For the most part, on the outer reaches of the trail, there weren't many hikers but as soon as we got back on the connector trail, we started encountering quite a few more. We also ran into Wendy who had driven up from Tucson that morning. We met her about 3 miles out as Gary had suggested she hike in on the Willow so that we could bump into one another. That was very good thinking on his part.
As we got to the last quarter mile I heard a hawk. I managed to get a little of it flying around on video. And as promised, we had a great potluck BBQ at a wonderful venue: Gary and Toni's house so thank you to them for opening up their home to us.
Video 1 is mostly on the Mesquite Trail:
Video 2 finishes off the hike including a little bit of the icy snow encounter:
Oh, I forgot to add that my quads were a little sore on Sunday.