Filled with Dragoon fever after reading Angela's recent Black Diamond triplog, I just had to visit the Dragoons...
After a cactus shopping spree and dinner with a friend in Tucson, I journeyed east on I-10, arriving at a campsite in East Stronghold Canyon around midnight. The occasional hooting from a pair of owls kept me company under the starry sky. I awoke at dawn to cliffs of Stronghold granite growing bright orange. The first stop on my busy day would be the Stronghold. I hiked up to the divide, enjoying the familiar sights and wonderful rocks as always. Another hiker seemed surprised at my turning around there. "I've gotta save time for Black Diamond Peak", I said, before heading back to the trailhead. I rehydrated upon reaching my truck, then continued south for hike #2 of the day.
My truck rattled up Middlemarch Road and my mind waxed nostalgic thinking of previous Dragoon adventures and happier times. Parking along road 4393, I set off on foot for Black Diamond Peak, soon passing a group of hikers on their way down. The wind really picked up at the saddle, where I began the Henry Canyon traverse. The Black Diamond ridge line was just as fun as I remembered, despite the wind doing its best to blow me off of it. I quickly reached the summit, where I sat down to enjoy one of my most favorite summit views and to savor the whole Dragoon experience. I was surprised to find a nice note in the summit register for me that Angela had left a week earlier. Thank you, Angela!
Not wanting to leave but knowing I had to, I began the hike back to my truck.
Arriving in Tombstone, I realized I wouldn't have enough time to hike Mount Ballard in Bisbee as my final hike of the day like I had planned, so I decided upon the Guindani Trail, another old favorite. Thick, puffy clouds were blowing over the Whetstones as I screeched to a halt at the Guindani trailhead. Sunset was only 20 minutes away. I moved quickly across the flats and into Guindani Canyon. It was well after sunset when I reached the saddle highpoint, where I stopped to admire the fascinating form of The Cape in the distance. Two miles later the trailhead came into sight under the light of my headlamp, where I happily escaped the wind inside my truck, before departing for Tucson.
I returned to Tucson in time for the last 60 seconds of the REI Garage Sale, ate a well earned dinner, than began the long journey home.
Although rushed, this was an outstanding and very memorable trip.