The weather is great. I normally go to the gym on Fridays but, did I say, the weather is great. I planned to hike the Lost Dog area and do part of the Quartz Trail hoping to get some decent miles in since the previous weekend I hiked some awesome QUALITY miles but not much length. My boss let me go 1/2 hour early from work so I was on the trail by 3 (this was a good thing as I didn't get back to the TH until 6:15). I normally wouldn't take my camera but you know, we're approaching wildflower season so I couldn't leave home without it
as I wouldn't want to miss this: http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=5112
I hadn't been on the Lost Dog trail in quite some time. I usually do a Lost Dog - Old Jeep - Ringtail Loop but not today. I decided I should to the Quartz Trail and so off I went, determined to make decent enough time. The trail was not too crowded altho I must have been out during the "older folks" time as I encountered quite a few of them. There were two older women who had their t-shirts rolled up exposing their bellies... I presume to cool them off as it was a bit toasty but PLEASE, this is not a pretty picture
There were also a few bike riders and most of the time they surprise me. I do wish they had a beep on their bikes or something. Nonetheless, I try my best to always accommodate them even tho I have the right of way. I am sure this is a fun trail to ride.
I got to the junction with the Taliesin Overlook a lot quicker than I thot so I was happy about that. Next it was down this hill about 1/2 mile to the NW to hook up with the Quartz Trail. I kept in mind I would have to come back up that
. Once I turned onto the Quartz Trail, there wasn't any more traffic as you head right toward Thompson Peak.
Eventually you come to the turn off where you can go straight up to the Quartz Cropping. I passed this by and continued along the trail. You are just above a very wide and deep wash. In about a mile, after you turn the corner and head east, you come to the end of the Quartz Trail - McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Now I didn't have my permit with me as it was back with Tonto but I thot I could explain that to a ranger if I encountered one so I continued on the State Land. From the map it looked like you could go another mile which should fit close enough with my 4:30ish turn around time.
The nice thing about this part of the hike is a good deal of it was in the shade provided by the mountain to the right of me. You are now walking in the wash. I scared up every living quail as I walked eastward. Eventually this wide wash narrows to a canyon and winds around some corners so you really aren't sure where it will end. Well it got to be 4:30 but I knew I had to be close to the end and at 4:40 I spotted the tall cairn and presumed this was the end and I was at a little over 4.5 miles which would be right. Along this last little bit I did encounter some little wildflowers too.
On the way back it seemed like I was flying down this wash... I know I had been going up the wash but I didn't realize how much elevation until I posted the GPS route. No wonder I was sweating a little on the way up. As I came around the corner starting to head south, the setting sun was making all the plants glisten. So I practiced the technique Ambika told me to zoom in toward the cactus and that way you'll still get the back glow but without the blown out background. So you be the judge when I post my pics sometime this year
as I am running way far behind.
I got up the hill with relative ease as I find these hills much easier than back in my early days of hiking. As I got back down on the Lost Dog Trail, the sun was pretty well disappearing behind the horizon but it was still light. Once again I got the sunset treat of the red glow on the mountains with the cholla in the foreground. There are two sections of the Lost Dog Trail that have this incredible display of cholla.
I finally got back to the TH at 6:15. I was glad I had my camera case with me since I dipped into the nuts baggie as I was pretty hungry with a couple miles left. I really hadn't planned on doing nearly 9 miles. The other thing I discovered is my Merrells had really rubbed the outside edges of my feet in front of the heel. I've tried several techniques to get these Merrells to fit but I think I have to throw in the towel and take them back to REI.
Here are two videos. I am not happy with the youtube stabilizer on them so I am re-editing using the Premiere Elements stabilizer effect to see if I can get rid of the black border coming in and out:
Lost Dog and part of the Quartz Trails
Quartz Trail at about the State Land section to the end and back to Lost Dog Trailhead.