Exciting day, finally can scratch this...more or less, off the bucket list. This one has been on my list even before I started hiking, even before I found out about the Indian ruins, probably as long as the 16 years that I have lived in the Valley. Wendi has been saying no to this one for almost two years now but we have finally run out of challenge hikes in the area so last night when she suggested it I was all over it!
We promised ourselves that we would at least make it to the top of the mesa and from there decide to shoot for the ruins. Of course by the time we got up there we both knew that despite the amazing views and some beautiful desert hiking that I was never going to convince Wendi to come up this hill again so it was now or never if we were gonna shoot for the Ruins. Luckily Wendi hadn't yet seen the trail or complete lack of it. No cairns, no ducks, no suggestion of one. Just dried just shin high grass hiding rocks and prickly pears forests. The prickly pear were the most deceptive. I often felt like I was in a maze of them. There is a bit of scramble to climb up to the upper level of the mesa but not to bad then its more of the same. After about a mile of this Wendi was ready to quit and just let me go by myself but that seemed like a no-go because still over a mile from the ruins which meant 2 miles which would at the very least be an hour. So we just to a breather under the shade of a pretty cool juniper and soldiered on. We made it on to the peninsula and followed a now visible trail as jinked here and there navigating a maze of rocks. So far nothing really resemble ruins. I told Wendi to wait while I went on to see if I could see anything cool. I got to the next peak and realized that there was still a good 3/4 of a mile of hard walking and we were running out of time. So I just stood there and absorbed the views. It must have been amazing to live here, another example of man's sheer will to exist. This view,walking out on to this peninsula and being able to see at least mile and a half over the open valley below as the crow flies, is one that I hope everyone takes the time to see. Be on notice there is lots of pain, but that's the price of admission.
I turned back and headed to next bench then turned back to see if I could see any hint of the ruins but couldn't. As went to turn back, to my surprise another couple was coming up the trail. The guy asked if could see anything cool. I gave him the scoop on my adventure and we parted ways. I think they must have went all the way because we never did see them come down the face of the mesa as Wendi and I made our way back to the trail head.
Not too much for fauna except for spotting a Western Cardinal! This literally came on our radar only this weekend in this months edition of Arizona Highways. Got at least one good pic with our new camera. There were some obvious signs of deer on the top of the mesa. Oh, and we spotted a Gopher Snake sunning himself on the trail.
Awesome hike maybe next year, shhh.