For every incredibly good thing that happens on a hike something incredibly bad happens as well.
I knew nothing about this peak beforehand. When I arrived at the TH I realized it was just a little too close to million dollar houses to be a real wilderness adventure. So I decided to go slow and keep my eyes peeled for reptiles. And within the first five minutes - GILA MONSTER!!!!!!!! He was on his morning stroll too and he stopped right in the open when he saw me. I've never had the fortune of seeing one of these elusive desert beauties before so I snapped away for ten minutes with the camera. Finally, when he realized I meant no harm he crawled under a tree branch and I continued up the slope.
Then the bad happened. With my head down I was using both hands and feet to boulder hop up to the summit. When I topped out I lifted my head and realized there was a large beehive next to me. Half a dozen bees broke off from the hive and started to swarm me. My understanding is that bees are territorial and will only chase you so far. So I tried to keep my head covered and head down the slope. Boulder-hopping while you're swatting bees and can't see isn't an easy thing to do. Then I had the bright idea of dumping water on my head to drown the bees. That seemed to work, but I forgot to close my camera bag and my camera took a splashing too. Oh no, not the Gila Monster photos!!! Finally, I got all the bees out of my hair and sent them to that great beehive in the sky, but not before taking a stinger to the forehead. Looks like I'll be wearing my Yankee cap for next few days with the excuse being that baseball season is starting.
Having been allergic to bee stings in the past I decided to call the hike right there. Thankfully, the camera turned out alright. I'll post a few of the Gila Monster pics.
A campfire must be extinguished by drowning it with water, stirring with a shovel, and repeating that process until the campfire is cold to the touch. A campfire is still a danger if it has any trace of heat, and must not be left or abandoned. Wildfires can begin by abandoned campfires that rebuild heat on windy days and then blowing embers ignite surrounding grasses and brush.