My overall plan for the day was to map GPS tracks of as many Forest Roads running east from Cherry Creek Rd as I was able in one day. But after 4 hours of driving (US 60 to AZ 188 to AZ 288 to Cherry Creek Road to FR 1690 to FR 1077) just to get this far I needed to stretch my legs. I made one pit stop along the way to help a camper along Cherry Creek Rd who had hung a hastily written Please HELP! cardboard sign on a tree. He had been camped there for a week and the battery battery in his pickup was dead. Although he had four small dogs for company I could tell he was quite lonely. We got it fired up and I was on my way. (I would stop by to make sure all was ok on my trip back out some 7+ hours later)
Although it was very short, it was steep so I it got me loosened up fast. From the TH at the end of FR1077 the summit looked just above but once I got up there I was greeted by a false summit and the summit was just a little bit more climbing. At the summit there were two cairns, one quite large that appeared to be falling apart and a smaller, tighter-built one. Although the smaller one had a great nook for a summit log I found none on either cairn. Not having a container along I did not leave one. Oh well, this is just a day of scouting for the days when Tracey is off work and we'll be back.
Tons of foxtails greeted me on this hike, filling my socks before I had gone 100 feet. Even after removing my socks I'd have to stop every few hundred feet to empty the foxtails from underfoot in my sandals. But better than having to spend hours removing them from hiking boots... Tracey knows this from experience.
Hike done, it's time to hit the roads again. By the end of the day I'll have mapped eight forest roads in their entirety and a good portion of FR203E & FR119 and I've got ideas for plenty of hikes the next time Tracey has two days off. Can't wait!