|Hiking||7.00 Miles|| || |
|950 ft AEG|| || || |
We decided to go up on the rim for some (hopefully) cooler hiking on the day it was forecast to be 106F in Phoenix. We were going to drive to where the Fred Haught trail crosses the side road off FR 95 very near the Pinchot cabin, where we would hike part of either the Houston Bros. trail or the U-Bar trail, but I missed the turnoff on the side road coming from the north on FR95. Actually, I remembered the FH trail crossing point on this side road being much nearer to FR95 so when I went by that turnoff, I told myself this wasn't it and went on south on FR95. Oh me of little faith. So we parked where the FH trail crosses FR95 a little south of there and hiked this trail north to the Pinchot cabin. We then headed south on the Houston Bros trail to Aspen springs where we stopped for a snack and then retraced our steps back to the car. Only about 7 miles round trip but we had a nice cool (high 70s with a nice breeze) hike.
A week ago we had talked about hiking some more of the Highline Trail starting to the east from Washington Park. But a forecast of 90F in Pine for today (Tuesday) caused us to rethink that and to go on up on top of the rim. On the drive up smoke covered most of the area below the top of the rim - not bad enough to obscure the road, but not a pretty sight for hiking. This meant that if we had gone ahead with the Highline hike that the vistas off the side of the rim would show nothing but a lot of smoke. The top of the rim was smoke free, which made our decision to change even better.
On the return to the valley, the smoke plume from the Sunflower fire was quite spectacular, as the intense heat from the fire coupled with the winds that came up during the day, made the plume look like a mushroom cloud from a bomb burst. I have included in the photo set a picture taken from a small hill on the north side of Payson looking south to show the extent of the plume. Another fire is NOT what the Mazatzal's needed, so let's hope that it can be contained quickly. But the fire is growing rapidly.
|To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)|