Today was one of the most beautiful hiking days one could have. The rain last weekend caused every desert plant to come alive and this trail, while quite easy and overlooked by many, is one of the most striking desert trails you can find. Add to that a short trek (over a recent fence) up to the Dacite Mine and the total distance east to west was 6.36 miles. The well marked trail to the mine has had a rather broken fence for a long time. I guess the powers that be want to discourage visitors so a new fence is there.
Anyway, Bob and I met Dan and we went to the mine, then, with our flashlights, went into the mine for quite a distance. Dan and Bob went a bit farther than I but I measured my steps and went about 370 feet into the mine. I turned around and the entrance looked very far away. I had always wanted to go in there but never wanted to go alone.
The remainder of the hike to the Hieroglyphic trailhead was simply a joy of nature. There are more Saguaros on this hike than any other I have seen. We even saw a few plants with flowers-guess they though it was spring. The weather was perfect and the desert was lush. We did it as a shuttle but did meet a couple of people who were doing an out and back-12 miles a bit much for me in one shot.
Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.