|Hiking||7.40 Miles|| 5 Hrs 30 Mns || ||1.35 mph|
|2,373 ft AEG|| || || |
Glad I finally took a chance on Romero. I should have read a little more before heading out. I didn't have a clue what qualified as the "pools" and hiked an additional hour.
Headed out and saw Sutherland Wash about a foot deep and 50 yards across. Went back for tevas and returned prepared. Luckily it's only a 3 minute walk back. The water was cold but nothing compared to later in the day. This is probably the most annoying part of the hike as the sand is mixed with pea sized gravel. Hurts like a mother no matter how you go about it. Did see some families using garbage bags to walk across. Can't imagine they didn't leak.
I could do without the entire first mile. It's not horrible but sand blows in tevas. It's not as bad as lower Sendero Esperanza, just annoying. Soon after you start climbing and the hike comes to form quick. Passing through mini eden gardens of cacti is cool. Then with all the recent rain the trail was pretty much a running seep. Montrose Creek was roaring on the right going up. When I realized the trail switched to the left I almost cried. However was quickly greeted by a sweeeet rippin distant waterfall. At which point I was passed by at least a hundred name badged hikers. All of which were very nice but sheeesh.
The trail passes a very pristine group of Saguaros at the first switchbacks. Wildflowers are scattered about and found more on the return.
Came to the first crossing which now I know according to the park literature is "the" pools. Stepped in and experienced something for the first time in my life. I was sweating like a pig. Then stepped into the creek, which had to be in the dry ice category of cold. As I'm walking away on the other side I'm thinking it probably isn't good for the body to be profusely sweating and freezing at the same time. Two more crossings and I continued until I was pretty darn sure I'd passed what qualified as "the" pools. Had I started earlier I would have continued to the pass but I hadn't really read up on that either. I like climbing but not in the heat of the day. After a serious series of switchbacks I decided to turnaround at 4300 feet, patchy snow appeared to be about 200 feet higher.
Heading down was a whole different hike. Perhaps I had an attitude adjustment or simply the lack of crowds or perhaps that for the first time this year I could smell spring. On the return I found a way not to step in the freon creeks. Shade started covering portions of the trail. The kicker was various wildflowers. Wondered if some might just be afternoon bloomers. The poppies on the other hand were in close up phase. Nothing would qualify as thick except the fairy dusters. Which seemed quite a bit smaller than the Superstition Wilderness variety.
It's a good hike. Just warmer than expected. I finally have a grasp of the trail system now after TEN years. The countless waterfalls are cool. They just aren't very photogenic by themselves. Off trail probably offers some killer opportunities. It's actually a great hike but the light is difficult for photography. Which makes sense considering with all the photos posted I could never really relate what the hike presented. I know it's not possible but Pusch Peak seemed cooler in September!