|Hiking||2.00 Miles|| 2 Hrs || ||1.00 mph|
|75 ft AEG|| || || |
This was a guided hike identifying cactus with Ranger Kevin. There were about 8 of us and it was buggy again this AM, yuck. Fortunately, when we hit the Metate, there was a brisk breeze that kept some of them off of you.
Ranger Kevin pointed out and talked about the various cactus along with some more rock art... seems to be all over that place if you know where to look. The ratany is still blooming and several of the cholla, sahuaros and prickly pear cactus are also blooming.
There were quite a few other hikers out on the trails this morning too. We also got to learn more about the history of the Spur Cross where the Metate Trail crosses with the Tortuga. There was once a dude ranch there and you can see the foundations for some of the housing (I always wondered what those stone foundations were). You can also see where the pool was (left/east of trail) and the path down to the creek.
Well apparently the dude ranch started during the depression so it didn't do so well. Eventually a private family came in and bot the place. The head of the household use to fly his plane in there and landed where that little man-made pond is. One time, however, he overshot the landing and crashed into an embankment on Cave Creek. The family couldn't keep the place going without him so they sold out around 1953.
Also of note, up where you park is where an old mining town once stood around the 1870s. In fact the wood from this old mining town was used to build the buildings on the dude ranch. Eventually there is going to be a visitor's center in this area and hopefully they will have all of this information in a more accurate form than I am giving it to you.
One of the hikers was from Vancouver, BC and apparently he and his wife come down twice a year and love hiking in the desert so I steered them toward the HikeArizona site.
There are also additional guided hikes this year and of course, next fall that will talk about the geology of the area and others that will take you up to some of the additional ruins around the Sugarloaf Mountain area. And yes, I did bring my camera so pictures will be posted later.
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated
|For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination. |
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.