Warning, delayed posting
I spent the night in Spencer canyon, sleeping in a bit the next morning. By 7:30, I was on the trail with temps in the mid 50s and spotty clouds. I've wanted to do this one for several years, but could not justify 4 hours of driving for 6 hours of hiking. This week I would spent a couple of nights on the mountain, so this was the op.
I started off at a blazing pace, but with a tweak in the back, so the plan was to average about 1.5 mph with a decent break/s. On my way down the Mt Lemmon #5, I ran into turkey :0 At least 4, at most 7. They had no fear of me at all. From there on to Shovel Spring all I saw were Abert's squirrels and, oddly, I think, I saw some gold fish in one of the springs on the #5 (NO ALCOHOL INVOLVED!!!). I got to Shovel Spring( which I found NO trace of ) and encountered 3ish whitetailed deer. I heard a lot of them, but only saw 3 tails.
As I reached Walnut Spring, my back was feeling fine and I just had to scuffle the 1/2 mile to the peak
Somebody put great effort into carving a path to the peak, though it's starting to be reclaimed. Though I managed to loose most of my tracks for the day, I was able to salvage the segment from the peak back down to Walnut Spring. It's posted, and would be quite helpful if you plan to hit the summit.
I located the register ( a 3" ABS tube with dry fitted ends), but upon opening it was taken breathless by a thriving mold inside. I left it to aire out whilst taking in the views, but upon later inspection decided to have no further contact with is decaying contents.
With peak in bag, I headed back. Usually, this is where I start the cruise home ( yea, usually down hill not up ), but it was getting hotter and I was gaining a bunch of elevation. Within the first mile of my return, my back was barkin' so bad that I dumped my last liter of water, cached my basic survival stuff and bino's ( 3 or 4 lbs means A LOT right now), put my head down and trudged on. The GeePuS died just where the 5 and the 5A meet, from there, I think I slept the remaining stretch to the parking lot. Reaching the 'Exploder', I now had access to water, gatorade, back brace, etc...
Now the adventure is done. I have a nice little cocktail lounge, kitchen, DVD player ( Trailer Park Boys, season 5 tonight) and a 7' x 9', nylon bedroom all to myself. SUCCESS!..