It's been on my list for some time but out-of-the-blue Monday evening it seemed like just the thing. But as such a short hike (2.6 miles) we decided to hike most of the way up the road instead of driving up and then hiking. This made for a long continual climb along a sometimes treacherous road
, more like a path in the grass in many areas.
Lest one misunderstand, it was treacherous... for hiking poles. The large cracks in the hard-packed ground had a penchant for grabbing onto the tip as we moved forward, threatening to break it off. Once it got more rocky that risk was exchanged for rolling an ankle over the loose rocks, which would be what most of the hike would be.
We hadn't gone a half-mile before scaring up two deer, then a mile or so later we scared up a herd of four who didn't just high-tail it away but stood and stared at us until by mutual agreement we each went our own way. Shortly after Tracey would see what appeared to be mule deer ears, but then as far away as we were she passed it off as wishful thinking. But because I know just how much of an eagle-eye Tracey has for things, I pulled out the Canon and took a shot with full 60X zoom, and sure enough, it was a deer resting in the shade. Unfortunately, as shown in the photoset, at the time I didn't realize a prickly-pear some distance ahead of the deer grabbed the focus.
Oh well, being handheld and that much zoom what can one expect?
At the end of the road
the hike became a winding journey through a seeming labyrinth of daggers, prickly-pear, loose rocks and more. Eventually we reached the summit where I took photos of the two reference marks and the benchmark then got so wrapped up in reading the summit log I neglected to take my usual 360 pan photos and video. No worries, half of the pan would have been taken up by the close vegetation. Thankfully I had taken a number of photos along the southern cliff edge.
By now Tracey was getting a bit tired of the terrain, having to remove her shoes often to remove assorted debris. So rather than make the full circle of the mesa, we cut more directly back to the road, following it the rest of the way back down. No fauna of any kind noted on the return trip.
But now with just over 5 miles under our belt for the day, what next? Hmmm, we're already out this way, what do we do next? Although I had added bogus routes
when loading the HAZ Tracks off-line maps, again I did not stretch them far enough for our next and subsequent choices, Upper Coon Creek Ruins & Cougar Canyon.
You'll have to read those triplogs to see how we fared, HAZ Track'ing blind
As I mentioned earlier, sorry, no video...