went out for a 6 mile hike thinking of the 8, 304, Irregular, VOAZ, back to TH. ended up doing:
8 from west side of TH but didn't see any signs for it as I hiked along so took various paths heading SE as I know where I needed to be and the current trail was not getting me there. It would be hard if you didn't know where you wanted to go and tried to figure it out while hiking from this side altho maybe it eventually took you on the 100 going east to the 8 turnoff.
Finally found the 8
, that was an interesting way to get to it and unbeknownst to me at that time, the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" tour began. I continued up the 8 making good progress as I worried how much of my hiking mojo I lost due to travel. Down the other side I went before you turn west and down into a wash. It's always a little confusing when you get into the wash and instead of veering north I saw a trail coming south out of the wash so I took it thinking it veered back north... but it didn't. I consulted HAZel and decided, "what the heck" the worse I could end up is over by the Squaw Peak TH.
So I continued on my merry way (saw one bike rider and one hiker) having no idea if I was on a marked trail. I thot it would eventually take me around this mountain and maybe down the trail I had spotted from the other side. Eventually I ended up at a saddle and a trail marker that said 8A
. Well how 'bout that. I think Joe had mentioned this trail recently, the old Quartz Ridge Trail. Always wanted to take that. Here at the saddle and on the way up 8B I ran into about a 1/2 dozen hikers. I hiked up the 8B to another saddle and then headed down the other side thinking I would be able to hook up with another trail I saw way below and head over to the 304.
is a pretty long hill, it would be a good climb from the opposite side for sure and it seemed it went on and on. It was a bit slippery and steep in places. Finally I got to the bottom and guess where I was... the north end of the Squaw Peak TH where I had been a month or so ago and had to retreat from my circumference hike. I was a bit surprised but on I went taking the right turn at the 304 and headed north. You drop down into a deep wash and you have the option of heading west as you come out or up these rather large steps continuing north. I opted for the big steps and continued the climb up to the saddle where the junction of the 8 and 304 are. I think I recall doing the 8 to the 304 awhile ago.
On the way down the north side I took a path that led to the west rather than staying on the 304. After going further west than I thot, I eventually joined up with the 304
and up, up I went. Here was another test to see how being out of the hiking mode would effect me. Delightfully, I did pretty well; the trail didn't seem quite as steep or long as I anticipated. I sat for about two minutes on the bench at the top relishing my success before heading back down, over to the Irregular C
and back up the VOAZ (love that trail). The VOAZ
seemed MUCH longer than when I did it about a month ago.
Then back down the 304 to the 1a
back to the TH but nope, I hit one of those darn horseshoe trails and tracked way further west than I wanted. I finally found a crossover trail that took me back toward the TH. It seems to have been an old road at one time. I eventually reached the 100
and stayed on it except to wander to take some saguaro pictures. I decided to take the connector trail (2429) back to the TH to make it more loopy. By the time all was said and done, instead of 6 miles, I did 8.4 with some respectable AEG and felt pretty good
Not too many hikers and bikers on the trails this Mother's Day (felt weird when someone wished me a Happy Mother's Day as I'm not a mother...though my brothers think I am from time to time
). The temp in the high 70s with an occasional breeze was quite nice as were the puffy clouds scattered about. The trails were all in pretty good shape except that 8B was a bit slippery in sections. There's lots of miscellaneous unmarked trails out there one could venture out on just for something different.