Time includes the Peralta Trail hike and an hour 1/2 or so wait for the Alt Tucson hiking group as I came over ahead of them so that I could take my time. I made it to Fremont Saddle in 1 3/4 hr. including several stops to take movies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ow_a2oEaeA. I hadn't been up to Fremont since 2005 http://www.hikearizona.com/dex2/igallery/image_page.php?id=3741 when I had hiked it 4 times. It brot back lots of fun memories as I was hiking with family two of those times. I was remembering the places we stopped to talk or take pictures of each other.
I got to the Saddle about the time the others would just be starting from the TH so I decided to go behind the big hoodoos on the west side. That middle slot looked a bit intimidating so I made my way around to the south side and through a slot to west of the rocks. It was a really neat area and of course provided additional views of the Needle. Altho I have to say I wish there would have been a "Fraley sky". There was also a campfire ring and additional areas to explore.
The others arrived about 12:15; it didn't seem like I waited that long so I must have been enjoying the scenery and of course the people-watching as well as the ravens. Once the rest of the group arrived and I met a few new hikers, Randy said we would be heading over to the tree on the Weavers Needle Overlook ridge before making our way on the Cave Trail. Walking over there I smiled as it also stirred up memories from my previous hikes http://www.hikearizona.com/dex2/igallery/image_page.php?id=4189. I was also looking to the north at the area I had hiked a couple weeks ago.
And before you knew it we went from the edge of the Overlook to the north edge of the Cave Trail. This hiking group moves quite fast but I was bound and determined to get my pictures which wasn't easy on the run so thank goodness for digital . The route provides for some incredible scenery and there was great flora along the way. The trail seems to be well-cairned but being as I was behind, I just followed the folks in front of me. Geronimo's Cave is pretty cool AND provided a shade break in this rather exposed area.
The slot in Devil's Slide was just a precursor of things to come as I passed by the Devil's Hot Tub and immediately put my brakes on when I found myself at the top of the real slide (I've since heard it called Bald Man's Head). I was initially using the poles to help me down but some folks politely yelled at me to get rid of the poles and so I did and I scooted down the slide; for me a more appropriate name should be the Devil's "Hold on for Dear Life" Scoot . Everyone was helping those who needed guidance down this Slide. It was great fun .
The rest of the hike seemed like a mystery novel as we weaved our way in, out and around the various areas of the trail to eventually reach the junction with Bluff Springs Trail. I recognized a lot of the areas mentioned in the hike description too. There is just so much to see and I can't wait to go back. Oh, I can't remember from where exactly but you can see the Pinals and the Catalinas and right now they have snow. I think that is so cool.