Great morning for this hike. The sky was crystal clear (actually black when I began) and remained that way all morning. The washes still had the auburn and burnt orange ferns left over from the Fall. I suppose I enjoy early morning hikes in the Goldfields at this time of year because of the shapes and shadows cast by the rising sun on what otherwise may seem a harsh landscape. At the arroyo I climbed the eastern slopes of slickrock thinking that there may be some way to ride the ridge south, but it turned out to be a "wash" (no pun intended). The "spire", with shadows cast by the rising sun, appeared much like a howling pup, reminding me of what the Westies were missing. Having been groomed this weekend the wished to stay that way for a few more days.