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Windgate Bell Loop
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mini location map2013-02-19
30 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Windgate Bell LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2013
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking10.80 Miles 2,635 AEG
Hiking10.80 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   3.16 mph
2,635 ft AEG   3 Hrs   5 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Some of my hikes are rather short, when I'm looking for benchmarks. I spend more time, once at the benchmark area, than I do hiking, so I needed some "good ole exercise" and distance.

I have done every part of these two trails before, on other hikes, but never as a loop, so off I went clockwise. Again the hike was mostly for exercise - Just put my head down and move, and that's exactly what I did except for a rather time consuming off-trail search for an Azimuth benchmark.

About 2 miles into the hike, on Windgate Trail and abeam Drinkwater Pk, I went off trail to the east, all the way to the start of the vertical rocks. If I went any further east, I'd be going up a drainage to Drinkwater Peak. I was weaving back and forth on an imaginary line (the line was on my GPS), looking for any signs of an Azimuth benchmark. All I found was an old rancher's fence. I then weaved my way back to Windgate, going back and forth on or near that line.
Hopefully, nobody saw me weaving all over the place, as they might think I was seriously deranged. HA ! Maybe I was !

Once I got back to Windgate Trail, I did the same thing, off trail to the west, all the way down to a large wash and what looked like the remains of mining activity. No benchmark was found. It was a long-shot anyway.
My track is very accurate, even though the off-trail portion looks like either my GPS had a fit, or someone's "EKG" reading went wild.

What I did find (see) off trail, was the largest barrel cactus in the whole world. Well, the largest barrel I have ever seen, anyway. It was at least 8 feet tall and very fat and healthy. That was worth the off-trail excursion in itself.

After photos of my largest barrel ever, I got back on the trail, put my head down and finished my "exercise hike". It was a great day for a hike, and as it turned out, I must have been the only person with that opinion. I was a crowd of one, once I was 2 miles away from the trailhead.
It felt like I was on one of my ....... "Why would anyone hike there?" .... hikes. :)
Named place
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Tom's Thumb
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
HAZ Member
FLYING_FLIVER's
221 Photosets

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