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Table Top Backtrack, AZ
mini location map2013-09-28
5 by photographer avatarOutlander
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Table Top Backtrack, AZ 
Table Top Backtrack, AZ
Hiking14.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   12 Hrs      1.56 mph
2,000 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break30 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The mission was to return to the Table Top Wilderness in search of a lost radio. I dropped my Walkman radio/MP3 player somewhere along the trail last weekend, and thought it worth going back to get it.

Backtracking is much easier if you have a GPS route to go by, as I did on this occasion, but it is never a sure thing. Successful backtracking requires patience, a positive attitude, and a little bit of luck. Lost items will usually turn up at rest areas where you sat a spell, or in particularly difficult terrain. I had a few likely places in mind: it was either lost in the boulder fields, the cat claw hedges, or that spot where I tumbled down a ravine.

The first stop was Peak 3510, which is about two miles south of the Hidden Valley Interchange on I-8. It is a nice view and an easy three mile hike from Indian Butte. There is even a peak register on top with several entries. I glassed the area for a while and then pressed on toward Table Top.

Following GPS routes is tedious, as the lines are constantly shifting back and forth when the satellite position is refined. That is assuming that the original line was accurate in the first place, which often has errors on account of movement and reception quality. However, the path of least resistance does not change, and it will guide you back the second time around.

On the south face of Table Top Mountain I was to receive a botany lesson the hard way, falling headlong into a young saguaro cactus. It was like having my hand and back shot up with a nail gun, and many of the spines still remain, having broken off deep under the skin. It shows how quickly things can go wrong out there.

The way back was clear and I made good time. I failed to recover the lost MP3 player and have multiple piercings and quills for the effort. No pain no gain, they say.
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Rock Wren
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Indian Butte  Table Top Wilderness
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