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Table Top Mountain, AZ
mini location map2014-03-02
5 by photographer avatarOutlander
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Table Top Mountain, AZ 
Table Top Mountain, AZ
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   10 Hrs      1.71 mph
2,500 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break35 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The mission was to spend a day hiking in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, taking an alternate route to the summit of Table Top Mountain.

Road 8023 is in good shape and accessible to low clearance vehicles all the way to the wilderness boundary, just east of Indian Butte. This northern route will save you a considerable amount of drive time over the official Table Top Trailhead. If given a choice, I would rather park my truck at Indian Butte rather than in the Vekol Valley, a place where vehicles sometimes catch on fire.

Hiking the north face of Table Top is a good workout, with that last 1200’ a steady burn all the way to the summit. Not much had changed since the last time I rolled through. It was just a nice day to be out and about. All was quiet on the northern front, other than some radio chatter coming from the Vekol Valley.

I found a Motorola two-way radio in a discarded backpack near Stanfield Road, about this time last year. It works great and gave me an introduction to the wonderful world of radio. Two-way radios, or walky-talkies, are useful for keeping in touch with fellow hikers, hunters, and passersby. They are a reliable backup to your cell phone, weigh next to nothing, and will work in places with no cell coverage. It is also a good way to find out whether you are, in fact, alone in the wilderness.

I rarely key in, opting to maintain radio silence most of the time. Folks are less apt to talk if they know that a stranger is listening in. Most of the radio chatter you will hear south of I-8 is related to drug trafficking, communications between spotters and groups crossing the zone. They were rattling off a bunch of numbers this time, perhaps GPS coordinates.

A few weeks ago at the bombing range, I listened in on some interesting radio chatter on Channel 12. A group of Americans (not many out there) were talking on the radio about a killing; words like “corpse”, and “gunshots”, and a “dead body” kept coming up. A woman was doing most of the talking, asking her companions questions about the corpse, how they were going to move it, how heavy it was, etc. It was really exciting to hear this sort of thing on the radio, to have it happening in real time in the real world. Imagination ran wild; I peered through the binoculars hoping to catch a glimpse of the grisly scene.

When they started talking about deer antlers, I figured out that the radio discussion was about a deer hunt, not a crime scene. She was talking about a dead deer that her boyfriend/husband had shot during their morning deer hunt. Burn on me… Ha!

A stranger’s voice barked on the radio, “It is called a carcass, not a corpse!”
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[ checklist ]  Table Top Mountains
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