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SRO Loop - Sonoran Preserve N, AZ
mini location map2014-03-23
20 by photographer avatartibber
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SRO Loop - Sonoran Preserve N, AZ 
SRO Loop - Sonoran Preserve N, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2014
Hiking11.01 Miles 1,540 AEG
Hiking11.01 Miles   4 Hrs   41 Mns   2.69 mph
1,540 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
1st trip
couldn't decide what I wanted to do this weekend. First I was gonna hike on Saturday and then decided Sunday would work out better with my workout schedule. Then it was a matter of what to do on Sunday afternoon as I do like spending mornings at home on the weekend when I can... which isn't often. I toyed around with the usual suspects of the Phx Preserve or Shaw Butte but then saw Barrett's trip report from the N Phx Preserve so decided that would be my choice.

I posted it up on the HAZ Calendar and FB after figuring out a 10 1/2 mile route :wrt: from Carefree Hwy and 7th Ave. I couldn't see where anyone else had come from there so I had to rough out the mileage and such (forgot to take a pic of the route I had scribbled on a piece of paper; I'll add that later).
Got some interest on FB but only Karl and Kathy could make it. I was surprised Karl wanted to hike again after not getting home til after midnite and after a 27 mile mostly off trail hike. I knew it would be a little warm but it's time to acclimate a bit. We did have some broken clouds and a breeze for most of the hike.

The trail was what I expected, a highway in many cases, but sometimes that's a refreshing change. It gives you a chance to talk with someone side by side rather than ahead or behind. We started on the S (Sidewinder Trail) and for the first little bit Karl walked at my pace. He seemed a bit wobbly but before you knew it, he was blazing the highway ahead of us and Kathy and I were left behind to catch up on things. A couple times Karl stopped in shade to wait for us. I say a couple times because that's about all the shade you'll get out there.

The ocotillo and hedgehogs and creosote were all blooming. The cane cholla had just started. This ended up being a pretty good hike at that as you do get some elevation; much more than I thot :sweat: . Off to the North are some houses including a double-wide that Karl thot was in the perfect location. We hit the junction with the R (Ridgeback Trail) where we conferred for a moment in the shade of a tree as my mileage wasn't matching up exactly. We finally made it to the Ridgeback Overlook and the views really are quite nice. Kathy did her normal pic for FB and as usual, it's already on FB before I get home :lol: . That woman is fast with her phone :gun: .

And then it was time to head back where you eventually hit the O (Ocotillo Trail - appropriately named). Unfortunately we had less of a breeze. However, the scenery and conversation were nice so that made up for it. This part of the route paralells the 303 and alongside it is a wide sidewalk and 4 beautiful bridges plus a veranda. We did run into several people on bikes but not too bad as it was Sunday afternoon. I think the secret to hiking in these easy trail areas is to hike on Sunday afternoons.

And then we came to the last intersection with the Sidewinder and we looked up at where we would be hiking. We had briefly discussed staying on the Ocotillo but since Karl was heading up the Sidewinder; we presumed the decision was made :lol: so UP we went... another "Karl's Hill" situation for me like when we did 5057 and didn't have to do the hill but did.

We encountered a couple different hikers that before you knew it had already turned around. We couldn't quite figure that out. The entire hike I kept expecting Karl to drop but then concluded he probably hikes in his sleep ;) . It was a good afternoon out on the trail with good people and good weather. What more can one ask for?
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Ocotillo and Hedgehogs were blooming along with some cane cholla. There were limited patches of poppies. Looks like the hedgehog and cane chollas will continue to bloom for awhile.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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