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Josephine Saddle, AZ
mini location map2014-06-08
3 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Josephine Saddle, AZ 
Josephine Saddle, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2014
Hiking5.29 Miles 1,806 AEG
Hiking5.29 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   2.35 mph
1,806 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break
I needed some exercise, so figured this would be just right. Got down to the parking lot at around 8 o'clock and it was already getting pretty warm at 5400 feet. I drove through the lot looking for cars I might recognize and saw this nice shiny Subaru Outback with New Mexico plates that made me think Jim H was down here. Cool...might meet him on the trail. Just as I was geared up and ready to head up the Old Baldy, I spotted someone I knew up in the upper lot returning from a hike...Bill Bens (SkyIslandHiker). So ended up talking with him for about another hour before I got going. Then as I was leaving he called to me to come back and he introduced me to Matt Nelson of the ATA and his girlfriend Jennifer, who had just shown up to hike as well. So after a few more minutes I finally got rolling and it was really warm pulling up out of the canyon! :sweat: Paced it slowly and got to Josephine Saddle nonstop, which is always my goal. But I'm pretty out of shape so wasn't sure how it would go. ;)

As I arrived at the saddle I was still sort of on the lookout for Jim H, so I figured I would hang out there a long time and perhaps I would see him. While hanging out there, Matt and Jennifer arrived via the Super Trail and we chatted some more before they headed back down Old Baldy. I finally gave up the "Jim H watch" and headed back briskly on Old Baldy. Toasty it was, but I couldn't figure out why I was sweating so much on the downhill. :-k When I got home and checked my weather readouts I found out the reason: we had a little PMS action going on (pre monsoon seep), as a shallow layer of moisture from the Gulf of California was overspreading the southern deserts. (Well, after all it is time for some test runs before the real thing). That heat buildup will do it every time. :lol:

Just as I got back to the picnic area I smelled smoke, and sure enough a group had a wood fire going in one of the grills, probably for grilling. [-X It's not that the FS didn't have enough signs posted all over the area about no fires, they were very evident. On my way out I stopped at Santa Rita Lodge to report it and they thanked me and passed the info on to the ranger.

I found out later that Jim was not down there and the car belonged to someone else. Sort of bizzare to see one like his there, complete with NM plates. Anyway, that made it interesting, thinking I might run into someone I knew of but hadn't met yet on the trail. :)

Side note: this was close to the anniversary of my first ascent of Wrightson: June 10, 1983.

Ironically, the Santa Rita Lodge where I stopped to report the illegal fire, had a fine little restaurant that I had hoped to stop at for a sandwich & beer after my inaugural Wrightson hike, but it burned down a week prior, on June 3, 1983. :cry:
Named place
Named place
Sprung Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Sprung Spring Dry Dry
This usually strong flowing spring was dry at the trough, probably due to a clogged pipe from the source (this happened a few years back as well). Over the years this has been one of my favorite places to refill the water bottle. Not today.
No more mister gneiss guy.
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