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McFadden Horse Trail #146
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mini location map2014-07-12
24 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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McFadden Horse Trail #146Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2014
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.30 Miles 2,516 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles   5 Hrs   13 Mns   1.67 mph
2,516 ft AEG      15 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
Monsoon season be damned, Tracey wanted to go somewhere a bit cooler than the Valley so we headed off to the Sierra Ancha. A quick scan through all my GPS routes of future hikes along with some we had already done, we figured we'd hike McFadden Horse Mountain out to the Elephant Rock ruin overlook, which we did last year from Cienega Spring, only this time we'd hike it from the trailhead on AZ 288. This route would save about 3 miles of hiking at the expense of a very steep climb right from the beginning.

An early 2 hour drive and even with my usual messing around we were on the trail shortly after 8 am. While the temperature was mid-70's, the early morning humidity made it feel more like 120°, and within a mile I was drenched with sweat from head to toe. We would be almost to the summit before I could walk more than a few hundred yards without having to stop and wring out my skullcap due to sweat running into my eyes.

Thankfully there was a light breeze along the ridge so this part of the hike became a breeze. Along the ridge we came across an area where everything had been cut close to the ground with chainsaws cordoned off with pink tape, which gave me the feeling it had been an emergency helicopter landing zone.

At the end of the ridge we took the usual photos of the ruin on Elephant Rock. We wandered around a bit and dropped down to see if there was a possible route across, but alas, having neither the right equipment or rock climbing skills, we realized it was past our capabilities. Between that and the requisite Sierra Ancha afternoon thunderstorm moving in we had to hit the trail. Ok, so we had a quick PB&J lunch to provide enough energy for the return trip.

On the way back, instead of following the trail in the wide arc near the summit we cut across where I had drawn a track of what had been a trail probably some 50+ years ago. While we only found a few spots where there may have been a trail, most of the time we followed game trails.

While the ascent had been brutal with the high humidity, the descent was even worse, at least for me. My left knee was still ailing but even using hiking poles and taking it slow, the jolting eventually radiated the pain into my hip and the last mile or so down to the trailhead were agony. I would much rather climb a steep ascent than descend at the end of a hike when I'm tired and weary.

But we made it back just in time for the thunderstorm to roll in, building and following us on the drive back toward Globe. We had just turned onto 188 from 288 when we got hit with waves of rain almost horizontal across, threatening to blow us off the road. It was bad enough Tracey wondered if I should pull off the road (I was driving her Honda Fit) but with it looking even worse we continued. Then the hail hit. Thankfully the hail wasn't big enough to cause any damage. As we approached the north exit to Wheatfields Road the rain stopped abruptly but the wind picked up and Wheatfields wash area was completely engulfed in a dust storm which continued all along the drive into Globe.

From there our trip home was uneventful,which was a good thing because early this morning on the drive out the 60 past Peralta we hit a monstrous crow that either wanted to commit suicide or was too old to take off fast enough to avoid being hit. It didn't break the large (and expensive) headlight lens assembly, but the shock broke the filaments in the turn signal and the running bulbs, one below and the other above the headlight, which made it through unscathed.
Flora
Flora
Century Plant
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
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