|Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous, AZ|
|Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous, AZ|| |
Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous, AZ
|Backpack||15.16 Miles||2 Days |
|1,060 ft AEG|
|PEFO Pilot Rock Adventure 2014 - "Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous"
Rob del Desierto and I had talked about a PEFO wilderness backpack for some time and agreed that late September would be a great time to target an ascent of the PEFO high point, Pilot Rock http://hikearizona.com/decoder=2238
As the date approached for the wilderness adventure, some crazy weather starting showing up in the forecast. This served as the primary filter whittling the original 19 committed/interested group of HAZers down to two! Rob and I had exchanged emails indicating both of us were committed no matter what Mother Nature wanted to throw at us - we had plenty of back up plans including;
1. Onyx Bridge http://hikearizona.com/decoder=874
2. Puerco Pueblo and nearby rock art http://hikearizona.com/decoder=875
3. PEFO Ranger selections from NPS site http://www.nps.gov/pefo/off-the-beaten-path.htm (Devil's Playground?)
4. Rock Art Ranch http://hikearizona.com/decoder=1303
5. Grand Falls http://hikearizona.com/decoder=51
Rob arrived at my Ahwatukee home mid-afternoon and mid-dust storm we were on our way to Holbrook. We were treated to a great light show along the I-40 between Flagstaff and Holbrook. Once checked into our Holbrook Best Western base camp, we broke out the BBQ to grill up some choice steaks and corn-on-the-cob. We were soon joined by a lost beagle. Toko was her name per the engraved heart dangling from her collar. A phone number was also engraved on the heart. We called the surprised owner who promptly sent her brother over to Room 115 to collect the grateful beagle (grateful for the steak samples that is).
Saturday dawn broke with some surprisingly clear skies and a forecast for heavy showers beginning mid-morning.
We forced down some of the Best Western breakfast buffet (the self-made waffle with fresh fruit gets the only passing marks) while sitting amongst all the French tourists. Loaded up the F-150 and headed to PEFO about 20 miles east along the I-40 from Holbrook. We made a slight detour along the way, checking out the flooded Lithodendron Wash. Having explored this rare sight, we made our way over to the park entrance. I had my NPS annual pass ready, but we were being waved through by the Ranger indicating it was one of the "free entrance fee" days at the National Parks - enjoy!
We pulled up to Painted Desert Inn ready to explore the PEFO Black Forest and Quest for Onyx Bridge, but needed to alter plans. I had a chance to explore some parts of Mary Colter's renovation of the Painted Desert Inn http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/u ... b-2013.pdf and Painted Desert Rim Trail http://hikearizona.com/decoder=2236 while Rob took care of business from afar.
We continued our PEFO hiking flexibility by heading over to Puerco Pueblo and exploring the petroglyphs along the west service road heading towards Newspaper Rock.
Our afternoon featured a surprisingly dry and mud-free trek towards Onyx Bridge and some preliminary route finding towards Pilot Rock. Thanks Rob for pointing out the rock art panels and dinosaur fossils along the route.
We wrapped up with a late afternoon BBQ of some brats n beer at the Chinde Point picnic table area http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/u ... _large.pdf before hitting the road back to the PHX area. I think I've got Rob convinced that all Country & Western tunes must contain one of the three main theme items;
Truly visionary Country & Western tunes contain all three main theme items...
Fitbit totals; 15.16 miles and 1060 AEG
Photos to follow (when I get the chance)...
PS. Post hike, we obtained an NPS brochure for Onyx Bridge http://www.nps.gov/pefo/upload/Onyx-Bridge-Hike-2.pdf (includes GPS coordinates for bridge - feeling foolish thwarted again?)
PPS. Rob and I agree that a Spring Redux is mandatory to conquer Pilot Rock and the ever elusive, Onyx Bridge.