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Black Top Mesa
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mini location map2015-03-23
35 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking15.00 Miles 2,910 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   6 Hrs   24 Mns   2.47 mph
2,910 ft AEG      20 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Way back in 2010, while the search was still on for the goldmine-hunting trio from Utah, I had placed (and set GPS waypoints for) 5 fluid caches for use on my own numerous search hikes. (No need to squawk about not placing caches in a Wilderness... but I'll posit this was a special case.)
:A1:
Whatever, I used all but two by time the Dutch-hunters were found in January 2011 and it was all the way into October 2013 before I retrieved #4, which happened to be the farthest from any trailhead. Unfortunately, every time I attempted to retrieve #5 I was unable to locate it. This baffled me because all were very well hidden, so I doubted it had been found. Oh well, maybe someone did find it, but it still bugged me... until 2 am the morning of this hike.
:y:
Not having any idea where I was going to hike the night before, I had absolutely no plans, thinking I'll come up with something in the morning. Which is exactly what I did! I woke up at 2 am with it clear in my mind, where the last cache was... I had moved it within a week of placing it, and not only did I not set a GPS waypoint, I totally forgot about the move. (Yup, the memory does fade with age.)
:-({|=
So although I was NOT prepared for a hike well past the Cavalry/Dutchman Trails intersection and back, I now had a goal for the hike. And as Tracey well knows, place a goal in front of me and I'm all over it. Still, it took too long to get things together, like how much extra fluid to take for the warm day in case the cache was gone. Then the drive to the TH was slow going... behind a truck pulling a horse trailer, a low-to-the ground Mitsubishi and even a Toyota Tundra 4x4 who must not have wanted to get it dusty. Awww!
[-X
Shortly before 8 am, finally I was on the trail. A man-on-a-mission, I was really cruising... yeah, JJ3-like speed. Until the climb to Bull Pass... which brought me back down to a mere 3 mph. From there being mostly downhill I picked up speed again. Past the eastern Bull Pass/Dutchman intersection, past the Cavalry/Dutchman Trails intersection until as clear as if it was that day back in 2010, just like watching a video, I walked a few hundred feet off the trail right to the exact spot... and the cache was still there!
:y:
At each cache I had placed a 32 oz Gatorade for myself, a 24 oz Propel for Tracey and a 32 oz water for another buddy. At first glance I wondered what flavor is this?, as it looked like dirty dish-water with little bits of something floating in suspension. Oh well, I have to see what it's like, so I popped it open and took a sip... Yuckkkk!
:yuck:
It was what I would think was bad-fermentation nasty so no more of that.

But the Black Cherry (my favorite flavor... back when I drank Propel) Propel looked pristine, so I wasted no time popping it open and downing all 24 oz in one shot. Wow! That tasted GOOD!
:DANCE:
The water bottle was deformed but otherwise ok so I stuck it in an outer pocket in case I needed more fluid than I brought.

Now that I had the extra fluids, I decided not to hustle straight back but to check out the old 'Lost' Black Mesa Trail. If I had continued all the way to Bull Pass on that trail it would have been a little shorter that Bull Pass Trail, but about halfway across, since I hadn't been to Black Top Mesa since 2010, I decided to cut straight up the northeastern slope to the summit, which dropped my average speed like a rock. But by now I was in enjoy-mode and cared not for speed.
:whistle:
Once up to the summit, there, I had to do a photo & video panorama. It must have been brain fade when I was taking the photos because I managed to forget the last photo of the pan, facing northeast. Oh well, (here comes the juvenile response...) sue me!
;)
Black Top Mesa summit panorama (with Gila Monster cameo)

Oh yeah... I encountered a Gila Monster on the way to the Lost Trail... the best 10 seconds of the encounter are at the end of the summit video.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
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CannondaleKid's
809 Photosets

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