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Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-11-01
9 by photographer avatartibber
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Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ 
Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2015
Hiking7.77 Miles 1,428 AEG
Hiking7.77 Miles   3 Hrs   26 Mns   2.51 mph
1,428 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
needed to do a workout hike. This fit the bill. I got started a little later then I wanted but then again I did get done 1/2 hour sooner than I thot. Hardly anyone in the lot and no one taking money like the last couple times I've been out there. So I placed my $5 into the envelope (it's only $3 but I like to give a little extra as I think they do a great job out here). Did the loop CC as I think it's harder physically for me to get the saddle from the north and I did it clockwise last time.

No water in Cave Creek, thot there might be some after the rains but nada. Headed up the first part of hill 1 and part 2 as some bikers passed me by. They were all gathered at the Spur Cross turn to the south. I continued on finishing up the hill before my downhill break to the next 2-part hill. It seems for the rest of the hike that the heavy rains have taken their toll on this loop.

I headed on down the Boy Scout steps that are now showing more wear from the weathered years. I looked over and saw some hikers up ahead on the hill. Thot they were coming my way but they were not. I would actually pass them by. Up the wash I went until it was time to tackle part 1 of hill 3. It went fairly well and I eventually caught up to the young folks, their first time on the trail and passed them by as they waited on the steep red section where there isn't much traction. Enjoyed catching my breath on the little flat before the next part of the hill.

It was a bit warm but I kept putting one foot in front of the other, slowly but surely. As I tackled part 2 of hill 3, I planned my rest spot that would be just for the last push to the saddle. I am still out of hiking shape. I figure a couple more hikes like this and I'll be back to my full-on mediocre stage ;) . I got my umbrella out, ate a little snack and as I was gearing up for that final push, the group of 4 passed me by asking how much further.

Soon I would join them at the saddle. They wondered how far they had to go. After telling them how well they had done coming up that hill I dazzled them with some Route Scout stats and said they had an easy 4 miles to go and told them a little of what to expect. And as I'm hiking I realized two things, adverbs and adjectives can be used incorrectly. I should have said they easily had 4 miles left because it's not necessarily easy... especially the next 1/2 mile as it's a bit slippery and exposed and then rocky. However, I would look back and see them coming. They made pretty good time coming down from the saddle.

And since they didn't seem to know the route that well, I wanted to make sure they saw which way I turned at the Spur Cross junction. From here you can make pretty good time but the rain has tore up some of this trail too; much rockier in places. I encountered a couple bike riders here as well and that would be it until my rest stop on the Dragonfly. And as I approached that I realized I told those 4 hikers they would have 4 miles but they weren't going my way so they would only have 3. Oh well, I doubt they realized and were probably pretty happy with the 7 miles they thot they did.

I was getting hungry so I made plans to stop at the bench down on the Dragonfly to finish off my snack. I encountered a couple of women and their children who were eating in what little shade there was. I had my instant shade which they were impressed with. The moms wanted to continue on but the kids were leaning toward going back... I sided with the kids on that one.

I made good time the rest of the way but once again they've re-routed the Dragonfly due to changing water flow of Cave Creek. They have to do that quite often since the Dragonfly skirts the creek. Up the hill I went, pulling out my umbrella and finishing off my hike but not before seeing a.... dragonfly. A good day and the trail was hardly crowded. I think I made better time than usual because I didn't take any video and only about 15 photos. It was very green out there and the ocotillos had their leaves on.
Common Sunflower
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.
HAZ Member
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