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Garden Valley Loop
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12 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2017
AZLumberjack
Hiking6.17 Miles 901 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles   4 Hrs   9 Mns   1.49 mph
901 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Third Annual Memorial "Hiking with Doug"
The sun was still hiding somewhere behind Tortilla Mountain giving off only a faint glow in the Eastern sky as I drove down First Water Road. The stars were still shining and there was a slight breeze coming from the Northeast but already, I could make out clouds, high in the eastern sky, slowly drifting in.

This would be my third annual Memorial Hike to honor my younger brother who died of cancer a short three and a half years ago. Doug and I loved hiking together in the Superstitions and the Garden Valley to Hackberry Spring trek was high on his list of favorites so it's now my personal commitment in his memory.

The sun was just breaking over the jagged edges of Black Mesa as I approached the Black Mesa Trail sign in Garden Valley, there was still a slight chill in the air so I decided to leave my outer layer on and headed on down the dirt trail. The muddy trails of last week have greatly improved but small puddles still dot the route although they're easier to get around now. The hills along the western edge of Garden Valley provide a scenic overlook of the First Water Basin and the sun was beginning to warm the desert so I decided to take a break on the same flat boulder that we both sat on together when hiking through the area. We always thought how awesome it would be to have a house on this spot and gaze across the basin from our deck.

Back on the trails, I soon arrived in the Hackberry Spring area, all carpeted in a fresh layer of iridescent green grass. The creek's still running and it's a pleasure to hear the water splash through the rocks as it makes its way down to Canyon Lake. The pools in the narrow canyon are overflowing so it's best to make a wide circle to avoid getting your feet wet. Past the old corral and windmill, I followed the creek all the way back to Second Water Trail then back up to the, now full, trailhead.

I carried a small vial of Doug's cremated ashes with me on this hike and spread some of his ashes along key spots where we would often stop and just admire the scenery so now Doug is a small part of the mountains that he cherished so much. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but my eyes still tear up and I get a lump in my throat every time I hike trails that we used to hike together. Rest in Peace Brother.
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Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Soon, very soon... :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek at Second Water Trail #236 Light flow Light flow
The creek is flowing but not enough to get your feet wet.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Dripping Dripping
An always reliable drip, but nothing more than that.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
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AZLumberjack's
353 Photosets

  2017-07-12
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  2017-04-19
  2017-03-25
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