|Four Peaks Wilderness Peak 3354, AZ|
|Four Peaks Wilderness Peak 3354, AZ|| |
Four Peaks Wilderness Peak 3354, AZ
|Hiking||11.70 Miles|| 7 Hrs 3 Mns ||1.73 mph|
|2,890 ft AEG|| 18 Mns Break||25 LBS Pack|
|With the exception of a few route changes and Tracey tagging along this was pretty much a re-run of my hike three days ago. Tracey hoped we'd have as much luck spotting wildlife as I did, and it turned out pretty much the same, albeit the reptile would be a desert tortoise in place of the Gila monster.
We began from Cottonwood TH and followed #84 for just short of two miles before veering left onto another old, long-unused road, which ultimately reconnected with the route I followed on the previous hike. After reconnecting we continued on that route as far as the mine.
(Lest I forget, we searched the same area where I had encountered the Gila monster but it was nowhere to be found)
Just as we were descending the last hundred yards to the mine I thought I saw movement above and across the canyon and stopped for a better look. After we scanned back and forth for a minute or so and found nothing we started to move on. But I just had an inkling I missed something so took another look and saw a tiny white spot, which could have just been more of the quartz like at the mine, but could it possibly be a white tail?
So I zoomed all the way in and sure enough, it was the tail of a mule deer. The tail was sticking out on one side of a Saguaro and the head on the other side. And only after taking the photo and looking at it closer did I realize there were two does and one spike buck!
They were standing within 50 yards of where I saw them last hike so I'm sure they were the same trio. Since we were farther away and down-wind this time, they didn't seemed concerned with us and stayed in place. By time we checked out the mine area again and headed around and up to the point where I saw them before, they had moved on.
Tracey was getting hungry by this time but I talked her into waiting until we got to the same spot I had lunch at previously. She liked what she saw when we arrived... a large slightly concave boulder in the sun to take a nap on. Unfortunately, the sunny and 63 as opposed to the cloudy and 63 of my previous hike, the wind was too strong for any comfort to be had. Oh well.
After lunch I asked if Tracey was game for the summit of Peak 3354, about .6 mile away. From where we were the ridge we would descend after reaching 3354 looked reasonably open so Tracey said 'ok.' Getting to the summit went well but the descent soon had Tracey complaining about all the pea-gravel in the steepest areas. No, it wasn't a good as it looked from across the canyon, but we're here now so deal with it!
I kept telling her as long as we followed game trails we should be ok. To which she replied, "What game trails?" Ok, so they didn't look like much or last long, but we kept pretty much on the trail of set of fresh deer prints all the way down to the wash. And whadda'ya know, the tracks led us right to a desert tortoise!
After completing the descent we followed the wash to close the lasso loop and continue back to the trailhead as before.
No videos this trip... neither the deer nor tortoise were eager to oblige us with movement.