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Romero Loop and Oracle Rumble, AZ
mini location map2018-01-29
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Romero Loop and Oracle Rumble, AZ 
Romero Loop and Oracle Rumble, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 29 2018
Hiking3.74 Miles 231 AEG
Hiking3.74 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   3.21 mph
231 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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This hike was Plan B as we had hoped to do some of the Baby Jesus trail but after two tries to find the TH, we just went to the main park. But FIRST, we drove down to Rancho Sonora out of Florence where we would meet up with Karl. We got there in time for a little happy hour out on the picnic bench before having a nice pasta dinner in preparation for Karl's first 50k race at the Oracle Rumble by the Arizona Trail.

The next morning we got up way before the roosters even thot of waking up so that we could be at Passage 14/15 Freeman Road TH at 6:30 per the request of the race organizers. We arrived and no one from the Race showed up until 7:20ish when two large yellow school buses rolled in from the northeast. It took awhile for the buses to unload all of those runners. They had started from Oracle State Park at 5AM. The race started about 7:45.

Kathy and I went back to Rancho Sonora for breakfast: pumpkin pie and whip cream before loading up our vehicles for our hike on the Baby Jesus Trail. We both put the route on our phones. I think Tonto Jr actually ended up hiking a little on the Baby Jesus Trail. I believe the TH for this hike was at the top of the hill we had driven by but it wasn't jiving with the way-point. Kathy said she thot it was somewhere else so I followed her and we ended up doing a giant 3/4 circle back to the main road so we threw in the towel and just went to Catalina State Park.

The main parking area was full and the secondary had one empty spot and we made another. We didn't want to hike too long as we needed to get back to Oracle State Park to wait for Karl's finish. He thot somewhere around 2:30 I think. So we opted for the Romero Canyon Loop Trail. We got the extra mileage because of the distance to and from its actual start.
After visiting the restroom we were off and up the main trail to the west. This part of the trail should really be called a road or avenue as it's quite wide. I reminisced about my last hike over here which was a backpack to Romero Canyon below Romero Pass in April 2010 when it was a little toasty.

Eventually you hang a left and head down into the canyon drainage via some nice steps and past some benches. It's a typical wash/canyon bouldery area and would be beautiful in non-winter time I think. The boulders were pretty cool and it narrowed in some areas before widening out. There were nice stances of saguaros here and there and a couple different groves of trees. There were quite a few people out enjoying the day both on and off the trail. It wasn't the hike we wanted to do but it was still a nice hike where you got a lot of bang for your buck so can't complain.
We headed back to Oracle State Park where once again we had a parking issue where we had to make one of our own spots. A few runners had already come in and were enjoying the food and beverages provided by the Arizona Trail Association. There was music as well. We ate a snack and cheered for the runners that came in. Soon enough Karl would be one of them; smiling as he came through the finish line. He said the hills he had feared the most weren't bad so that was good.

A nice day. Video is done, I just have to upload it.
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.
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