|Peak 2541 Loop - Hawes, AZ|
|Peak 2541 Loop - Hawes, AZ|| |
Peak 2541 Loop - Hawes, AZ
|Hiking||5.10 Miles|| 2 Hrs 40 Mns ||1.91 mph|
|1,558 ft AEG||8 LBS Pack|
|I set out just to wander wherever my boots led me, hopefully with a little elevation gain. But as usual, my boots got a bit carried away... this way, then that, then "hey look, there's deer tracks in a wash leading up toward Peak 2541" and here-we-go-again.|
What began as easy boulder-hops up a series of pour-offs soon turned into some serious scaling of large boulders.
Right when I was about to say ENOUGH and turn around, all-of-a-sudden the wash flattened out and right there in front of me was a game trail heading right where I wanted to go, up toward the ridge just east of Peak 2541.
Thanks to the game trail it was a relatively easy climb and I was soon on the ridge. Although only a short climb (ok, so it would have been a vertical 200' climb) from the summit of 2541, I had expended far more time, energy & fluids than I planned, so it was time to head back.
Again I had a nice game trail leading toward the saddle just north of 2541, only this one was a SMALL-game trail so at spots where it led through a low bush or thorny thicket, I was forced to find bypasses along the steep slope. This was tinder-dry fox-tail territory... the kind Tracey would absolutely despise, but thankfully my Trekkers kept the 'tails at bay.
Once I reached the saddle I figured I'd follow the route I used when I scaled 2541 last October. Unfortunately, my mind was playing tricks on me, and what initially appeared to be the same route as last year just led me into a boulder-field of monstrous boulders, many with huge gaps in between.
Ok, so what do I do now?
Without any set plan for the day, nor the track from last year, my GPS could offer no help other than "hey dude, the topo lines are almost touching each other along here" (as in STEEP). I gave it a shot attempting to follow some semblance of the contour but the deep drops between boulders followed by dragging myself up the next was a killer.
Ok, time to head down to get below the boulders and have a better chance through the brush and over to the next saddle, where I now know is where I THOUGHT I was earlier. Thankfully I came across an obvious javelina den and was able to follow their tracks to a wide wash which hopefully would lead me all the way down to the Granite Trail.
The wash turned out to be a series of large pour-offs like what I had scaled earlier, no way I'm continuing there.
Back to following more javelina tracks... which led me to my first rattlesnake encounter of the day. I was in mid-stride with my left boot coming down on the rattler when it caught my eye, leaving me just enough warning to step onto a rock about 6" to the right of the coiled snake.
I'm quite surprised I saw it because it was slightly in the shadows, blending perfectly with the surroundings, even the color matched. Hmmm, I wonder if I have a rattler sixth-sense? Whatever, with no rattling the only sign I knew it was alive was a single flick of its tongue.
Moving right along... when I hit the last big flat wash which ultimately would lead me back to the Granite Trail I figured all the drama for the day is over. That is, until rattler #2 shows up... and for this one it didn't require any sixth-sense, just a set of open eyes. This one was stretched out, sunning itself to warm in the sun. At first it only flicked its tongue, then as I pulled out my phone to send Tracey a rattler photo it moved its head slightly and twitched the rattle slightly. Back to the camera I started filming, hoping for just a bit more 'action' it slowly moved toward the side of the wash, with barely a few twitches here and there, not enough to say it was rattling. With no loud response forthcoming, I soon bored of the challenge and THIS time, there would be no further drama.
1:26 Video: Shy rattlesnake in the wash
A LOT more than I bargained for, especially since I'm supposed to be moderating my activity. But I met a few real snakes along the way and yet I survived... and NOW it's time for some moderate activity.