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Carr Peak Trail #107
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mini location map2019-08-26
42 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Carr Peak Trail #107Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2019
rwstorm
Hiking6.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 
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Not many photosets from up that way this summer, so I thought I would go check things out. It is one of the great summer wildflower hikes in Arizona. The number different varieties represented in 3 miles of trail is pretty amazing. Whether the monsoon has been good or bad, this one always delivers. It has been a hot summer and the rains were late and spotty, so I expected the display to be less than some years. This turned out to be somewhat true, but the year to year differences are minimal. Wow factor stays strong. :D

I picked Monday to go up because the chance for storms was low that day. That worked out pretty well, as I slowly worked my way up to the peak, camera in hand. A couple of folks from Bisbee and Sierra Vista caught up to me around the aspen zone, and they continued on. Fortunately, they were still on the peak when I arrived, and we had a nice conversation and took some photos. They departed and I hung out awhile longer. By this time it was midday and clouds were increasing, but no thunderheads were seen. On my way down through the aspen zone I was surprised when light rain started falling. This persisted and increased some in intensity, and when I finally put on the poncho I was already soaked. But it was mild and it felt good to be out of the sunlight. It was odd, seemed like this small cloud, rain area was just over the immediate area. There never was any lightning or thunder, so that was a plus. :sweat:

That made me think of the worst case of hypothermia I ever had, right here on this trail back in June 1990. I was camping up there to get out of the heat back in Tucson (highs around 110). No rain was in the forecast, since it was June before the monsoon really got going. As I was coming off the peak, clouds were rapidly building just to the south (no doubt the heat was creating major instability, allowing the limited moisture to boil up into thunderstorms). It was a surprise for sure how fast this took place! Nearby cracks of thunder made me pick up my pace. :o Luckily, the thunder abated, but not the rain and insane wind as I tried my best to high tail it down the trail. Of course, I was wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, and since no rain was expected, I didn't have a poncho. I had no protection from the chilly wind whipped rain and I was getting colder and colder. After awhile I couldn't feel my fingers and started shaking uncontrollably from loss of body heat. I was also slowing down and getting a bit spaced out. But I kept going as best I could. By the time I got back to camp, my ears and hands were numb and it was all I could do to get in the tent, take off the clothes and crawl into my sleeping bag and curl up in the fetal position, shaking like crazy. I dozed off thank goodness and when I awoke later, I was finally warming up and not shaking. But that pins and needles feeling as the circulation returns wasn't fun. It is amazing how fast you can go from hot to cold!

Good old Carr Peak, lots of fun over the years. :lol:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
extreme in places
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