|Massacre Overlook Loop, AZ|
|Massacre Overlook Loop, AZ|| |
Massacre Overlook Loop, AZ
|Hiking||6.00 Miles|| 3 Hrs 15 Mns ||1.89 mph|
|1,419 ft AEG|| 5 Mns Break||12 LBS Pack|
|Woke up to a cool 72° morning... perfect for a hike. As usual, I had no plans so I decided to head east and see what comes to mind.|
Meridian TH to Pass Mountain? Nope.
Idaho TH to The Mask? Nope.
Bulldog via Wolverine Gate? Nope.
Bulldog via Hackberry Gate? Nope.
First Water Road? Not gonna drive all the way in to FW TH.
Maybe something from Massacre/Crosscut TH?
At that moment I realized it was almost 3 years since I'd hiked Massacre so I knew I had a winner!
While I had enough food/water for a hike to Massacre Falls or longer, I had a new pair of boots to check out so wasn't sure about going that far the first time.
I usually have no issues with new shoes/boots, but although these boots are supposedly an exact replacement to my 450+ mile 9W Cougar II's they are 1/4" narrower. So even wearing thinner socks than my usual Darn Tough's I had to think the bunion on my right foot may not be too happy.
However... the farther I hiked without complaint I figured I'd go just a bit farther, and after a half-dozen repetitions of that thought process I figured I'd keep on going.
The first part of the trail was pretty much as I recalled, but near the middle there was quite a bit more erosion than expected. Even though it was breezy and cool, I took a break to dry out when I reached the overlook. Glancing toward the falls but seeing no flow I saw no point in going there.
On the return I thought I'd follow game trails along the ridge as I had done in the past but found the pickings slim-to-none, so I was back on the trail again. As I neared the peak I refer to as 'The Sentinel' I figured I'd try hitting game trails again. And again nothing! In fact this area was more overgrown than I'd ever seen it and I was forced to use my trimmers on a number of occasions to back out of dead-ends.
I tried following a deep wash for a while, actually encountering a few cairns but nothing resembling any path so I bailed out by climbing onto a ridge. From that point until a half-mile from the end my only mission was to avoid prickly-pear, buckhorn and of course the cuddly teddy-bears.
Back on the trail for the last half-mile and encountering absolutely no wildlife I figured that part of the day was a bust. But wouldn't you know it, in the wash barely a few hundred feet from the parking lot large mule deer doe jumps up and bounds away. I had a feeling where it was headed so I ran back until I could see the opening it would pass through and snapped off a quick shot when the deer was in the frame... unfortunately I neglected to have the camera focused at that spot so all I got was a blur.
Whatever, I have the snapshot in my mind... who knows how long before that fades.
But in the end, it was nice day to revisit the area... and bring back memories of a full herd of deer I encountered some six(?) years ago.