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Dacite with Thieves, AZ
mini location map2020-02-07
30 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Dacite with Thieves, AZ 
Dacite with Thieves, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2020
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
2,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Interesting Day. I planned on doing the Dacite Super Loop and throw in Robber's Roost as a side Trip. Things don't always go as planned, but at least I had an option to bail.

I was totally off mentally, probably due to my week, but physically felt pretty good. Made a ton of mistakes, brainfarts and just had a general lack of attention, both in the planning and the execution of this hike. Add some laziness, complacency and assumptions to that list and you've got frustration and alot of backtracking and route finding difficulties. I'm definitely rusty on some things too. In spite of it all, I was out there and I didn't kill myself so it was all good. Somehow, even though I left 90% of my Brain at home, I did bring my gut and my common sense, as well as the desire to survive. :sweat: I got the most crucial decisions right. The rest was just a time sucking monster of a day.

A few lessons learned in a nutshell. Know when to follow the Cairns and when not to. Make sure if you do, you double check your Route, or at least turn on your alerts. :sweat: And don't assume that just because a Description was written years ago, that Cairns have been added since then. If you see Cairns, check your Route and if it jives, follow the Cairns. Don't rely on your Memory of a Hike from 8 years ago. :sweat:
Route Scout can confuse you. It may say you're on the Route, but in actuality, you're on top of the Route. Know when to put it down and go back to the Description. It will help you solve things much faster. :lol:

Mistake #1 - Planning
Before I got a GPS Route Scout App, I used to "study" the Description heavily and I always printed it and the GPS Route with the topo to take with. It was all I had to hike with. No GPS. Now, I've gotten lazy. Scanned the Description and printed it as well as the Route, and downloaded the Route on RS. Only a few phrases in the Description would be remembered. I knew how to do most of the Route, although it's been since 2012 and my Memory fogged in spots. But the Dacite part would be brand new.

Mistake #2 - RS Alerts
I had turned them all off for the Nature Walk last week and forgot to turn them back on. Since I didn't have a Brain, the alerts would have sure been nice.

Great Decision #1 - I started from Peralta. I had a feeling I'd be pretty beat when I got to Peralta, so I wanted the Car there. Awesome Decision.

Mistake #3 - I thought the Lost Goldmine started at Peralta, but if it does, I missed it. Started down the road, saw a spur trail that I thought might connect and I took it. It ended at the Private Property of Don's Camp and I ended up going back down to the road and to the Official TH to get on it. Only one of several backtracks on this hike.

Mistake #4 - Aided by confusion. I've never been on the Lost Goldmine Trail before, but I thought there was a Junction Sign when it hit Carney. The only sign there now that I saw was a Wave Cave Trail sign. I did know to take that since the turnoff for Wave Cave came off of Carney. So I cruise down what is Carney/Wave Cave Trail. And I kept cruising, but wait, I'm passing where I know I need to be. (Thank God my Memory was good here.) There is another sign for Wave Cave Trail, but somehow, I've missed Carney. But this Trail is amazing. Check RS, yep, I've gone too far on what looks to be a constructed Trail now. Did they build a new Trail all the way to the Cave? I've apparently been out of the loop too long. So, backtracking again. I find the faint trail which is actually blocked by rocks! WTH?

Carney up to West Boulder. Yeah, I remember you. First time I ever did it, I had to descend it by headlamp. Not at all a good time. The second time was easier since I was going up and I could see. I could see this time too, but it still stole my breath frequently. But I made it and headed for the top of West Boulder, the start of both Robbers and Dacite. It's amazing how the Memory works. I last did Robbers in 2012. Johnlp and vanman took me up there. Since I was "following" and trying to keep up, some landmarks and such didn't get noted or remembered. But I did remember some things. I took my snack break in the exact same place. I went straight up from there just like John did. And then I started running into Cairns which was new. But I followed them all the way to the Chiminea rock. Slightly after that, my memory failed me and I didn't follow the Cairns and dropped into the wrong drainage. That would be Mistake #5. When John took me before, we had "dropped" into a Rabbit Hole to access the Roost so I didn't remember going down the Ramp. Turns out that Ramp was two more small ridges over, where the Cairns led. :sweat: Backtracking again, but I got there and played in the Roost for a bit. Visited the Surfboard and the edges overlooking Peralta before heading back to West Boulder. I followed the Cairns back. :lol:

Interestingly, the Cairns crossed the Creek and started towards Dacite Mesa. So I followed them and followed them and followed them and yep, they took me right to the top with a bit of scrambling involved. And they took me across that Mesa to a pretty sweet overlook of Weaver's Needle. And the Cairns continued around the ridge, but I hesitated. I should have been able to see the Fremont Saddle and the Needle was pretty close. So I checked the Route and realized that I had made the same mistake as Joe had, and he mentioned it in his Description. Cairns again take you up but peter out. The Cairns I was following never petered out and I assumed, wrongly, that they had been added after Joe wrote that Description. Mistake #6. The mind tells you to go north around the next set of spires. Don't do that, GO SOUTH. I've lost count on the number of times I've done this hike. To date, I'm sad to admit I've gone to far north on countless occasions. I was way too far north. I had blindly followed the Cairns way too long and didn't double check the Route closely enough. And Joe kept saying SOUTH in his Description. It wasn't sinking in. If you stay On Route, the Cairns will peter out. You basically go straight into the Spires following the main drainage instead of angling to your left up a smaller drainage. You will cross the smaller drainage, but not follow it. So, I backtracked, again. I didn't follow the Cairns down though, I shortcutted it a bit. The confusion begins to set in and I'm trying to get back on track using RS. There were 3 layers of Spires and I had trouble getting to the last edge of them. And then, it looked like I was on the Route. And it was going north, so I went north. Mistake #7. I should have ignored RS at that point. I found two spots that were possibilities to get down, and I tried them, but both times, my gut and common sense kicked in almost immediately. They were both drainages and the possibility of cliffing out was very strong or some serious downclimbing at the very least. They just didn't seem right. They seemed too hard and I think Joe would have mentioned more about it, if either of those had been correct. This thinking was great decisions #2 and #3. Going down either of those could have been very bad. To make things worse, all of this was taking a ton of time.

Great Decision #4. I made a Decision for a turn around time. If I didn't find the Route off, by that time, then it was back to the Roost and off the edge there, or back down Carney. Daylight was a wasting and I knew, by this point, that the Super part of the Loop was going to have to be scrapped. The Cave Trail would have to wait. I just needed to get down to Fremont or turn back. That was going to be all the time I had left. I decided to try one more thing. I wanted to see if I could follow the Ridge itself back towards the Roost. I knew I could get down to a use trail from there. So I went SOUTH. Lo and Behold. Within 5 minutes, I saw the Route down. ](*,) Not only was it a no-brainer, it even had a Cairn. :lol: Note to Self. When Route Scout says you're On Route, and you're on the edge of a Cliff, you're most likely "over" the Route, not on it. The Route going north was 30 feet or so directly below me. :sweat: And once you're off the Cliff, it ties into the use Trail I took from the Roost 8 years ago. I spent well over 3 hours from West Boulder Creek to Dacite to the drop off point. Unbelievable and all because I didn't stay SOUTH, didn't check RS against the Cairns and then when I did check RS it was too late, got confusing, and I needed to just put it away and finally heed the Description more.

One question for you HAZers. The Cairns that take you so far north and seem to take you around the Spires at the north end. Do they tie into Fremont? Or take you down to the Peralta Trail? Anybody know that Route? Just curious.

Once I'm off the Cliff, I get on the use trail and pretty much cruise onto the Fremont Saddle. I'm mentally fried and my legs weren't very happy either. Somehow, by the time I'm done, I've turned what was a 7 1/2 mile Super Loop into a 10 mile half loop. :sweat: I have just enough time to eat an early dinner and enjoy the Saddle and the Needle View. Haven't been up there in about 4 years. And it was late enough too, there were hardly any people. :) The legs recover, the sun is disappearing behind the spires and it was time to bail down the Peralta Trail. Great Decision #5. Sometimes I'm stubborn enough, it can override my decision making. It would have been stupid to start the Cave Trail at that point and I knew it. Bailing was the best call. I got to the Car, thankfully parked at Peralta, right before the headlamp would have had to come out.

Didn't quite do the Hike I intended and there was frustration with the Route finding. But, a few crucial good decisions allowed it to work out. And some valuable lessons learned. I got way more acquainted with the area. I had a severely "off" day, but it could have been way worse, so even after beating myself up, I'm fine with it. Just another notch in the experience belt. Now that I know Dacite, the Super Loop will happen at some point. I may want to get reacquainted with the Cave Trail too. It's been almost 8 1/2 years on that one. :D

Not going to post the GPS Route, it's an absolute mess. Looks like a 2 year old was scribbling on it. Cleaned it up once to get more realistic stats, but didn't save it. Not cleaning it up again just to spare the embarrassment. That Route can just stay in my File of what not to do.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
There's a few out there.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Peralta Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Upper Canyon still has decent pools and a trickle of flow. Mid Canyon is pretty dry. Lower Canyon has an occasional small pool.

dry Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Dry Dry
Pools in the vicinity of the crossing, but that's all in the lower section.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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