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mini location map2020-03-27
57 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Geronimo HeadPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2020
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,450 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
2,450 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend of mine has been trying to get a Friday clear because he wants to do some hiking with me. Apparently, I inspired him a few years ago and he's taken up hiking and backpacking. He did the New Year's Hike this year, but wants to do more, as most of his hikes have been Urban Trails. When I asked him if he's done anything in the Supes, his answer was, only 1 Hike. Flatiron. Ok, then, pretty nice introduction to the Supes if I say so myself. I had already picked out a Hike for this Friday, and was hoping that I could still get it done without the crowds. I knew he was in good shape, so when he told me he was free, I kept to the plan. This hike has been on my list for years, but I finally felt confident enough to do it. Knowing that there was a use trail helped me with that decision. Honestly, I can't imagine how you guys did it in the earlier years. That had to be pretty wild, since I'm sure back then, it was truly "off-trail"

Sunrise at the TH. I was the only vehicle there until Scott arrived. Just one Tortilla Flat employee? working around the buildings and he didn't have issue with me parking in the upper lot. Birds were active and while I was striking out chasing the Cardinals and the Gnatcatchers, I got a surprise bird and even if the Photos suck, I was just delighted to see it.

Cold and dark this morning and it was spitting rain. It was supposed to clear up so I wasn't worried. Scott shows up and we go. And I immediately blew by the trail and we inadvertently off-trailed around a few rock clusters and met back up with it. It wasn't too bad going that way as we followed a small drainage up for quite a bit of it and it was pretty clear of vegetation. The use trail was really nice and easy to follow, with cairns helping out occasionally. We got just a tad more rain on the way up, but then it cleared out rather beautifully with large puffy clouds for the remainder. The use trail pretty much ends once you hit the drainage, at least in one direction, but there were still cairns for a little bit and then they petered out too. So from there, I was on my own with just the description, a map and RS to help. I had to take RS out in just a few spots where things seemed to split off. We got off route heading towards the false peak of 3509, but since I knew that Peak was where we wanted to be, we just went up a more direct route. I'm a straight up kinda girl anyway. :lol: If I had stayed on route and gone all the way to that saddle, I would have considered bagging the Official Peak. But after topping out on the sub peak, I knew I didn't want to backtrack to that. What is it, 10 feet higher maybe? Not enough for the effort. Interestingly enough, there was a Summit Log for 3509 on the sub peak.

After a snack break and some rest, we headed for Geronimo's Head. Soaked those views in for awhile and then hiked along the edge of the saddle and up along the high ridge just enjoying the day. It was pretty windy at times and although I got a bit warm occasionally, I never got warm enough to shed my hoodie. And by the time we hit the end of the ridge, it felt like the temp dropped a bit more. Cairns were in evidence going down and you could make out the use trail somewhat, so no route finding problems. Hit the drainage and went back the way we came with one exception. With the prominent trail towards the bottom, we stay on route back to the vehicles. Ended up being quite a bit longer than how we went up. :lol: I was surprised to find a Trail Junction Sign where it splits off to go to the parking lot. Apparently Peter's Canyon and Fragile Arch are getting popular. Just before we got to the Parking Lot, a Sheriff's Vehicle and Ambulance went speeding by, lights and sirens blaring. They crossed the creek and kept going up the Apache Trail. We would find out later what was up with that. Until we got back to the TH we hadn't seen another person all day, and even when we got back, there were only about 6 cars parked at Tortilla Flat, total. Just a few people milling around the buildings and the creek.

We meandered around the creek for a bit and since Scott had never been up the Apache Trail, we headed up to the Overlook, as it promised to be a good sunset as well. On the way up, about 1/4 mile after it turns to dirt, we found the Sheriff and the Ambulance. Not sure how you could do it on that straight, wide section of road, but someone had gone off the edge of the road and rolled several times. There used to be a shell camper on that truck, but it was totally detached and destroyed and the truck didn't fare any better. The Ambulance wasn't in any hurry, so not sure what the outcome of the occupant(s) was. Tortilla TH looked a bit busy at 5:30 in the afternoon which I found interesting. People are making the drive and hoping for no crowds. There were at least 10 cars there.

Sunset at the Overlook wasn't terribly dramatic, but the light was nice and there was a little color. The temp was going down noticeably and the wind was pretty vicious. With the wind chill, it was in the mid 40's by the time we left, just before dark. Only 5 cars at the Overlook and we were the last to leave. Sheriff was still at the Crash Scene and 2 large tow trucks passed us on the way out.

It really was a great day. Non-stop views every step of the way, beautiful weather, spring blooms, solitude, and a good hiking buddy. We took our time, took some nice "soaking in the views" breaks and just enjoyed it all. It was good to finally do this one and I even still felt pretty good when it was done. I must be doing something right, even though I haven't had any gym time for the last 3 weeks.

Photos: Haven't even downloaded them yet. On my way back home, I got some news and it has taken every bit of my time until now.

The News: It was surprising news. I got a Text. As soon as I got into good Cell Phone range, I called back. Apparently Ford really likes me and wants to sell me a Truck. I wasn't optimistic when I applied, but Ford was and it worked. So today, I shed a few sentimental tears and turned in the keys to the Escape. It was kind of a hard goodbye. That Vehicle was a godsend 10 years ago and we have shared so many miles and adventures together. And it never, ever, let me down, even when I took it places it had no business being. :sweat: But I've outgrown it and my life is ever changing, so it was time to get something that better suited my needs and my future. I drove the new one home today and I think it's going to be a perfect fit. :y: The only thing missing is a HAZ Decal.... On an even more personal note, with my weight loss, I have set a goal. When I hit my target weight, I'm going to quit smoking finally. My Gym is closed so I don't have a scale, but I think I'm pretty close now. With this new addition, it adds even way more incentive since I now have a vehicle payment again. :o I may not wait for the target weight to do it. Time to get serious about it.
HAZ Rides
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Brittlebush galore. Lots of Lupines. And some new ones I haven't had the pleasure to see yet this year, including Mariposas and Desert Chicory. The Hedgehogs are really starting to show off.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mesquite Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Tortilla Flat crossing is doable for everyone, but still nice flow.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Peters Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
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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