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Bulldog via Usery Pass Road, AZ
mini location map2020-04-22
12 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
photographer avatar
 
Bulldog via Usery Pass Road, AZ 
Bulldog via Usery Pass Road, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.70 Miles 724 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   2 Hrs      1.85 mph
724 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got a late start due to the need to be home during an 8-10 am service-call window for a plumber to do a $155, 5-minute job... I knew how to do it and would have done it had I had the part and the special tool to replace it.
However, due to the 7-10 day wait-time for the part and the tool (from two separate sources) it was better just to hire a plumber.
And sure enough, once he had the part & tool to the bathroom the job was done in less than 5 minutes.

Whatever... let's get to the hike. I started from a random spot along Usery Pass Road maybe a half-mile south of Bush Highway, ducked through the fence and headed out for Peak 1628, the closest peak to the Bush/Usery Pass/Salt River Tubing intersection. Nearing the base of the peak I spotted a not-too fresh yet somewhat well-used route up the slope at roughly a 45° angle, which made it slightly easier climbing the loose river-rock slope.

Once up top I took a few random photos of the Salt River sporting a nice deep-blue coloring. I scanned the western slope for an old memorial I had spotted some 2-3 years back. I never found it, but afterward, comparing GPS routes I was within 25 feet... must be the overgrowth of brush I guess, or it is no longer there.

Moving right along... since the hills around here aren't very high and elevation gain is my best health ally, I spent a bit of extra energy by twice dropping all the way down to wash-level and climbing back up again, following a few old wild horse trails. Speaking of that, those trails are fast-disappearing with the wild horses pretty much banned from this area.

Back down to the wide wash north of Peak 1628 and whadda'ya know, there's a rattler waiting patiently in-the-sun for its portrait so naturally I had to oblige. Weird, but initially when I was directly up-sun to it, it didn't respond in any manner, not even a wisp of its tongue.

So, to test that theory, I took a 30' circle around brush in the wash and approached it from down-sun. Almost immediately it turned its head toward me, flipped its tongue out a few times then started moving very slowly toward cover. Now that it was aware of my presence I moved back up-sun and started filming:
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (1:05 video)

After that encounter the rest of my loop over-hill-and-dale was uneventful... until 100 yards from the car. When I heard voices of 2-3 girls I first assumed it was road-bikers heading up Usery Pass Road, but as I got closer to the fence along the road I realized it was three young idiotesses (yup, a new but very appropriate word). One or two would stand in the middle of the road while the third was taking photos. (with digital camera, not cell phone)

Now I wouldn't have given any more thought to if IF the road was devoid of traffic empty but there was enough traffic they had to move to one lane or the other as vehicles passed by. Notice I didn't say one SIDE or the other but one LANE or the other, as they never were actually out of both traffic lanes. The one or two who were posing were doing all kinds of poses, handstands, one jumping into the arms of another and other assorted poses. :roll:

Since I was parked farther downhill I wouldn't be driving past them when I left but I dawdled just a minute or two to see what would happen when I noticed the Maricopa County Sheriff equestrian unit (truck and trailer) heading uphill toward them... especially because they were still in the other lane.

Well they found out soon enough... as the deputy drove past he hit the locomotive-loud air-horn and they practically jumped out of their skin, and actually DID jump out of the other lane.
:o
And within moments they hopped into their BMW and hauled-a$$ outta there, eventually blowing right by me like I was standing still.
Yup, idiotesses for sure.
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CannondaleKid
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