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Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran Preserve
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mini location map2020-04-25
7 by photographer avatartibber
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Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2020
tibber
Hiking4.95 Miles 836 AEG
Hiking4.95 Miles   2 Hrs      2.58 mph
836 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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mjmr89
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Used mileage from last month's loop as Hazel quit at 3.79 miles. I was in airplane mode too.

Had planned something different but my niece had mentioned going hiking as being social distancing approved. So I decided to go with this loop as she can't do much more over 5 miles. When I got to just below the TH the park service had a Parking Lot Full sign up around 7:25. Just as I found a place to park on the street he turned the sign around to say something about distancing so I turned Tonto Jr back around and headed up to the TH parking lot. There were at least 10 spaces available so I'm not sure what that was all about.


We got started at about 7:40 and it already felt warm. I saw someone head up the trail that I thot was the gal I met last time but come to find out, it was one of the gals from our Sept AZ Highways Photo Workshop in San Diego. We talked for a few minutes near the owl's nest (no one seemed home from this angle) and continued on our way. It was really crowded for a lot of the hike today; some in masks, some not. Lots of dogs too, all leashed for the most part. We hiked counter-clockwise. I pointed out various things to Mia. She enjoyed cholla hill and saddle area. She particularly liked the blooming Teddies.

I showed her other flora including some lingering poppies and owl clover and the finished lupine and fiddleneck. I also pointed out the plant we were trying to ID in its dried state by looking for the bottom leaves. Right now most of that plant doesn't seem to have those bottom leaves but we finally found one that did. I do think the plant is a Sahara Mustard plant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_tournefortii) which has an interesting history. Mia was glad to have this uphill over as it was a little warm.

We completed our contour of the mountains and fortunately for some of it, the breeze picked up and we had the sun to our back. We still continued to encounter many hikers. I knew I had a beer at the TH so that kept me motivated (one of the things I haven't been able to enjoy as I generally don't drink alone). Mia seemed to enjoy the hike and hopefully she'll want to do more. However, since her real estate business is so slow, that's really the reason I got her time today.

We had a beverage at, yes, 9:45AM :o , the earliest I've had a beer since I left Montana so many decades ago. We chatted in the shade for 20 minutes or so discussing our travel plans for when I retire. We mentioned a little about my brother, her dad, as this was the day he went into surgery three years ago and never woke up after it took them 5 minutes to get him back after intubation (we got the body, no brain :( ). We had no idea that would be the outcome; still shocking this many years later that we would spend another week not knowing his brain would never come around. So it was good for us to be socially distanced hikers together.
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_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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