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Desert Tortoise Dixie Mountain Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-05-16
13 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
 
Desert Tortoise Dixie Mountain Loop, AZ 
Desert Tortoise Dixie Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 16 2020
tibber
Hiking6.77 Miles 1,120 AEG
Hiking6.77 Miles   2 Hrs   41 Mns   2.67 mph
1,120 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I decided on a bigger route today so loaded up my regular day pack and put on my hiking boots. However, I ended up going with Plan C but it was still good to have the regular pack and boots on just for change of pace.

I started a little before 7AM. I've never hiked the Desert Tortoise Trail which shoots off to the east from the Hawk's Nest Trail. It's pretty nice and has a few ups and downs, you seem as you're still on the floor of the desert but you do gain a tad of elevation. As with most of the hike today, there were several hikers and bikers out. When I came to the junction with the Valle Verde I paused to make my decision on whether to do Union Peak. I decided against it as there didn't seem to be much of a breeze and I do want my hikes to be somewhat enjoyable. The high humidity in the mornings is my nemesis as the temp was in the high 70s.

I hiked the Valle Verde to the west. Hadn't been on this trail since 2014. It's only 1/2 mile but it has that big up to join you with Dixie Mountain Loop. It was a bit of a slog for me so I had thot I would just head back to the TH. So I hung a left but within a few minutes, I felt the breeze and said "self" quit being such a wimp, and turned back to do the Loop. The breeze seemed to have increased which picked up my spirits.

I came to the junction with the Dixie Summit Trail and debated whether to do it or not, I decided no and headed back on the Loop trail but had this same conversation again: Self, "quit being such a wimp" and turned back to do the Summit : rambo : . There was another couple that apparently had that same conversation and we all decided slow but steady will get us to the top. We proceeded with me in the lead and they weren't too far behind. It wasn't very cool on the summit with very little breeze so that was disappointing but the views made up for it. I had a snack and then headed back down to continue the hike.

Back on the main trail, it was nice to still have that breeze and as I was looking at the people ahead of me and wondered why they were wearing black when it was hot, over I went like a saguaro. I didn't even have time to yell timber :lol: . I presume the yell is the same as a for a falling tree... Anyway, I must have made quite a thud so they came back to help me up. As I gathered myself, she handed me my hat and he my sunglasses (glad I wasn't wearing them since I hit part of my face too). After a quick assessment, we were all hiking again.

I knew I was hurt, though, including both my hands and my left leg/knee and right knee. I could feel the leg muscle bruise already forming. Fortunately, it wasn't so painful that I couldn't finish the last couple miles of the hike but I definitely lost a little mojo.

I visited with the hikers before passing them and then I turned to the south going in and out of the little washes heading up to Teddy Cholla saddle. The breeze was still blowing a little so that kept me comfortable for the rest of the hike including up the last longish hill. HAZel hiccuped again and I gained two miles in a couple minutes. Still encountered many hikers including two that really had no idea where they were so I tried to explain to them that no matter which way they went, it would be about 4 miles.

I finally made it to the Hawk's (Owl) Nest Trail. It was a little hard hiking down it with my injuries and I noticed there was blood on my pant knee. I could still feel the pain in my upper leg but was actually glad I had to keep hiking so it didn't get a chance to stiffen up. My left hand was really starting to hurt now as it took the brunt of the fall along with my left knee. There were still people coming up the trail as I arrived at the parking lot.

Once back to Tonto Jr. I got out my 9:45AM beer and enjoyed that as I changed shoes. I talked to a few hikers getting ready to head out and then headed home. I've been icing my knee off an on and popped a couple ibuprofen. I'm sure I will have some nice bruises to join those already forming on my knee :sk: . I haven't fallen in awhile so I guess I was due.
Fauna
Fauna
Botfly
_____________________
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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