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Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Loop Union, AZ
mini location map2020-11-13
11 by photographer avatartibber
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Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Loop Union, AZ 
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Loop Union, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2020
tibber
Hiking10.93 Miles 1,708 AEG
Hiking10.93 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   2.48 mph
1,708 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I saw that Linda had been hiking up in my area a couple weeks ago so suggested if she comes up this way again, we could hike together. And then, she took me up on it and I thot "what was I thinking" cuz I'll never be able to keep up with her let alone bag some peaks ](*,) . She assured me, however, that this would be a talking hike.

We had planned for a week ago but the temps were too hot so we arranged to meet this AM at the TH. I took along my trekking poles to help with the uphill. Surprisingly Linda kept the perfect pace for our climb up Union Peak and I was able to keep up. Quite a bit of haze to the east for our short visit at the top. On the way down we had the option to continue on the Cactus Wren so we went that way. The last I had been on this whole trail was in Jan 2014. But before we got to the bottom we were both surprised to see so much cholla on this side of the mountain and what appeared to be an old road that goes straight up that mountain... to do what?

We both enjoyed the Cactus Wren Trail; especially when we saw some sort of what looks like mining activity that must have taken place back in the day. We explored around this area by what appears to be an old road and noticed similar activity to the west of here on both sides of the trail.
https://sonoraninstitute.org/files/pdf/ ... 312012.pdf USGS Porphyry Tracts Copper, Lead, Zinc Occurrence STUDY. I also found this https://www.phoenix.gov/parkssite/Docum ... 8_Plan.pdf that is pretty interesting actually. It covers the whole valley! One of the things I picked up was: desert restoration is more costly than preservation since natural processes alone take decades to reestablish flora and fauna. Tests done at the Desert Experimental Range in Utah indicate that once damaged, desert plants may take 30 years to improve from poor to good condition and some species never recover (Ginsberg 1976)
But now after all that Rx, I found this on HAZ [ Triplog ] , check out the trip report and I think that explains it and maybe some of the other things Linda and I observed along this part of the hike. However, LINDA, you shouldn't probably watch the videos since you're not fond of flying. The area where the aircraft landed starts around the 20 minute video in the second video. I found this as well: http://www.arizonawrecks.com/wrecksfrom ... alley.html

Next up was Dixie Peak for Linda and a break for me; just didn't have it to get up there too. And since this was really Linda's hike I suggested we do Western Vista; I felt I should be able to do that one. Along the way I noticed some trail work had been done to provide for the coming rain to keep the water draining off the trail; would be nice to see it tested out. I climbed 1/2 way up Western Vista and waited at the saddle for Linda to top it off.

From there it was down from Cholla Saddle, the second area where we observed many cholla for the day, and alongside the wash and then up the last long hill to join up with Hawk's Nest and finish off our day... a little longer than I think we anticipated. Linda set a good pace for me and it ends up being my longest hike and AEG of the year... surprised? me neither :lol:

Linda agreed to help me drink my Pecan Pie Ale from AZ Wilderness Brewery and then we parted ways.

WATCH: 10.52 miles in 4:53:23 at 2.1 MPH (lowest elev 1586, highest 2227) 129 avg bpm, max 166 bpm (1:26 in Zone 5, 1:23 in Zone 4, 1:27 in Zone 3, 21 min Zone 2) Burned 1855 calories. 51.7 degrees (that can't be right) at 1PM with 35% humidity
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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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