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Hawk Valle Union Tortoise, AZ
mini location map2021-04-26
14 by photographer avatartibber
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Hawk Valle Union Tortoise, AZ 
Hawk Valle Union Tortoise, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2021
Hiking6.10 Miles 973 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   3.00 mph
973 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
After wrist appt hike as it was just up the street from there. They seem happy with my wrist recovery and tell me I'm doing quite well but to expect another several months for it to heal to the point I won't feel the tightness anymore. I do feel the last couple days that I've made a tad more progress; can't wait until I wake up and don't feel like I broke my wrist.

The appt went longer than I expected so I ended up picking up a Subway sandwich and eating it in my car before proceeding on the hike. I had planned on doing the Dixie Mountain Loop in these nice temps but as I got to the junction with Valle Vista, it seemed more humid than I like so I opted for a Plan B and would just do a little loop as I planned on going to gym class later in the afternoon.

As I got to the desert floor which is normally hotter than on the side of the mountain, the breeze was blowing and the temp seemed cooler so I went to Plan B which would be to hike to the junction with the Owl Trail. I encountered about a half-dozen hikers by this time. As I got up to the junction I said, just a little further to get a little more AEG and a short-time later I said, oh what the heck, I'll go to the junction with Union Peak.

I got to the junction and toyed with doing the peak but started to head back and then said, what the heck, it's a beautiful afternoon, let's go for it and go with Plan C which meant the peak, no gym class... and the bonus, a beer at the trailhead👍. The initial grade for this peak is so nice, it's only the last third or less that's steeper and then the roller coaster ridge. The views were clear in all directions which was nice so I took a few photographs.

I headed back to the trailhead via the Tortoise Trail and took some intermittent photos as the filtered lite helped with displaying the scenery more vividly. I saw about 1/2 dozen hikers on the way back, closer to the TH. I talked to one gal about the missing owls; yes, they have flown away.

Another good day on the trail, but how could it not be to hike in the afternoon with temps in the mid 70s and a slightly overcast sky. I did see some saguaros with buds and a few blooms but nothing like last year.

PS I've been watching Jay Wanders Out on youtube as he thru-hikes the AZT and I think he inspires me to hike harder. He does a pretty good job of filming and describing the scenery unlike so many thru hikers that film with the only goal to go fast (get as many miles in a day as they can) and finish without soaking in the environment; but to each his own. It took him over a week to learn to pronounce ocotillo correctly and over ten days to learn how to pronounce saguaro; which was rather amusing and would have made a good drinking game :lol: . He actually edits and uploads videos on the trail. He is finished but I'm only on Day 21 of his 54 day thru-hike.

WATCH: 5.87 miles. 133 avg bpm, 162 max. 26% Zone 5, 54% Zone 4, 18% Zone 3, 2% Zone 2 burning 821 calories (FYI guessing around 220 calories for my Prickly Pear Wheat Ale and 440 in my Hot Fudge Sundae I had after). Starting temp 73.3 with 22% humidity finishing at 2:13PM.
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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