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1.2 k triplogs

Sep 15 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Queen Creek Oak Flat Wandering, AZ 
Queen Creek Oak Flat Wandering, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.70 Miles 804 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.76 mph
804 ft AEG      5 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
We hit the Rim early yesterday so today we headed east. Leaving home just as early and a shorter drive we were actually hiking before sunrise. Another 65° start so it was quite pleasant.

I had a rough plan for the day but no route, just a series of waypoints to possible areas of interest... two small black squares just off the US 60 as well as an adit near Oak Flat which were marked on the FS Topo map.

We started from a spot adjacent to where Queen Creek crosses under the US 60 a few corners before Oak Flat. Immediately across the 60 we were greeted by thickets of manzanita and cat's-claw so we followed a winding route to travel the few hundred yards to the black squares.

One of the squares turned out to be an old rock cabin and the other just the remains of a concrete pad. Nearby was an old filled-in mine so we figured it had been a miner's cabin.

After checking those out we set out for the mining adit, only by probably the least direct route as possible... not because we wanted to, but because of the rugged terrain including large boulders and of course the aforementioned less-than-ideal thick brush. Along the way we happened across a small memorial.

Ok, time to get serious and head on toward Oak Flat and the mining adit... which turned out to be nothing but a square 'cave' cut out of a wall. Not really worth the effort so we headed back to cross the 60, this time taking the Queen Creek culvert under the 60. Somewhere in this area Tracey managed to lose the plastic/titanium tip of her (actually one of my 'extras') hiking pole. It had to have come off within a few hundred feet of me noticing it was missing, as she used it as a pointer as she said look at the bird... which of course I never saw once I noticed the tip missing. I retraced to a point where she recalled it still attached but didn't find it. No big deal, I had a replacement tip in the car.

We took a quick break at the car before setting off on a hike uphill in the opposite direction as before wrapping up the hike after a short one-mile loop. Being mostly-cloudy and breezy it barely reached the upper 70's by time we headed for home so it was another very pleasant hike.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Sep 12 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Goldfields Loop via FR1356 Gate, AZ 
Goldfields Loop via FR1356 Gate, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.50 Miles 1,598 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   1.79 mph
1,598 ft AEG      20 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
By starting within 30 minutes of sunrise with 78° and not-oppressively muggy conditions I expected a reasonably pleasant hike. Unfortunately the complete lack of wind for most of the hike killed much of the enjoyment. But no matter, I'm here, I might as well make the best of it.

As I was climbing Peak 2468 I noticed something lighter than the surroundings so naturally I altered my route to check it out. It was a 4' wooden fork leaning against a creosote bush, and only a few feet away was a wooden spoon. not sure if Tracey would believe me or not I set the spoon next to the fork and took a photo.

That mission accomplished, I continued to the summit of 2468 where I took a look around for ideas where I should go next. Nothing specific came to mind so I just set off in a northwesterly direction figuring I'd eventually come up with something.

After about an hour I happened across a trail I had never been on before but it headed in the general direction of a ridge I had traversed over 5-1/2 years ago so I figured I might as well see where it led. Although a reasonably well-defined equestrian pack trail it didn't appear to get much use. The ups & downs were steep so about halfway along the trail I stopped for an early snack break... I told myself it was for a snack but with the humidity and lack of wind it I was fully drenched so it was time to stop for a wring-out-sweat session. It turned out to be a rare (for me) 20 minute break.

Feeling somewhat cooler, I continued on, eventually following the trail for 1.6 miles before it reconnected with a trail I was more familiar with. From there I looped back along the trail toward the Tomahawk Mine until I reached a point where I decided to make a bee-line for the gate where I was parked. Crazy enough, as I set out cross-country I hit upon a lightly-defined game trail leading exactly where I wanted so that worked out perfectly. And once I hit FR 1356 it was an easy walk back to the car.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Sep 09 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2129 - Bulldog Rec Area, AZ 
Peak 2129 - Bulldog Rec Area, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.80 Miles 1,024 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles   3 Hrs   5 Mns   1.93 mph
1,024 ft AEG      5 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The high dew point and humidity meant a hike with little elevation gain would be the best option.
With that in mind I started from Usery Pass Road and headed east into the Bulldog OHV Rec Area. I had a reasonably pleasant 78° at the start.

I hadn't gone but an eight-mile before encountering a large gopher snake warming in the little sun available at the moment. I took a photo then started filming but other than a few wisps of the tongue it refused to move. Not wishing to disturb it's calm repose, I left it alone and moved on.
(Not much point in posting a static snake video so I won't.)

It was reasonably flat as long as I continued east but once I realized I'd feel more of the slight breeze if I angled toward the south, which is what I did. Of course that now meant I would be crossing numerous washes and ridges. I started zig-zagging to minimize the elevation changes but eventually I decided to pick a destination, accept whatever terrain I'm presented with and get on with it.

After a quick scan, even though steeper than anything I planned for the day I settled on Peak 2129. By time I reached the top I was thoroughly soaked so I figured I'd take advantage of a nice breeze across the summit, wring out everything and hope for some drying.

No such luck... but by donning the now just-damp shirt (instead of what was dripping wet) at least I felt a bit cooler.

The first few hours I had the benefit of a mostly-cloudy sky but it was now mostly-sunny so I followed the longest continuous wash far enough toward the Bush/Usery Pass intersection until the terrain was pretty much flat again, then just cut straight back to my start point. At the car I noted it was still only 88°... it just felt worse.

For wildlife, other than the gopher snake I encountered nothing but lizards, a few birds and numerous reasonably fresh deer tracks heading in the general direction of the Salt River.
Fauna
Fauna
Gopher Snake
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Sep 05 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Hopkins Mountain Antler Recovery, AZ 
Hopkins Mountain Antler Recovery, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.50 Miles 2,280 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   5 Hrs   7 Mns   1.78 mph
2,280 ft AEG      20 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
trixiec
The highlight of our hike when we bagged Hopkins Mountain on Labor Day weekend two years ago was encountering the right antler of a 12-point elk rack. At the time we had just divested a large collection of horns and antlers collected while hiking so along with the size and weight neither of us cared to haul it out.

Fast forward two years and four days...
Another day off for Tracey so how about we head up to the Sierra Ancha to avoid the 110° forecast. Ok, but what hike shall we choose?

Hmmm... and just then I thought about all the racks MountainMatt has been harvesting so how about we see if the 44" antler is still on Hopkins Mountain. Even if nobody had taken it, how likely is it no be still there? After all it was on a VERY steep slope of Hopkins Mountain, so who knows how far it may have been washed down-slope, and would it still be in one piece?

Still, it's a worthy hike so let's do it. So we set off on Hell's Hole Trail #284 from the Reynolds TH at a pleasingly cool 66°. Although cool there was plenty of humidity so by time we reached the saddle just north of Jack Mountain I was half-drenched in sweat.
:sweat:
It felt a bit better due to a slight breeze on the descent to the Workman Creek crossing. But within the next 500' of elevation gain I was sweating faster than I could keep it off my glasses.
:sweat:
And that was just the ON the trail... the easy part...
Now comes the OFF-trail fun, ascending roughly 800 feet in less than a mile. While the route sported plenty of thick manzanita and holly, by playing close attention to and making the most the various deer/elk game-trails we minimized the effort.

Ha! Minimized the effort! Yeah right! The slope was so steep much of it was take three steps up, slide two steps down, repeat... Oh yeah, sometimes it meant slide down ten feet and seek another route back up.
: rambo : :sweat:
When we were within a hundred yards along the contour of where we found the antler two years ago our anticipation grew. Ok, to be fair, Tracey was the pessimist... "it ain't gonna be there" [-(
Me? I was definitely the optimist... "it WILL be there, or at least nearby." :pray:
But as we closed in we had to abandon the contour and climb another hundred feet due to thick brush and a spate of tree-fall. So when the GPS tells me we are within 100' all we had to do was slide down to the waypoint, which is what I did.

Wow! Is that crazy or what? Before I reached the exact spot, there it was, not 20 feet downhill of where we left it two years ago.
:y:
Of course it was quite fortuitous it had slid into a tree and was thoroughly locked in place. Yes, it took several attempts of twisting before I was able to remove it.
: rambo :
When Tracey picked it up for a comparison photo to the previous trip, her first observation was wow, it is much lighter than before... and it WAS. :o
Obviously we don't carry a scale with us so we don't know what it weighed two years ago but when weighing it at home it tipped the scale at 10 pounds.

Ok, we found it again, now what? :-k
Well, as unwieldy as it is, I might have a tough time with my hiking poles. So I collapsed my poles, put them in Tracey's backpack and tried to find the best way to carry the antler.

Whoops! Just a few steps and I'm already sliding down the slope, trying desperately not to fall and be gored.
Wouldn't that be a great story? Hiker, gored by a stray elk antler! ](*,)

No way I can do this without assistance so I retrieved one of my hiking poles from Tracey and I set off again, roughly following our descent route of two years ago. It wasn't the easiest thing to keep my balance and wind my way in and among the vegetation, what with this 44" curlicued antler sticking out on both sides, almost willing itself to catch and hold onto every tree or bush.

Thankfully we made it back to the Hell's Hole trail without any major mishap... in fact without a single misstep once I had a hiking pole to aid me. Once on the trail the only thing I had to deal with was trying to find the most comfortable way to carry the antler... which seemed to need re-adjusting every hundred yards or so.

Back to the Workman Creek crossing and Tracey set about to raid the blackberry bushes, which she did with great relish.
:y:
As for me? Well, I wasn't looking forward to the steep rocky climb through the area where manzanita & cat's-claw are overlapping the trail (not enough traffic to keep it clear I guess) and in the direct sun no less. So while Tracey kept picking I started climbing.

Just past the sunny area I heard Tracey moving fast to catch up... she was wondering where the heck I was and she didn't expect I had gotten that far ahead of her. I guess that's what happens when one is consumed by the thought of consuming fresh blackberries... only the consumption will have to wait.

Oh how I hate the climb from near the Armer Ranch to the saddle north of Jack Mountain. Usually I'm carry LESS weight at the end of a hike not 10 pounds MORE so now I'm sloshing in my boots.
: rambo : :sweat:
And wouldn't you know it, with just a downhill back to the TH, NOW Tracey volunteers to carry the burden.
But the photo was priceless... that's some rack Tracey has, huh? :stp:

Surprisingly with numerous deer encounters along Young Highway including three of the tiniest deer we'd ever seen (alive anyway... see Mount Ord hike) and plenty of evidence of elk, deer, bear, coyote and yes, even a cow, we encountered no of the above during the hike.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Sep 04 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2488 via Mesquite Wash, AZ 
Peak 2488 via Mesquite Wash, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.70 Miles 712 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   2 Hrs   14 Mns   1.72 mph
712 ft AEG      5 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hot & muggy morning but still, I gotta get out of the house.
With no plans I just started driving north on Bush Highway until I feeling and urge to stop for a hike.
No joy along Bush so now I'm on the Beeline.
East on Four Peaks Road? Nope.
West on Sycamore Creek road? Nope.
Mesquite Wash? Hmmm... let's see. I've hit the Sycamore Creek petroglyphs twice this year so I'll try the other direction.
Began by following old illegal ATC track, spotted something shiny so of course I had to check it out. Turned out to be some type of water gauge with no markings as to which agency may use it.
The ATC track ended so now what? Might as well get some AEG so I headed for the summit of Peak 2488.
Wandered around the summit before descending the other side toward Sycamore Creek. Not much fun on the descent... what with the cholla, buckhorn cholla, mesquite, cat's-claw, pincushions and what-have-you.
Hit the wide wash of Sycamore Creek and began the loop back to the start. Not very fun plodding along in the soft sand/stones of the wash but it was better than the two times I attempted to skirt alongside in the brush... both times I had to back-track to get out of impassable detours.
By time I reached FR 160 again I was thoroughly soaked so instead of adding miles I plodded back to the 'Runner.
Not much for miles or AEG, but good enuf!
Named place
Named place
Black Mountain
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Aug 30 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Dome Saddle Loop, AZ 
Dome Saddle Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.45 Miles 1,821 AEG
Hiking6.45 Miles   3 Hrs   51 Mns   1.75 mph
1,821 ft AEG      10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another warm & humid morning with barely a wisp of wind so it was another of those suck-it-up and git'er done hikes.

I started from the corner of FR 1356 and took the low route up to the saddle between Dome & Peak 3134, started heading up toward Dome but took a hard right and dropped down into the slick-rock area.
I stopped for a wring-everything-out break before taking a wide loop to the northeast then back up to the saddle. On the return trip I took the high route along with a detour to hit the summit of Peak 2416.

As expected it was an excessively oppressive and thoroughly sweat-producing hike... :sweat:
I drank almost a gallon of water yet still lost over 5 pounds in just under 4 hours.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Aug 29 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2303 Loop CCW, AZ 
Peak 2303 Loop CCW, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.50 Miles 1,821 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   1.75 mph
1,821 ft AEG      5 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Yuck!! 70° dew point, 70% humidity and 90° temps, but with yesterday being a lazy day of chores around the house it was back on-the-trail (more accurately OFF-trail) again, conditions notwithstanding.

Last trip I did a similar loop clockwise, enjoying a nice eastern breeze on the climb and dead-air on the descent. Figuring I'd get the oppressive part done first I began with the sweat-bath ascent from the west. It wasn't quite as bad as expected due to random breezes along the western slope.

Once at the saddle I took a short break to wring out the excess sweat, down some ice-water electrolyte mix and enjoy the scenery with a nice breeze over the saddle. Although warming up fast a light breeze continued for pretty much the rest of the hike so it was bearable. Looking to make up a bit in miles & AEG for missing two of the last four days, I added some aimless wandering until I ended up at the car.
Culture
Culture
Cadastral Survey Marker
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Aug 27 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Happy Jack - AZT #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 27 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking13.00 Miles 1,470 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   5 Hrs   24 Mns   2.65 mph
1,470 ft AEG      30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
It's Tracey's day off and she prefers cooler temps so this was a good option. Since we have hiked and biked the first 10 miles or so from southern end of #28 we chose an SOBO out-and-back from Gooseberry.

The upper-60's temperature was nice for a start and for most of the SOBO leg we were in the shade. Less than a half-mile from the start we heard loud crashing off to the side, which turned out to be a single elk. Unfortunately, although we encountered many fresh deer and elk tracks along the trail, that single elk would be the extent of our wildlife sightings for the day. Later we would encounter a trio of cows but they don't count as wildlife.

Tracey's usual eagle-eye spotted a hunting tree-stand right next to Maxie Tank. While as far as hunting regs are concerned that is ok. However, leaving private property on National Forest Land is subject to the domain of finders keepers, not that we had any use for a tree-stand.

We got off-track once at the FR6058/FR135D junction, where when traveling SOBO the natural thing is to continue straight ahead onto FR 6058 but the trail branched right continuing on FR 135D. We didn't go far before realizing there were no AZT stickers. This is of no consequence when NOBO not only because it's natural to continue on FR 135D but also because there are AZT stickers visible from that direction. If an AZT sticker were added on the north side of FR 135D sign that would alleviate the problem.

We had only planned on 5 miles SOBO before turning back, but we'd been moving pretty well so we decided to continue until we found a good spot for our lunch/nap break... all we sought were three features: shade, a rock to sit/lay on and a breeze. Luckily we got all three. The location was pleasant enough our usual 10-minute break extended to a full half-hour.

It was a good thing we spent the extra time to rest. I had a growing pain in the ball of my right foot so I took off my boots and gave my feet a rest after a quick massage. It worked wonders because I didn't notice any pain the rest of the hike.

By time we were headed back NOBO it had warmed up and now with little shade to be had, along with still-noticeable humidity we could feel the heat. With no new ground to cover I put my legs in cruise-control mode for the return trip.

When we returned to the TH there were two new piles of gravel, for what purpose, we could only guess.
Named place
Named place
Maxie Tank Shuffs Tank
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Aug 24 2019
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2303 Loop, AZ 
Peak 2303 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 24 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.50 Miles 1,344 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   1.86 mph
1,344 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started out a bit humid but the nice breeze and off-and-on shade from heavy clouds made it reasonably pleasant.
It began warming up as the clouds faded away during the ascent to the saddle but the breeze kept up to it wasn't oppressive... yet.

But with the by-now full direct sun, treacherous steep pea-gravel slope along with absolutely dead air it felt like I just stepped into an oven. Following a well-beaten javelina trail didn't help matters any either. Every time I encountered a spot where the javelina went through or under thick brush I was forced into some challenging detours.

Although the effort was less on the flatter terrain, neither the sun nor the humidity let up one bit so the last mile was more like a slog. Still, it was great to be outside for a few hours anyway.
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CannondaleKid
Aug 22 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Lone Mountain Plus, AZ 
Lone Mountain Plus, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking2.60 Miles 1,165 AEG
Hiking2.60 Miles   1 Hour   47 Mns   1.56 mph
1,165 ft AEG      7 Mns Break2 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Although warming fast the humidity was reasonable so along with a very brisk wind (12-15 mph?) it felt pretty good. Still, I was pretty well soaked so I did something very rare... I took a break at the summit to dry out. And then I took my sweet time on the additional high points.

Other notes:
- There is still some of the household trash yet to be hauled away including a refrigerator, folding table and a wood bench.
- Someone stole the lock from the gate again... it never ends... :x
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CannondaleKid
Aug 21 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Bush-Bulldog Loop, AZ 
Bush-Bulldog Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.80 Miles 432 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   1 Hour   42 Mns   2.24 mph
432 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
Taking a quick early loop to beat-the-heat. We hit the Salt River side of Bush Highway first, proceeded to the river, caught a glimpse of a few horses on a small island then headed toward the Sheep Crossing picnic area, which hasn't been in use for what, a dozen years or more?

Just before reaching the picnic area we saw a young horse with a distinct limp from a rear leg. As I get to get closer for a better look we met a photographer who had seen the same thing. In fact she had just filmed it and already sent the video to the Wild Horse group so they can follow up on it.

No more drama on this side so we crossed Bush and wandered in Bulldog for a while, searching for something of interest... like a rattler, deer, or something live anyway.

First up was a young turkey vulture spreading it's wings in the sun. Unfortunately the photo of the best full wing-spread was slightly out-of-focus but I was able to catch it just before it closed them. Ok, cool, but I've seen and filmed more impressive wings-pread displays before so I'm hoping for more.

And shortly before the end I got my wish... a kingsnake. It stayed still for a photo but it must have been video-shy because the moment I hit Record it slid under a small bush and within moments it was down a hole. Oh well, better than nothing.
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CannondaleKid
Aug 20 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Parker Creek Trail #160Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.60 Miles 2,336 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   4 Hrs   55 Mns   1.72 mph
2,336 ft AEG      30 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
Thanks to Ray's 8/8/19 triplog documenting the conditions we had a good idea what we were getting ourselves into. Forewarned we were prepared for the overgrowth, not only did I have my usual small pruner I also had my titanium shears. I also wore my usual long pants and long-sleeve shirt. Tracey stuck with a short-sleeve top... and she would pay for it in blood.

Less than a hundred yards from the start we encountered a relatively fresh pile of LARGE bear scat... being within a few miles of our bear encounter last year along with Ray's rattlesnake encounter two weeks ago, needless to say Tracey would be having visions of encountering one or both the whole hike.
:scared:
Of course I'm more-or-less oblivious to her concerns... I don't stress whether somethingmight happen, I only deal with a hazard if-and-when it arises.

As Ray mentioned there were a number of overgrown areas... the first part was thicker-section but not very dense brush so the titanium shears make quick work of the worst of it. Anywhere it was not thorny or dense we just passed on through... otherwise we'd be on the trail far longer than anticipated.

Later on when we hit the overgrowth again it wasn't thick-section and less dense brush but thin-section, fine-thorny and denser. Although there was a lot of it, much was easy enough to push aside, which is exactly what I did... again, I'm up to some trail work along the way, I just didn't want to spend double the effort. I was using my small pruner for the thickest but that was about it.

Until Tracey started giving blood... while my long-sleeves just shed off the fine-thorny attacks Tracey's bare arms were taking it all in. Not wanting to deal with it on the return trip, she took charge of the larger shears and went at it with a vengeance. For the next half-mile or so (roughly 6,000-6,200' elevation) I continued to lead the way by trimming the thorny tops of the brush so Tracey could cut it lower without dealing with the thorny part. While it would make for an quicker and easier return, it was warming up fast so as soon as it began to thin out we put the shears away and made for the top.

Due to the Juniper fire we did not have our favorite log to sit on for our snack break so we continued on a short distance toward Carr Peak in search of a substitute whether a bare rock or unburnt log. Finding nothing suitable we backtracked a bit until deciding just to sit on the ground in an area where we felt a slight breeze.

It was warmer and more humid than we hoped so our break was much longer than our usual 10-minute break. Almost a record for us... we took a full 30 minutes before heading back.

I expected the descent to be a monotonous hold-up-pardner on the legs but surprisingly my legs were on cruise-control and before I knew it we were back at the TH. Ok, I had to stop a few times for Tracey to catch up, but I took those short breaks to wring out my skullcap so no big deal.

Although Tracey gave a small blood sacrifice, with no rattler or bear encounters all was good. :y:
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Aug 19 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Saguaro Lake Bluffs Loop, AZ 
Saguaro Lake Bluffs Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 19 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,240 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   2 Hrs   59 Mns   1.88 mph
1,240 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Twice in the last few years I hiked roughly the same loop counter-clockwise so I thought for a change I'd hike it clockwise.

I began from Butcher Jones Road just east of the wide concrete-paved wash, dropped down the slope into the wide sandy wash and headed toward Butcher Jones. Not wishing to slog a long distance in the soft sandy wash I climbed up and followed a low ridge until it leveled out back into the wash. A few minutes later a deer bounded across the wash about a hundred feet ahead, and of course it disappeared before I could get my camera out.
](*,)
But no matter, it just got my hopes up for another bighorn sheep encounter like last year. Unfortunately, this trip I would encounter no bighorn sheep and nor were there any wild horses to be found. (The wild horse herd was relocated due to rising health concerns at Butcher Jones.)

Just before Butcher Jones I began the ascent to the ridge. It was easier than the descent in the same area last year due to the route being more traveled. Once at the top I began the trek westward toward the bluffs. The route wasn't quite as obvious as from the other direction, obviously due to the terrain looking different from the opposite point-of-view, but also I was covering new ground.

Due to the different route I noticed a white cross at the edge of the bluff, so of course I had to take a closer look. I only got close enough to take a zoomed photo of the memorial cross. It was labeled Larry Elman Jr. 1978-1995... so Larry was only 17 when he lost his life. Due to the amount of rust on the cross it appeared to have been there for some time.

I found nothing of particular interest the rest of the way but the great views made up for it. The difficulty and AEG are pretty much the same in either direction but now that I've done it both ways I favor going clockwise. The only issue I had was climbing a short bare-rock slope whereas if traveling CCW, it's an easy 20-foot slide down.

By taking a wider arc on the west end of my loop I found a nice game trail which made it easier than trying to find the best route down. The rest of the way back to the car I continued to cover new ground in hopes of an interesting find. As I mentioned earlier... I found nothing new other than the cross.
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CannondaleKid
Aug 18 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Bulldog Figure-Eight, AZ 
Bulldog Figure-Eight, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,440 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   3 Hrs   7 Mns   1.96 mph
1,440 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After two non-hiking days in a row it didn't matter how hot it was/would get I was going to get out and hike. But as usual I had no plans so I just started driving along Bush Highway watching the car outside temp steadily drop, and the moment it began to rise I would stop and start hiking. Which happened just north of Usery Pass Road.

I started hiking up a wide wash but soon tired of trudging in the sand. So from then on I rambled up and down a series of ridges, avoiding washes as much as possible. Eventually I decided to stop the random wandering, pick a destination and head for it. After choosing the saddle just north of Peak 2180 I followed a more-or-less direct route to it.

The last two times I had crossed this saddle, I traversed west-to-east, dropping down into the "bowl" on the way down, so this time I decided to continue climbing north from the saddle to the end of the ridge, then take the longer descent.

Once back down I followed a well-defined horse trail until I crossed my earlier path and again did more rambling over-hill-and-dale until I had no choice but to follow the wash back to the car. On the return trip I managed to encounter a series of remains of various wildlife. Who knows what led to their demise, but with the higher number of dead animals I've encountered this year I can't help but think the heat had more to do with it than the last few years.
Fauna
Fauna
Centipede Skunk
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CannondaleKid
Aug 14 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
4 Peaks 133-253-130-134 Loop, AZ 
4 Peaks 133-253-130-134 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.20 Miles 2,218 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   1.87 mph
2,218 ft AEG      20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
trixiec
The drive:
Thinking it was a weekday and hot weather, we didn't expect any traffic on FR 143 but we weren't quite so lucky. We had to pass three pretty-much deaf ATC riders on the way up...
First rider: (tail-end Charlie) short beeps on the horn... no response, longer beep... no response so I just drove right on by.
Second rider: short beeps on the horn... no response, longer beep... no response, laid on the air horn, still nothing so again just blew on by.
Third rider: Must have heard the air horn because he just sped up and he simply wasn't going to let me pass so I figured we'd just ride his pumpkin until he realized his buddies (particularly tail-end Charlie) were FAR behind.
Finally at the FR 11 intersection he pulled off and we drove on by. They must have really been slow, because we would be over an hour into our hike before we heard them nearing the end of FR 143.

The hike:
Very much like our Mount Ord hike yesterday this was just a tad on the warm side. The humidity was a bit high early on so we worked up a big sweat on the climb up Brown's Trail. We continued past the Amethyst Trail #253 intersection to the saddle where we spent a bit of time wringing out our soaked clothes before heading back down to #253.

I hadn't been on the Amethyst Trail since 2004 (when there actually WAS a decent trail) so I really didn't know what to expect. Knowing a lot will have changed in 15 years along with my original track I also had Joe's 2014 #253 track.

And change it did... following it was much harder than I thought and I figured it wouldn't be long before Tracey would be chastising me for choosing this OFF-trail hike. Surprise, surprise, there were no complaints from Tracey... at least out loud.

It soon became a game of "here's the trail" followed moments later by "we lost it" after being forced to take a detour around a wall of Manzanita, only rinse and repeat over and over. The descent was almost as much work as the ascent on Brown's Trail, and with most of it in the direct sunlight it was getting pretty warm.

Once we hit #130 we had a real trail to follow and the descent to #134/AZT #21 was a lot easier. But by now the air temp was ramping up and we almost headed back on #134 right away, but decided to head south until we found a place to sit in the shade for our lunch stop, which turned out to be at the dry-as-a-bone Shake Spring.

Break over, time to hit the mostly-ascending trail to Pigeon Spring followed by the 100' climb to the road and the half-mile road-walk back to Lone Pine. The humidity had dropped steadily so the last hour or so wasn't too bad but I was definitely ready for the hike to end.

We took a leisurely pace on the drive back to 87 and with no vehicles to contend with it was nice.
Named place
Named place
Browns Peak

dry Shake Spring Dry Dry
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CannondaleKid
Aug 13 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Mount Ord On/Off-Trail, AZ 
Mount Ord On/Off-Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.90 Miles 1,952 AEG
Hiking8.90 Miles   2 Hrs   21 Mns   4.08 mph
1,952 ft AEG      10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
Although the temps dabbled in the 90's, for the most part this was another beat-the-heat hike.
We began by following FR 626 until just south of the Oak Spring Canyon drainage where we left the road and headed eastward in the direction of Peak 6291. (Not really much of a peak as it is 100' lower than the high point on the ridge)

Having been out to 6291 two years ago this time we curved toward the rocky crags to the northeast along game trails. We stopped for a short snack break on the rocks, so-to-speak. On the return we followed game trails along the contour back toward FR 626.

Although we had a reasonable path from FR 626, for the last few hundred yards back to the road we followed a more traveled game trail, albeit more ducking under low hanging branches. And while I was so intent on scouting our route, Tracey pipes up "Mark, look what you just stepped over!" So of course I'm thinking, "huh? I didn't hear any rattling" because that's usually what she says when I step over a rattler.

Ok, so I turn around and it is a reasonably fresh kill of baby deer... poor Bambi. :cry:
It appeared very much like the day-old mountain lion kill we encountered on Shute Springs Creek a few years ago so we figured the kill took place within the last day or so. Although I took a number of photos of the carcass I'll only upload one photo of the kill.
Note: To view the photo you will need to acknowledge you wish to view the gruesome photo.

On our return trip along FR 626 we spotted a few deer and later along FR 1688 we encountered a couple more deer around the water tank. Over the course of the hike I think we saw a half-dozen or so live deer.

It was warmer and bit more humid than expected so we were working up a pretty good sweat on the 'climb' along 626. The the wind picked up on the return trip so the end of the hike was reasonably pleasant.
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CannondaleKid
Aug 12 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Coon Bluff Horse Lot Loop, AZ 
Coon Bluff Horse Lot Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.70 Miles 417 AEG
Hiking3.70 Miles   1 Hour   27 Mns   2.55 mph
417 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
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trixiec
This was a hot weather acclimatization hike for Tracey so thank goodness for a 40° dew point, 12% humidity and a stiff breeze. Even though it was 105°,with my pre-wetted EnduraCool gear & Glacier Gloves I felt cool. (Unlike my similar hike yesterday when it even at a full 18° cooler the 65° dew point, 60% humidity and no wind made it oppressive.)
We skipped the bluff, taking a wide meandering loop, returning on SR Trail #100.
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CannondaleKid
3 archives
Aug 11 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Coon Bluff Horse Lot Loop, AZ 
Coon Bluff Horse Lot Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.30 Miles 681 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   2.35 mph
681 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Up a wild horse trail (MUCH easier than the equestrian trail) out to the bluff, down through the picnic area, ending with a wide loop connecting with and returning along the SR Trail #100.
Although I began early and it was 'only' 87° I cut the hike short due to the oppressive conditions... 65° dew point & 60% humidity.
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CannondaleKid
1 archive
Aug 03 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Rim Lakes Vista & Sinkhole Trails, AZ 
Rim Lakes Vista & Sinkhole Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,332 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   2.35 mph
1,332 ft AEG      10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Nice cool start at a cool 69 degrees!
We began with a loop up top along the rim then looping back first along along part of the General Crook Trail and back to the start on the northern leg of the Military Sinkhole Trail.

I wasn't aware the Rim Lake Vista Trail was paved which didn't take long to cause an issue for me... within a few hundred yards my right foot began tingling and by less than a quarter mile I had lost all feeling. Because this had happened before while walking on a hard surface I began walking alongside the trail and sure enough, the feeling started to return and within another half-mile all was back to normal.

Then we drove down to the 260 Trailhead for an up-and-down hike on the below-the-rim segment of the Military Sinkhole Trail.
Nice! The temperature barely reached the mid-80's by time we completed the hike.
Fauna
Fauna
Horned Lizard
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CannondaleKid
1 archive
Aug 01 2019
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,492
 Triplogs 1,900

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Mount Ord On/Off-Trail, AZ 
Mount Ord On/Off-Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2019
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.20 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   2 Hrs   21 Mns   2.38 mph
1,200 ft AEG      10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
We followed along FR 626 from FR 27 until a quarter-mile or so past the gate then went off-trail as we looped back northward to the second highest point, back southward, and finally dropping back onto FR 626 for the return leg.

Nothing out-of-the-ordinary and no wildlife sightings other than a solitary squirrel so no photos this trip.
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CannondaleKid
average hiking speed 1.99 mph
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