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1.3 k triplogs
Jan 03 2021
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 141
 Photos 21,934
 Triplogs 2,261

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Iron Goat Trail Recon Loop, AZ 
Iron Goat Trail Recon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2021
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.60 Miles 1,025 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   1.66 mph
1,025 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's been a week since I checked out Shawn's progress with the mini-excavator on the new Iron Goat Trail so it was about time again.

As busy as all the parking areas were at the Usery Bulldog entrance lot, across the road, and the Usery Pass Road parking by the gravel pits, so I just picked a spot next to Usery Pass Road and set off on a cross-country trek, following a straight a track as I could while heading up to the junction of the Cactus Nectar & Iron Goat Trails.

After the fiasco a few days ago with my GoPro batteries dying, I decided to try it with my Jackery battery pack in my pack and a cord running to the GoPro. It should have worked great... but of course both of us, myself and the camera shared the issues:
1. ](*,)
It appears the battery got jostled when I inserted the card in, so the time had reset to 12 AM Jan 1, 2016!
(I realize this til I got home and checked the video)
2. ](*,) ](*,)
I pushed the button on the Jackery to start it charging, put my pack on, then connected the cord to the GoPro when I put it on the chesty mount. But since whatever you want to charge must be connected to the Jackery BEFORE turning the charge on, it was not charging. So of course after only 20 minutes of filming the battery was almost dead. Ok, so I tried again with the Jackery in my pocket rather than my pack so I could turn it on AFTER connecting it to the GoPro.
3. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
All seemed to be working well with the GoPro until I had just began my return trip, when the GoPro didn't seem to want to do anything. I tipped it up enough so I could see the screen and it showed it was charging and the battery was at 75% but the screen was frozen, not counting any recording time. In fact the camera was completely locked up, and only later removing and reinserting the battery would it work again.

Back to the hike...
I must say I was really impressed with how well Shawn handled the twin deep drainages! As I followed the newest part of the trail I could see he made some very-positive changes to the previously yellow-ribboned route that I had followed last week. He was avoiding anything steeper than 10% or adding additional switchbacks than originally planned. And for the last steepest part where any switchbacks would really need to be very short and tight, instead he took the trail across another drainage and back so the switchbacks weren't cramped at all. Based on how much Shawn accomplished in a week, with the tough drainages to deal with, I really didn't expect him to have reached the saddle just south of Peak 2238, but he did!
:y:
To complete Iron Goat all that is left is the upper part of the route to the junction with Alp D' Huez and Goat Trails. Ha! All that is left, as if it's now going to be easy... hardly. :sweat:

Instead of flip-flopping my route back along the trail, I headed across to the unnamed peak of about 2445' elevation (which sometime in the past I dubbed it Middle Mountain because it is halfway between 2238 and the 2639-2303 ridge. I checked out a few of the critter-haunts I'd come across in the past, then took the dive down to the bottom of the canyon before ascending back up to Iron Goat again.

But I really paid for the quick steep descent... my left hip felt like it was on fire so it it was all I could do to reach the bottom without falling. And I still have the climb up the other side, so to minimize the effort I took a moment to seek out and use the shortest route up to Iron Goat. Once back on Iron Goat the pain eased up a bit but with another descent from the saddle I took my time. On the way back to the car I took a longer but easier route.

Anyway, even with the challenges with the GoPro I ended up with plenty of video. But I'm not so sure I'll do anything with it... I did take just enough photos to give a good feel of the trail.

(Stay tuned for the next triplog... when I encounter have a DIFFERENT (and worse) challenge with the GoPro. At the rate it's going I just may make a mount to use my Lumix camera for longer videos instead of the GoPro.)
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Jan 01 2021
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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 Photos 21,934
 Triplogs 2,261

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Lime Kiln Peak 1871 Loop, AZ 
Lime Kiln Peak 1871 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2021
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.50 Miles 924 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.64 mph
924 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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A nice sunny opening day for 2021... a bit cool and I didn't feel like wearing layers so I waited until late morning.
With Tracey working through the holiday I figured I'd take another trip across the Salt River fromBush Highway.

Back in October I bought a pair of VERY light-weight overshoes to put over my hiking boots so I wouldn't need to the boots-to-sandals-to-boots swap for every cross-river hike. As I mentioned in that triplog they worked well as long as the water wasn't over 6" deep. That's fine for most of the low-flow winter season, but it does limit the number of crossing spots so I bought taller light-weight overshoes.

Before leaving home a spot-check of the Salt River flow had it at 14.4 cfs... about 40% higher than the 10 cfs back in October, so this would be just right to test the taller overshoes. And as the previous pair worked great for shallower water, these handled foot-deep water just fine so it was a shorter walk to my westward river crossing.
Actually I have to say they worked better due to the slightly thicker ribbed sole which gripped the slimy-green algae-covered rocks without so much as a slip... well worthy of another 5-star rating

Once across the river, where do I go first? The last two trips I hit Peak 1871 first and looped CCW over to the lime kiln before heading back for the return crossing at the Fox Tail Admin Site so I decided on a clockwise loop. Since I was nowhere near either of my previous crossing sites, I was far south of the lime kiln before I realized my error. No big deal, just more walking in a soft-sandy wash to get back on track. (The wide sandy wash is what brought my mind into the present... Hey, where did this wash come from? There isn't one near the kiln so I'm definitely going the wrong way!

Once I made the usual visit to the kiln I wandered around, seeking out a few Saguaros in less-than-living condition for a few photos along the way. I spotted tracks of feral horses, equestrians), coyote and deer but no live encounters so far.

The ascent of 1871 took a little bit of route-finding due to little use and I've usually hiked down rather than up. When I glanced back near the top I noticed a dust-devil meandering along the flat west of the river. It seemed to die off when it went into a drainage, only to re-appear a few minutes later a few hundred feet on the other side of the drainage.

Due to a very wide flat summit I didn't bother with any photos and headed down the north slope to the equestrian trail and began the southeastern arc of the loop. About halfway down I spooked a large mule deer and thought I caught it on film... all of 6 seconds due the 2nd GoPro battery dying. ](*,)
At least after-the-fact I pulled one frame out of the video to post as a photo here.

That brings up a GoPro pet-peeve...
Much of the time I was filming with my GoPro 6... not as much as I wanted due to high battery consumption. I used up 2 fully charged batteries in just under an hour of filming. (I'll probably use my Jackery battery pack next time... see next triplog for the results) One thing I really hate about the GoPro is that EVERY time the battery is changed the date/time goes back to 12:00:00 AM, January 1, 2016... so my usual single-step of renaming files by droplet to the actual filmed time took a bunch of calculation to rename them correctly. ](*,)
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
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CannondaleKid
Dec 31 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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 Triplogs 2,261

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 3004 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,473 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   2 Hrs   51 Mns   1.96 mph
1,473 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
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trixiec
Another blah cool & breezy day for our last hike of 2020... glad it's over, and frankly, absolutely thrilled the last four years are over!
Missed mileage/AEG goals by 200+ miles and 700+ feet due to a combination of more pain in more places and too many 'just don't feel like hiking' days.
Thankfully a number of those days I mountain biked instead, ending up with 300+ miles and 12K+ AEG more than last year.
Only one specific item of note when comparing this hike to my very similar one in June, other than getting photos of the Bush Fire... On the northern downhill from the saddle we noticed red dots of various sizes on the rocks. At first we thought it was just the natural color of the rocks, but after turning a few rocks over and finding no red spots I realized it was fire retardant. After looking up onto the NE slope of 3004 and seeing the most of the surface was reddish in color, so based on that observation I believe a plane returning from dumping fire retardant on the Bush Fire still had some retardant in its tank and it was dumped on purpose.
After getting home I looked at my photos from mid-June (during theBush Fire) and sure enough, there was NO reddish hue or red spots anywhere. Mystery solved... more-or-less.
API: 6 MAX: 10
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Dec 27 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Salt Trail 100 Bush Lite East, AZ 
Salt Trail 100 Bush Lite East, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Dec 27 2020
CannondaleKid
Mtn Biking12.40 Miles 611 AEG
Mtn Biking12.40 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   6.89 mph
611 ft AEG3 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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With temps in the 65-70° range it was absolutely perfect weather!

Since much of the new Bush Lite East Trail was semi-complete by the previous Saturday I knew the folks from HTA (Hawes Trail Alliance) would be out working on it again this Saturday (yesterday). If things went well they just might have completed the whole trail so I figured I'd add a quick out-and-back ride in addition to my usual route.

The Mid-Mountain parking lot along Bush Highway had over a half-dozen vehicles and well over a dozen people were mingling about, probably readying for a hike. Although they were outside, neither social distancing nor masks were in evidence. But no matter, I just rode by.

As I approached the horse staging lot on Coon Bluff Road it was as full as I'd ever seen. I attempted to count them all as I rode through but I lost count at 21 horse trailers. (I think there were a couple more behind others.) Thankfully all the equestrians were already out on various trails so I didn't have to leave a wide berth around any of them.

While riding in an open area heading toward Usery Pass Road it seemed like I had to avoid 10 times as many horse-apples as the previous ride. Pretty weird... until I figured out why. The Salt River Management Group has regularly dropped off hay for the feral horses for most of the year. Each time it has always been dropped in one area, but for some reason in the last week they dropped it off in much larger area. Which of course that means there are horse-apples over much larger area. Oh well, I'll just adjust my route a bit farther from Trail 100.

As usual I stopped at three separate viewpoints overlooking the Salt River and was surprised by how the amount of algae has exploded... a few weeks ago there was none.

Moving on to Bush Lite East... I crossed Bush Highway at the Scorpion Trail and right away I could see the pink flags marking the trail. Although this part had been pretty well done last week, I could tell a bit more housekeeping had been done and there was not a hazard to be found. Wow, this is a NICE trail! The only complaint I had was that most of the hard ground areas had small undulations which play havoc for my herniated disk. I can deal with the whoop-de-doo's and the larger rocks easy enough by staying off the seat, but I don't care to do the whole ride standing up.

When I reached the west end of Bush Lite East there were markers for EAST Bush Lite but no has begun construction yet. However, the short connector over to Stinger West IS complete. In the future, it will continue in a larger clockwise arc, crossing Stinger a second time and reconnecting with Bush Lite West and will be named Bush Lite Loop.

I turned around at Stinger and began the ride in the other direction. I hadn't gone a few hundred yards before meeting another biker, who was in fact one of the HTA workers. He told me they just completed the trail less than an hour earlier and he was riding it the first time. Ha! I had already ridden it and was heading back the other way, so not only was I the first to ride the full Bush Lite East trail but first to ride in both directions.

Although the trail rises steadily from east to west, I actually liked it slightly more than west to east. I hope to get back out again tomorrow and film it in both directions with my GoPro.

The [ gps route ] I posted includes the Bush Lite East Trail and a separate track for the short connector to Stinger West. I suppose if/when I get around to creating a Guide maybe it will be the official route.
Fauna
Fauna
Great Blue Heron
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CannondaleKid
5 archives
Dec 21 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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 Photos 21,934
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Bush Lite East Recon, AZ 
Bush Lite East Recon, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Dec 21 2020
CannondaleKid
Mtn Biking10.90 Miles 658 AEG
Mtn Biking10.90 Miles   1 Hour   36 Mns   6.81 mph
658 ft AEG3 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Quick ride on the 75% complete Bush Lite North trail.
Very short rattlesnake encounter so no photo... I'm sure the last rattler of the year for me.
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Dec 15 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Alp - High Ridge - Cactus Nectar, AZ 
Alp - High Ridge - Cactus Nectar, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.30 Miles 1,418 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   2.27 mph
1,418 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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trixiec
After hiking the High Ridge/Alp D' Huez loop clockwise a few days ago it sounded like something Tracey wanted to check out when she had her next day off. So that's what we did.

For something different (for me anyway) we hiked it in the 'preferred' (by bikers) CCW direction. Although it wasn't near as busy as last Friday, there was still just enough bike traffic we stayed alert to approaching bikers. And just as I did the other day, we encountered at least one which I knew was an e-bike, and one other I wasn't positive so didn't say anything to him.

However, the second time we were passed by the e-biker who I DID mention it was not legal on Hawes Trails, he stopped to 'clue me in on e-bikes' and went on to say his E-bike is a Class 1, so he CAN ride on these trails. I wasn't going to spoil the day for either of us so I just let it go and told him to have a nice ride.

E-BIKE FYI: At present the Forest Service does NOT authorize ANY motorized vehicles of any kind on ANY trails in the Hawes Trail System. And yes, E-bikes and pedal-assist bikes are considered 'motorized vehicles' by the FS.

Anyway, we continued on our way down the High Ridge Trail, meeting two solo hikers on their ascent and being passed by a dozen bikers on their descent. Once back to the intersection at the 'bottom' of the High Ridge Trail, we saw work had already started on the new "Cactus Nectar Trail" and decided to see how far it was already done. About a half-mile out, we came across the 'trail closed, under construction" sign and not a hundred yards farther the CAT mini-excavator was in action. I climbed up the slope a bot for a better view, took a few photos and filmed a short video of the CAT in full swing.

After that we did a bit of off-trail ups-and-downs before hitting the Wild Horse Trail back to the car.

Interesting side note... on the "Hawes Trail System Master Development Plan Approved Map 10/20/2020" half of the loop is labeled Alp D' Huez, named after the regular Tour De France ascent ending at an Alpine ski village. However... everything must be Americanized rather stick with the spirit of the original: Alpe d'Huez /rant over
API: 5 Max: 8
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2 archives
Dec 13 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Red Mtn Rampage Sunset Ridge, AZ 
Red Mtn Rampage Sunset Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,255 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   1.63 mph
2,255 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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API: 8.5 Max: 10
The only plan was for a day of off-trail wandering. While doing just that I encountered new-to-me rock cairns roughly in the area of another proposed trail within the Hawes Trail System so I followed them up-slope to see where they led.

It wasn't long before the cairns were replaced by yellow ribbons, so now I knew these were for the new Red Mountain Rampage Trail. Seems poorly named due to the fact Red Mountain/Mount McDowell is not visible from anywhere along the proposed route... whatever. Although I was following the route upward it was quite obvious the route was laid out from the top down, which is quite appropriate because I seriously doubt anyone will attempt to ride it up. (At least not without a pedal-assist/e-bike, which IS NOT authorized for any Hawes trails)
Let's put it this way, you won't see me attempting it in either direction... I'm too old for that kind of risky stuff.

Unfortunately the ribbons ended before connecting with the Cactus Garden/Goat Trails so I figured I'd see if any marking had been done on the run across the ridge to the west for the proposed Sunset Ridge Trail. I found no cairns or ribbons, and the only trails were deer/javelina game trails. As rough as the Red Mountain Rampage Trail appeared it would be, it appears Sunset Ridge could be every bit as rough because rather than a smooth cruise across the ridge it goes up-and-down across some steep craggy-rock terrain, so I got a chance to use my route-finding skills.

Once across the ridge it was just a matter of traversing the southeastern slope of Peak 2541 along the game trail until connecting with the old equestrian trail down to connect with Twisted Sister, at which point I just crossed it and continued off-trail all the way back to the start.

Now that the High Ridge & Alp D' Huez trails are complete, I'm hoping to soon see the CAT 300.9D mini-excavator attacking the Red Mountain Rampage Trail. I've been told the FS hopes to have all the new trails completed by years' end but I think that may be just a tad optimistic. I think the biggest hold up will be completing the two proposed new parking areas. I hope I'm wrong.
Named place
Named place
Mount McDowell (Red Mountain)
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1 archive
Dec 11 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
High Ridge & Alp D' Huez, AZ 
High Ridge & Alp D' Huez, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,148 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   19 Mns   1.99 mph
1,148 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
API: 7 Max:10
Checked out the new High Ridge Trail and the rerouted Alp D' Huez Trail along with a bunch of off-trail wandering.

The trail is recommended to be ridden downhill (CCW if you do the full loop) so I hiked it uphill, which is what I would recommend for other hikers as this trail gets more use. I feel it's better to see the bikers coming from a distance and thus be out of their way ahead of their arrival. Good thing I did as the trail was BUSY! I encountered too many bikers to count, and almost a dozen more than once due to them riding more than one lap.
The one biker who I met four times who he was riding an e-bike... go figure. In fact the last time we met I said he was doing it the lazy way, which he happily confirmed.
It didn't happen to register with me until after the hike that e-bikes and/or pedal-assist bikes are NOT authorized on any trails in the Hawes Trail System.
(Of course as you can see by the last photo, at the moment there are no metal posts or signs officially designating anything)
I took far too many photos so I only posted those from the High Ridge Trail, not the re-routed Alp D'Huez Trail.
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Oct 27 2020
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 1719 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ 
Peak 1719 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.60 Miles 913 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   39 Mns   1.74 mph
913 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Although the left hip and lower back are still causing grief, hiking while in pain is 100% better for the psyche than lounging around in pain at home so a-hiking-I-would-go.

That said, I'm sticking with short loops for now so I'll have shorter bail-out options should things get to be unbearable during the hike.

I chose this hike as a variation of the hike two days ago for two reasons, it's pretty easy and more importantly I wanted to test the cheap lightweight plastic overshoes I bought solely for Salt River crossings when the level is low.

Since this hike provided similar views and terrain as two days ago and the fact there was absolutely no drama, nothing unique and/or out-of-the-ordinary during the hike, I'll end the suspense and skip to the results of my test.

Before attempting the test I determined as long as I didn't step flat-footed in water over 6" deep my boots would stay dry, and if I were to tip-toe I would be safe up to 9". By choosing to cross in the same spot I did two days ago (albeit swapping boots for sandals on that trip) I knew it could be accomplished without over-topping the galoshes.

But of course the critical part when crossing the Salt River is managing the slick wet weed-covered rocks. One slip and the least of my worries would whether my boots got wet or not. While I assumed my Teva sandals would be better suited for traversing wet/slippery rocks than the galoshes, I found that was not the case. The soft rubber on the bottom of the galoshes actually gripped better than the 'spider-tread' of the Tevas so as long as I didn't step on any rockers (or backed off if I felt one move) I had no issues. Sure I had two hiking poles to aid in keeping my balance, but that was a given even crossing in sandals.

I realize they may not last much more than a dozen crossings, but at under $12 the thin soft PVC 'foldable galoshes' performed admirably! Well worth a 5-star rating.
Named place
Named place
Stewart Mountain
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Oct 24 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 1871 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ 
Peak 1871 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.10 Miles 856 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.59 mph
856 ft AEG      2 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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trixiec
While it is possible to do this hike from the Blue Point Recreation Site, it's always more fun to throw in a few river crossings. So now that the Salt River flow is at seasonal low levels this was the perfect time for a river-crossing hike.

We started from the gate on Bush Highway just .7 mile north of Usery Pass Road and headed north parallel with Bush until turning west to the spot where I crossed the river on a few previous trips. Arriving at the planned crossing, although 95% of the width was dry, the flow through that last 5% was a bit faster than Tracey cared for so we decided to look for another spot. With thick brush at the river's edge we had to detour away from the river before checking out the next spot. It took a second detour before we found a spot Tracey was willing to try. Only about 70% was dry, but the remaining 30% was very low and the bottom was mostly smaller rocks, rather than the larger weed-covered ones which were very slippery.

We swapped our hiking boots for water-crossing footgear, made the crossing without incident and swapped back to hiking boots. From there we followed various horse trails (the most prominent were equestrian trails, not wild horse trails) past where the sheep crossing bridge used to be, then continued up the trail until making a 90° left turn and headed up to the summit of Peak 1871.
Note: Peak 1871 is incorrectly labeled as 1971 on every map I've seen.

The quick ascent to the summit went much easier than expected, likely due to the number of game trails we made use of. Once at the summit, due to poor recollection I got mixed up between two different hikes I did 3-4 years ago and headed west before going down the ridge. It turned out "the ridge" was the wrong one, which I only realized once we were a few hundred feet down and looked over to the "correct" ridge. Not too big a deal, as we only came back up a little before following the contour across the drainage.

Once back "on track" it was simply a matter of descending more-or-less the center of the ridge. At about 1/3 the way down we came upon a very recent equestrian trail which made an easier descent, much better than my ascent route almost 4 years ago.

Once at the bottom, with myriads of horse trails to choose from we just took our best guess at which would bring us past the lime kiln, and luck was with us as the one we chose brought us within 50 feet of it. A few quick photos, a 2-minute break and we were headed back to the Salt for the return crossing.

To cross back we chose the corner at the Fox Tail Administrative Site as it has been a favorite of mine for MANY crossings. Swapping boots for water-gear and back was just as much a pain as the first crossing, but once the swap was complete we had but a short jaunt back to the car.

Only when we were on the drive home did I remember that after my last previous crossing 9 months ago I had bought lightweight overshoes for that specific purpose, and realize I had them in the car the whole time. Oh well, I guess I'll have to do another hike across-the-Salt to try them out.

It seems that seven straight days of 8 to 11-mile hikes and 14k+ AEG we both felt some after-effects, Tracey's probably just being tired out from hiking instead of sitting at work.

As for me it's a bit more disconcerting. Hip issues continue along with nerve pain down in the left leg, with the burning sensation becoming more frequent... and this after only a five mile hike. So far mountain biking on my regular easy route has been issue-free so that may be my go-to exercise for a bit.
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Oct 19 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
CDT SOBO from Little Walnut Rd, NM 
CDT SOBO from Little Walnut Rd, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.25 Miles 1,292 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   2.14 mph
1,292 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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2020 New Mexico trip Hike #7 - Continental Divide Trail Mile 168.8 to 173.2

We'd already hiked north & south from NM 15 on the CDT as well as north from Little Walnut Canyon Road, so it was only natural to hike south from Little Walnut for the last hike, ultimately having covered the Continental Divide Trail from roughly mile 169 to mile 188.

Like previous hikes, again the weather was perfect with temps ranging from 60-73 and a clear-blue sky. The first 3 miles would pass through a lightly wooded area which would prove to be great habitat for a variety of wildlife, and in fact about 2.5 miles out we would encounter a number of deer, and later fresh elk scat as well as a fresh pad print of a black bear.

Although it may sound like a broken-record, this part would not only be great for mountain biking, it was great ALL the way through, both on the old route and the fresh new route. Other than a few very short drainage crossings the tread was hard-packed dirt which made for a pleasant foot-fall.

On the southbound run we turned left (east) at the second gate and took the scenic route up along the ridge (the Guthooks app displayed this as the 'current' route) and returning along the newest/easiest lower route. It was along the lower route when we spotted the bear track and fresh elk scat.

About half-way back we spotted what appeared to have been another even older section of the CDT. So for something new we decided to give it a shot. It was pretty rough and winding so it made sense the trail had been rerouted through the area.

This was a very enjoyable hike to wrap-up our 8-day trip to New Mexico. We still had one more hike up to Burro Peak from the north planned for tomorrow but when we arrived at the trailhead we were greeted by a thick blanket of heavy smoke which had moved in overnight from California, and within a few breaths throat was raw and along with an almost instant headache so we decided instead just to head for home.

NOTE: I posted a GPS file including all the parts of the CDT we hiked as one single northbound track as well as the Burro Peak CDT NM06 hike.
GPS Route: Continental Divide Trail NM07 Mile 169 to 188
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Oct 18 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak, NM 
Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.60 Miles 3,026 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   5 Hrs   47 Mns   1.55 mph
3,026 ft AEG      14 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #6 - Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak
(Includes a short out-and-back on the Continental Divide Trail Mile 189.5 to 189.3

Today would be a bit different because we would be hiking with my grand-nephew Evan. He is from California but is a freshman at Southwestern New Mexico University in Silver City. We had last hiked with him when he came for a visit in 2014, when he hoped to encounter a Western Diamondback. No luck on the rattlers but he took solace in Gila Monster and Desert Tortoise encounters instead.
(Long story very short, 4 years ago Evan was bitten by a rattler on the hand, spending two days in the hospital.)

Anyway, after we picked Evan up at SWNMU Centennial Hall it was but a short 15 mile trip up NM 15 to the Signal Peak trailhead, where the temp was still under 60°. Once on the trail we had but a few hundred feet before beginning the steep ascent to Signal Peak. While there were a few spots with switchbacks to make things easier, for the most part it was a steep climb up some 2150' in two miles so we were ready for a break at the summit.

But with 2+ miles yet to hike across the ridge to reach Black Peak we took a few quick photos and continued on. While I had a mapped track across the ridge, it was where the trail was previous to the last fire and by now it was non-existent. So, we simply followed the Forest Road until reaching a nice new trail along the contour, which lead all the way south until intersecting with the Continental Divide Trail. From there we followed the CDT eastward a quarter-mile to what was labeled a "Viewpoint" on Tracey's Guthooks app. With a few trees blocking the view it really wasn't that special, but with a little effort I got a photo across to where we turned around on our CDT/Twin Sisters hike yesterday.

Ok, time to bag Black Peak/Black Benchmark. My track to the summit showed a scramble up the SE slope, which we did, albeit each on our own chosen route, but I was the lucky one, managing to find a game trail all the way up. Another summit with little for scenic views but we checked out the communication site as well as an old shed and a few odds & ends.

We took about 5 minutes for a short lunch break before heading back. Lucky us... we saw a faint trail heading down to the northeast so we hopped on it and soon reconnected with the trail we had come out on. Cool! A much easier and shorter route to the summit... not that we'll ever return.

Almost back to the Signal Peak summit Tracey spotted a few white-tailed deer and we spent another 5 minutes watching and hoping for a good photo op but with only one ear showing in my only photo it was only worthy of deletion.

Now just a short jaunt on the forest road to Signal summit, another 4 minute break and we were heading back down. Near the bottom we missed a turn (ok, so I was leading) and figured it was easier to continue than to return to the trail. Besides, it WAS a game trail we were on, the only problem being it did not lead directly back to the trailhead. But just one small gully to cross and we had but a hundred yards along the road back to the car.

This hike would bring the most AEG of all of the hikes on our trip. Thankfully my hip only let me know I was abusing it a few times and they were of short enough duration neither Tracey nor Evan was the wiser to my discomfort. But again, the elation of hiking with like-minded folk, the scenery, the wildlife and the beautiful weather, it was all worth it.
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Named place
Black Peak
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Oct 17 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
CDT NOBO from NM 15, NM 
CDT NOBO from NM 15, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking11.30 Miles 2,572 AEG
Hiking11.30 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   1.97 mph
2,572 ft AEG      25 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #5 - Continental Divide Trail Mile 181.8 to 187.5

After four hikes of Tracey's vacation she is just now getting into the hiking groove, shedding the cobwebs of mostly sitting at a desk since Covid-19 changed our world.

This was the second time starting from this CDT trailhead on NM 15, conveniently located hike within 2 miles of our AirBnB. With a slightly earlier start we had 49 degrees and mid-70's at the end.

We started at the "Arrastra" point-of-interest site just off NM 15, and for the first 1.5 miles we ascended 800+ feet along an ancient (mining?) road, sometimes it flattened a bit but every climb was a real workout, enough so the pain from my left hip was practically taking my breath away. It was too soon to give up and turn around, so I just kept it to myself, resurrected my mental bio-feedback tools and spent more time taking in the scenery.

Once at the top of the first climb we were back on an old road again for the next 2 miles, the first 1/3 being a steady downhill with enough orange to grapefruit-sized volcanic rocks to keep your eyes glued to the trail, 1/3 of it flat along a long ridge (the most pleasant part) and the last 1/3 beginning the ascent toward the first of the Twin Sisters.

As we began the steep and rockier climb to the Twin Sisters coming up to 4 miles out, my hip brought its displeasure to the forefront, so much so this time it actually DID take my breath away, bringing me to a dead stop. I didn't dare sit down as I wasn't sure I could get back up. Tracey had been a bit behind me so when she caught up she just assumed I was waiting for her to point out something of interest. When I told her what stopped me she re-affirmed the idea we really did not have any particular destination, and if we had to turn back now, so be it.

But after a few minutes of a heavy dose of bio-feedback, I looked at the FS Topo map and it appeared we would NOT be following the ups & downs of the old pre-fire CDT route and skirt the Twin Sisters along the contour instead.

Ok, so let's go another hundred yards and see how it goes. Viola! Sure enough, at our request, what do we have but a nice smooth, even tread around the mountains. And just like that my hip muted its complaint, and the rest of the way to our planned "5-mile turn-around-point was a distinct pleasure... a nice shady, cool walk with the background music of the breeze whistling through the pines.

And of course, due to the changes to the CDT route after the last fire, the 4-mile, 4.5-mile and 5-mile waypoints on my track were some distance off. Only when we returned to the TH would we realize how far off.

Luckily, my "5-mile" point provided us a perfect spot for our lunch break. After 25 minutes I felt we better head back before I get too used to sitting still.
(More like standing still... again I didn't dare sit down for more than a few minutes at a time.)

For some unknown but very pleasant reason the return trip went SO much easier. Sure, most of it was downhill but almost all the hazards I had kept my eyes peeled for on the way out seemed no longer to be hazards. Maybe I had been so focused on them earlier that they were burned into my memory and I no longer had to pay that much attention. Either that or I was in a trance.

Just as we were about to begin the last long (boring and in-the-sun) descent, I saw the old road had continued up to the summit of Peak 7640 and asked Tracey if she was up for a quick walk to the summit. No way... she said "You go ahead, I'll wait here" while subliminally thinking, "don't worry I'll keep my back to the wall so no mountain lion can sneak up on me."

As beat as I was 4-1/2 miles ago, somehow I had the energy to make quick work of another 150' climb to the summit. But for what?! Due to thick vegetation there were absolutely no views to be had. Oh well, after getting that out of my system I could now be satisfied I had pulled out the most enjoyment (and the most pain) of any hike so far on this trip.

Tracey was still sitting patiently when I returned, and from there on all we had was the last 1.5 mile descent, which most of which would now be in the direct sun so it was warm.

Whoops... almost forgot to mention the saddle between the Twin Sisters. We did see a trail going up to the bare slick rock saddle between the peaks, and we actually did make an attempt, for about 25 feet. It was far too steep and loose a slope to take a chance, for what? A higher viewpoint? While the northern Twin Sister was an LoJ peak to bag, I can accept the fact most of my peak bagging days are over.

In summation, while this hike provided plenty of ups-and-downs physically, mentally and geographically, at the end-of-the-day I felt great. And wonder of wonders, I will awake tomorrow with an eagerness to take on an even steeper hike, but thankfully it will be shorter.

NOTE: I posted a GPS file including all the parts of the CDT we hiked as one single northbound track as well as the Burro Peak CDT NM06 hike.
GPS Route: Continental Divide Trail NM07 Mile 169 to 188
Named place
Named place
Black Peak Signal Peak Twin Sisters
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Oct 16 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
CDT NOBO from Little Walnut Rd, NM 
CDT NOBO from Little Walnut Rd, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 16 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,509 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   4 Hrs   33 Mns   2.27 mph
1,509 ft AEG      35 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #4 - Continental Divide Trail Mile 173.2 to 177

At the halfway point of our CDT hike yesterday we found such a great spot for lunch and a nap that it would be our goal again today. According to the latest Guthooks CDT track it was supposedly the halfway point between Little Walnut Creek Road and our start point yesterday on NM 15 so we figured it would be about the same distance round-trip, but again the recent re-routes were not reflected on the app.

This hike would be pleasant in almost every way... the weather was perfect, cloudless sky, temps from mid-50's to mid-70's and a nice breeze. If a good portion of the hike yesterday was good for mountain biking, the full 4.5 miles out-and-back today would be awesome for it. The tread was wide, mostly smooth dark dirt and plenty switchbacks so the numerous ascents and descents would be easy for biking as well as hiking.

I don't recall many specifics of the hike, not for the lack of scenic views, but rather there were more than enough views that none stood above the others. But I did manage to take a photo of the nice camp/lunch spot we used both yesterday and today.

NOTE: I posted a GPS file including all the parts of the CDT we hiked as one single northbound track as well as the Burro Peak CDT NM06 hike.
GPS Route: Continental Divide Trail NM07 Mile 169 to 188
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Oct 15 2020
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
CDT SOBO from NM 15, NM 
CDT SOBO from NM 15, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,041 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   14 Mns   2.11 mph
2,041 ft AEG      30 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #3 - Continental Divide Trail Mile 181.8 to 177

The CDT trailhead on NM 15 was just 2 miles north of our AirBnB so it was just a few minutes and we were on-the-trail again. And like all but the first hike of this trip the temps were in the mid-50's to start and mid-70's at the end so they were all within Tracey's comfort level.

Heading southbound we began with an easy downhill in a shaded area so all of the the first tenth-of-a-mile was quite pleasant. But of course it didn't last long, the next 1.5 miles were a constant uphill, part of it on a trail and most along a forest road. In fact, well over half of this hike would be on forest roads and while the road walk itself was boring, every once in a while we would have a scenic view of the surrounding area. One of the most prominent features was the Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery and to a lesser degree, the St Joseph's Monastery. The Continental Divide Trail used to pass much closer to the monasteries but thankfully, due to how steep that route was, it no longer does.

The next three miles was a constant descent, with the last mile to our planned turn-around point was on a particularly unpleasant rocky part of the road. Both of us had the same thought... this is not going to be fun climbing up on the return trip. But once we reached what seemed halfway to Little Walnut Creek Road there was a nice open yet shaded area, which appeared to be a designated camp/picnic spot. So we took advantage of it. I failed to take a photo of it today, but no matter, I'll make sure to do that when we stop here again tomorrow on our hike northbound from Little Walnut Creek Road.

After an extended lunch/nap we began the climb neither of us was too happy about. But once we reached where the road leveled out somewhat the continued climb felt easy. Just past a locked gate we heard a truck approaching and what do you know, it was a propane delivery truck! Quite the surprise as the only possible destination we could think of was the communication site on Piños Altos Mountain, but this seemed quite unlikely as there is a better and shorter way up from NM 15.

Once we began the long descent it was the same as earlier... boring along the road until onto an actual trail again. Then on a steep climb just a few hundred feet before crossing a road here comes a brown furry animal barreling down at me from seemingly out-of-nowhere. Before I had time to figure out what it was and if it was a danger I saw a woman come out of the brush and immediately realized it was a dog, which actually blew by me as though I wasn't even there. So I figured it was a regular along the trail and was well-trained enough not to bark or trouble anyone it met. And moments later, here comes another dog (more obvious by it's boxer-look) from behind us, so it must have been off-trail as we passed by and it was now returning to met its owner. And like the other one, it passed us like we didn't exist. All we ascertained when passing the woman was that this was her daily ritual out with her dogs.

Once past the road it was a short dip down and back up to the trailhead. Even with the 30-minute rest stop in the middle this was definitely a butt-kicker compared to yesterday. And tomorrow we will hike northbound to the same mid-point from Little Walnut Creek Road.

But no matter how we beat felt physically we really have become to enjoy hiking on the CDT. As mentioned in the previous triplogs, and I'm sure I will again, this part is very conducive to mountain biking.

NOTE: I posted a GPS file including all the parts of the CDT we hiked as one single northbound track as well as the Burro Peak CDT NM06 hike.
GPS Route: Continental Divide Trail NM07 Mile 169 to 188
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5 archives
Oct 14 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Little Walnut Gomez Peak Medley, NM 
Little Walnut Gomez Peak Medley, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,553 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   1.81 mph
1,553 ft AEG      12 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #2
After arriving later than expected yesterday (forgot the one-hour time change) we figured we'd start with something requiring little-to-no planning and something we could extend the distance depending on the conditions, of the trail and our own physical condition.

So first up was the Little Walnut Day Use Picnic Area which sports numerous trails with a number of intersecting loops. While the picnic area is closed due to Covid-19 the trails are open.

A quick look at the map at the trailhead proved to be of no help because part of the map was missing and the rest was faded. But no matter, we saw a trail and simply set off for an unknown adventure. I had a track which had been posted on HAZ but almost right away we realized a good deal of it was not on designated trails so we simply ignored it and whenever we came to an intersection we decided whether to go left, right or in some cases, straight ahead.

While the trails are named on the map, each trail was numbered and our route ended up following Trail 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 4, 9, 11, 12 & 14. Only later in the evening when I found a map of the area did we realize the names of trails we hiked, which corresponded to part of Pinon Loop, Angel Loop, Gomez Peak, Dragon Trail, Mountain Loop, Wagon Wheel Loop and finally Picnic Loop.

The 'back' end of the day-use area featured trails connecting to the Continental Divide Trail which passed by less than a half-mile from where the Wagon Wheel trail followed the actual Continental Divide. All the connector trails appeared to get extensive use by mountain bikers. And yes, as I mentioned in our Burro Peak triplog, we really did wish we had brought our bikes along.... we had given it a fleeting thought but figured we'd have more than enough to do in the time we had.

Although a morning during the week, we were a bit surprised we only encountered two other hikers over 4+ hours. Ok, so we SAW two more hikers but they were on a trail below us. All appeared to be in their 20's.

Compared to our Burro Peak hike yesterday, the only real workout today was the climb to the summit of Gomez Peak. The last 150 feet of elevation was one tall step after another, one rock up to the next, the result of which was pure agony for my right knee. I ALMOST thought of cutting the hike short then and there but thankfully Tracey said 'let's continue slowly and see how it goes' and once were on flatter ground the scenery grabbed my attention and I never gave the knee another thought the balance of the hike.
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Oct 13 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Burro Peak via NOBO CDT NM06, NM 
Burro Peak via NOBO CDT NM06, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,374 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   2.30 mph
2,374 ft AEG      25 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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trixiec
Tracey booked us a 8-day 7-night stay at an AirBnB in Piños Altos so it was up to me to come up with enough hikes to keep us busy for the duration. Although I had tracks and/or maps for thirteen hikes, ultimately we only hiked four of them. Once we realized how much of the Continental Divide Trail was easily accessible within a 10 mile radius of our AirBnB, four of our last five hikes would be solely on the CDT.
(During the fifth hike we will travel a short quarter-mile segment on the CDT.)

2020 New Mexico trip Hike #1 Continental Divide Trail Mile 116.5 to 121.3
For our first hike we decided to bag Burro Peak via the Continental Divide Trail from NM Highway 90. We started at roughly mile 116.5 of the CDT and would turn around at the summit of Burro Peak at roughly mile 121.3.

Note: I say roughly because some part of every CDT hike we do will be on new re-routes so all mile-points are approximate. Even though Tracey had the absolute latest CDT update on her Guthooks app, more than a few times the very obvious new track was not as shown on the app.

The first quarter-mile followed a fine sandy wash which gave way to a rocky climb for the next 2.5 miles before the first respite to cross a short saddle. But no rest for weary hips & knees, the next half-mile will be another rocky climb, only this time the respite will be 3/4-mile on a very recent bypass taking us around the western contour Jacks Peak instead of up along a Forest Road and the down the ridge to the north.
(According to the CDT Coalition this part was just completed on October 6th)

I feel it's worth noting that ALL the newly constructed reroutes we encountered over the course of the week appear to be constructed with the emphasis on mountain biking, including easier grades, more switchbacks and nice sweeping curves. And yes, we wished we had brought our bikes. :roll:
(Of course, not for THIS hike, but for 3 other CDT hikes we will do)

The last half-mile climb to the summit looked to be another rough & rocky climb, but even gaining 300' of elevation it didn't seem that bad, probably because we were focused on looking for the deer we were seeing fresh tracks of. No such luck. :(

Although not thick, there was enough vegetation spread around the wide summit there were no scenic views to be had at the summit. While I did find the remains of a summit log, but it seems whoever placed the log did not fully wash the plastic parmesan cheese jar and an animal made short work of the lid as well as the small notebook. Only the front cover of the notebook was in the jar, with a few dozen pages spread all around, probably by the wind once the animal freed them of their bondage. Unfortunately all of the pages I found were blank. :doh:

While I spent most of my time at the Burro Benchmark summit seeking the Reference Marks, Tracey spent most of her 25-minutes taking a lunch break. After about 10 minutes and only finding RM #1 I gave up and chowed down as well. But funny enough, as we were leaving I saw a few more notebook pages and when I walked toward them I spotted RM #2. I guess it helps to NOT be looking for something for it to be found. And yup, these pages were blank as well.

Time to head back... as much my left hip and knees complained on the ascent, I was a bit apprehensive of the steep rocky parts we would encounter on the descent. Although it felt pretty warm in the sun (mid 80's), weirdly (and happily) enough I hardly recall the descent. So either my mind was simply ignoring the pain, or it wasn't as bad as I expected.

One down, eight more hikes planned during our stay in the Silver City "Gateway to the Continental Divide" area.
Fauna
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Named place
Named place
Burro Peak Jacks Peak
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Oct 06 2020
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Hutton Peak, AZ 
Hutton Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking3.52 Miles 1,324 AEG
Hiking3.52 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.07 mph
1,324 ft AEG      47 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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rayhuston
I have enjoyed the Oak Flat/Devils Canyon/Rawhide Canyon area immensely for 9+ years so it's a natural fall-back, especially when the weather is cool enough not to scare off hiking partners.

After a short and rough drive from the US 60 (significantly worse the last quarter-mile) we stepped out to a nice cool 59°... :y:

Being quite some time since my one-and-only ascent of Hutton Peak in July 2013 there was much I didn't remember, but as we progressed up the slope the more things came back to me. I guess the most telling memory was how hot I recalled it was years ago, even when the round-trip was barely 2.5 miles because with the Cherokee I had driven farther on nastiest part of the road.

Of course this trip was much more enjoyable, thanks to cool weather and Ray as a ready-and-willing companion.

The ascent was pretty much follow the cowpaths until/unless being swallowed thickets of holly, manzanita and/or cat's-claw. But no matter, there was always another way.

Ray spotted the white-tail first but as he mentioned, it was gone before a photo could be taken... actually, I had my camera out and on in time, but there were two bits of vegetation between us, one near me and one directly in front of the deer. So, do I wait until it moves? Or do I move slightly to get the shot? Of course we both moved at the same time in opposite directions, and thus, no photo. Oh well, moving on.

I had forgotten the communication site was on a false summit rather than the true summit so it was a good thing Ray spotted the antenna above the boulders or we would likely have passed by. The climb to the site was easy enough with a few cairns along the way.

Peeking through a crack in the metal box below the solar panels I was able to make out large 6-volt batteries connected in series to provide power when the panels can't. The site is provided for emergency use by the DPS.

Finally, on to the summit... we started on the same route until we split at a large boulder, Ray chose left, I chose right, in both cases... to-the-right and correctly. I lost sight of Ray but it appears he got wrapped up in a nightmare of boulder-hopping on his descent to the saddle. I was lucky enough to drop down onto a nice well-traveled path (cows/deer/humans?) along the contour all the way to the saddle.

From the saddle we were presented with nothing but boulders and thick vegetation, but in reality it turned out to be about a 30-foot rock-climb followed by another well-traveled path for the hundred feet over to the summit boulder, where we took a well-earned rest.

The summit boulder provides for an awesome 360° view... Top-of-the-World, Pinto Mine, Pinal Mountains, Dripping Spring Mountains (having scaled them in 2013, Scott Mountain, Hot Tamale and Hagen Benchmark were most recognizable for me), Teapot Mountain, Sleeping Beauty (actually both of them, one south and one north), the Ray Mine, Ajax Benchmark, Apache Leap, Picketpost, a glimpse of the Superstition Ridgeline, Kings Crown Peak and of course Peak 5630, which Ray and I visited last week.

Break over, it's time for the descent, which began much easier due to some very obvious cowpaths. Although bit and pieces of the paths would appear/disappear it wasn't but a dozen feet and we'd find another route.

Rather than returning on the same route we took a semi-circle over to what I believe is Headquarters Tank... I say "believe" because the label is a full quarter-mile away, in an area where there IS NO tank. As we approach the tank the most skeptical of the cattle moved off to the left (ultimately the same direction we would go back to the car) while another larger group just stood and stared at us.

As Ray mentioned, we heard voices in a thicket adjacent to the north edge of the tank. Although Ray did not see them, for a moment I saw two heads just above the vegetation and waved, garnering no verbal acknowledgement, just a wave quick in return.

From there it was as short walk to the car and the bumpy ride back out.

Post-hike note: When were were up top I noticed traffic was stopped at Oak Flat on the US 60 and wondered if there was an accident. If it was, we figured it would be cleared by time we were headed home. It turned out to be more road construction and the highway was one-lane traffic between Superior and Oak Flat.
We were VERY lucky that with just a few vehicles ahead as we approached the stoppage at Oak Flat the traffic started moving, following the Pilot Car. While the traffic did move a bit slower, we weren't sitting still for 15+ minutes like all the eastbound traffic we saw lined up in Superior.

After completion of the repaving and striping over the previous few months, just what was the construction for today? Paving a 6-foot square OFF TO THE SIDE of the 60 just east of the Queen Creek Tunnel.
Named place
Named place
Five Point Mountain
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Oct 05 2020
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 Guides 43
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71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Bulldog Horse Trails, AZ 
Bulldog Horse Trails, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Oct 05 2020
CannondaleKid
Mtn Biking10.20 Miles 626 AEG
Mtn Biking10.20 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   4.94 mph
626 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Time to ride the trails I cleared a few days ago along with a lot of uncharted trails.
Crossed over Bush to the long-unused Sheep's Crossing Picnic site
Followed the route of the truck hauling in hay for the wild horses, circling back to re-cross Bush
Rode along Bush across the bridge followed by a long loop through the Pebble Beach Recreation Site
Probably picked up 1,000+ thorns in the tires but thanks to tire-sealer there was no need to replenish air during (or after) the ride.
I hadn't planned to ride on uncharted trails so I didn't wear any leg-armor so inevitably I picked up more than a few significant scratches.
But no worries, the enjoyment was more than worth a few minor wounds.
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CannondaleKid
Oct 04 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 141
 Photos 21,934
 Triplogs 2,261

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Salt River Bottoms & Overlook, AZ 
Salt River Bottoms & Overlook, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.80 Miles 363 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   2 Hrs   17 Mns   2.10 mph
363 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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trixiec
Another cool morning so we stayed local, this time starting from the Salt River Tubing Lot.
Tracey enjoyed the area we biked yesterday so we returned to explore it a bit more in-depth on foot.
Plenty of wild horse encounters today.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
average hiking speed 1.87 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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