First through gate 4:47am.
Talked to Erik Filsinger for a while on my way down as he was starting up. His rock climbing book of the MCDowells is a must for people who love this area. He is a great advocate and has routes here on HAZ too.
I got to East End Peak at 5:48am and signed register.
Now headed back to boyfriend’s house to shower and have breakfast.
Only a few more Fridays left that I will be off from work. Joining a new practice in August and going back to five days a week.
Last night had a hike rained out - was determined to get in a good hike this morning. Set alarm for 4:30am. Got close to Tonto on 136th St by 5:45am. Was spit raining - huge wall of rain over Brown's Mtn. MyWeather radar app showed it moving away from my planned area. I basically didn't care - was getting this hike in.
Plan was to do entirety of Renegade now that signs are up. Last times on Renegade I did the "Heaven Hill" portion but didn't know how it connected to other trails on either side. Knew generalities but not names or details. So I used TrailForks map to see where I was going when I wasn't near a sign since the new City map won't be out for another week or so.
136th St Express down to start of Renegade to the end of Renegade and backtracked to Desperado down to Soapberry Wash (and intersection with Michelin Man cactus) Soapberry to Renegade connector Dove Valley Barb's 136th.
Temp was 73 at start and low 80's when I finished. I took 56 minutes of break. Mostly laying around on top of Heaven Hill watching sun break though cloud layers and thinking how much I loved the quiet and solitude but simultaneously wished I wasn't alone. I haven't had a drink in 42 days and feel so much better - skin/hair/clothes fitting so much better. Nothing horrible made me stop. Just felt like need for alcohol was escalating and was using it to get dissociative from daily life. Not healthy. And not drinking on Fri/Sat nights makes it much easier to get up crack of dawn for hikes.
Because of the rain and storms - I was the only human out on trails for at least two hours. You get panoramic views from the three bumps/hills on Renegade - - cloud cover was just wonderful. Bugs were intensely awful and I had to keep a rag on my nose/mouth for most of the hike to keep from vacuuming them up as I walked. Still worth it to get out on these trails before word gets out how great they are. Rain+alarm clock+bugs == no one else out there LOL.
I am posting a crap ton of photos because it was just so beautiful. Side note: I am far behind posting triplogs from spring. I know how to make it not show up on main page. Will slowly get those filled in. And somehow I need to get motivation to write up these hike descriptions.
Route Scout app rocks. I love uploading to HAZ. And TrailForks has one mislabeled section of Renegade and is missing two short connectors.
God I love this loop. Arrived off 136th St random pull out just before sunrise. This loop at sunrise is phenomenal. Watching sun come into Coyote Canyon and light up Michelin Man cactus....amazing. Scattered flowers see report below. Whole day today after hike dedicated to packing up kids and me for Masters week in Augusta. Flying out tomorrow (Sunday).
Barb's Dove Valley Soapberry Wash through the granite area (not the bike bypass) future Desperado trail (has Michelin Man cactus on it) Coyote Canyon Dove Valley Barb's in a lasso loop.
Wildflowers ObservationLight purple thistle, white ratany, owl clover, banana yucca blooms, brittle bush (rare), those dandelion looking things.
Off work on a rare Tuesday - work week shifted. Temp was 51 degrees at 11:40am start - wore rain jacket - windy as always at The Lookout. Buckhorn cholla blooms orange/yellow/dark pink just gorgeous. Some brittle bush towards the top still blooming. Few hedgehog blooms.
From house to Paradise around counter clockwise to Gateway Saddle and around the loop. Then took Crossover Trail to Levee back to Paradise and home. Was smidge past sunset on Levee trail. Moon was so pretty.
Lousy time to saddle: 40 minutes. But was taking tons of pics.
Wildflowers ObservationModerate brittle bush intense but past peak
Late afternoon hike - kids have babysitter. Crossed from Preserve into MMRP and climbed up the back of Rock Knob from Park side. GORGEOUS brittle bush e-v-e-r-y-where. Field of gold. Couple of deer down below snacking.
Wildflowers ObservationSubstantial brittle bush confluent
I wasn't feeling super great - but Brad had taken day off work - and I will be damned if we waste a day off and not get a hike in. So parked at Granite Mountain TH and took Uber $17 up to Stagecoach Road. Hiked from Tonto step over alllllllll the way down Dove Valley to 136th Street Express - and then to car.
Nice day for a hike - didn't take many pics. Dragged a saguaro cactus arm out of the way and sent pics of remaining pieces to the Conservnacy's C&M team to go move the rest. Paul S. was out there the next day moving it!
Marianne invited me to look for butterflies and wildflowers at sunrise. I left my car at my church and we drove in her car. Couple other butterfly friends came too. My first time here - looks so unappealing from the parking area. No crowds at all as we started hike at 7:00am. Beautiful waterfalls. Lots of wildflowers. Some butterflies.
The contrast between saguaro cactus and bamboo up and behind the waterfall - - strange bedfellows! Fun morning.
After nap I took my tender chickens and Junior stewards for the Conservancy to Family Sonoran Sunday at Gateway. I am the coordinator this year for the program. Natalie Case presented on plant/animal adaptations from Scottsdale Community College - Center for Native and Urban Wildlife. They have a really cool nature center there with school tours too.
I bought their solitary bee house to put in the backyard. After the talk we took a walk around the Bajada Nature trail. Kids were being so sweet. They are good helpers and enjoy coming to all the Conservancy activities.
Spent the morning at World Wildlife Zoo in Litchfield Park with kids and Brad. After nap - had a babysitter. So we did Tom's Thumb up to EE junction (36 minutes for me) and then down East End for intervals. Dinner at the Living Room in DC Ranch - I enjoy people watching there. Human zoo LOL.
WOW - The Divide is a gorgeous trail!!! Hard to access in a day hike during school hours. But I found a way. Parked at Granite Mountain Trailhead. Called Uber cab and paid $17 to get up to the last house on Stagecoach Road. Took Powerline Trail #1 to Dove Valley then down The Divide. Lots of little rock formations. Found a fire ring - so stupid WTF. Saw old signs with yielding for jeeps, motorcycles, etc. from when this was AZGF Multi-Use Granite Mtn area.
Spotted a double crested saguaro on Branding Iron (in retrospect I had seen it before but mistook it for the Coyote Canyon double crested -but is way different not sure what I was thinking).
Made it back home in time to clean up - power nap - caffeine - then school pick up! Life as a Mom-hiker.
In-laws in town to watch kids while we got away for a night. Stayed in Mesa. Had dinner and drinks for the first time at AZ Wilderness and loved it! Next morning drove to hike Picketpost. I should have read more and researched more. The hike was a cluster-F. Not even sure how I got up/down without some sort of injury. Tons of scrambling and slipping. I stuck with another group going up and merged with two other groups coming down. None of us knew what the F we were doing. Or maybe there aren't trails - or I don't know - but I'll never do this hike again unless I'm with someone who knows how to get up efficiently and without risking injury. At the top - sat for a while ALONE - because Brad bailed long before the top. He kept slipping and just not worth getting hurt. I am mad at myself for not getting GPS route on phone or reading more or prepping more. Somehow I thought this was a well-traveled hike and couldn't be a way to "mess it up". So wrong.
Family Sonoran Sunday at Brown's Ranch with the Conservancy. Kids always do nature trail before speaker starts. We have to get there early to help set up - gives them sometime to do. Speaker was SW Wildlife.
After the presentation Caroline and I did another mini hike from the amphitheatre area along Latigo to Hackamore and Sunset overlook and then down into parking lot. Fun little loop.
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
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE