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May 01 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Desert Center, CA 
Desert Center, CA
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2015
Barrett
Hiking0.50 Miles 10 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles   1 Hour      3.00 mph
10 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On the 7 hour drive to a worksite in California, my neck became sore craning left and right at the mountains and oddities along the lonely highway. One in particular caused me to stop on my way back, having seen the remains of palm trees planted in what appeared to be circles next to the highway.
Desert Center, as I would soon find out, was founded in 1921 by the eccentric "Desert Steve" Ragsdale, a preacher from Arkansas, who built the town from scratch to serve motorists in the middle of nowhere. Now mostly abandoned save for the Post Office, what's left varies from well preserved to completely trashed.
I approached an older man sitting in a pickup truck in the shade of the old market, asking if I could poke around and take pictures. He turned out to be one of Ragsdale's sons, and we talked awhile about the town's fascinating history while I noticed the newspapers and magazines piled high all around him in the cab. A pale brown film covered both he and the past that surrounded him. After 73 years he still called this place home, and you could see the unhurried life in his gaze.
As we parted ways, I thanked him and remembered to ask about the palms - why where they planted in a circle?
He smiled and simply replied, "So people would ask why".
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Apr 20 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
HCW 3018' and 3219', AZ 
HCW 3018' and 3219', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2015
Barrett
Hiking7.60 Miles 3,023 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   5 Hrs   50 Mns   1.69 mph
3,023 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rolled up Morgan City Wash to the Hell's Canyon Wilderness Horse Spring Trailhead, signing the register at 6:30 am and headed east with a smile on my face.
Copped a seat at Horse Spring, watching the water bugs and taking a moment to celebrate April 20th, deciding the bottom was the best green ever. :D
Left the trail to follow Horse Creek northeast, finding a little brush in the beginning, but after the remains of the well, an excellent route. The walls began to rise, and soon I was at the junction of Horse Creek and Garfias Wash, where the spring began to flow and a decent 30 foot deep alcove provided intrigue. The canyon continued, the geology and character kept changing as the flow alternated between pools and underground, some crystal clear, others completely covered in green slime. About a hundred pictures later the canyon opened up and headed south, where I got my first glimpse of 3018', my first goal.
The entire north side looked out of the question, so I followed the base around counterclockwise and found a decent gulley up on the south side, taking another seat in the shade and enjoying a Young's Double Chocolate Stout in the shade. :) .
Just as I was getting my gear together to head down, I felt a sting on the back of my head, swatting the bee and feeling the stinger. I stopped, listening for that terrible sound.
I heard no hive, and thought the attack rather odd, but grabbed my hat and started moving just as another bee dive bombed my left wrist and stung. O.K., now I'm awake. Probably my biggest hiking fear - bee attack on dangerous terrain.
I pulled my hat down, kept my mouth closed, and tried my best to get down as fast I could. The exposure was not lethal, but an injury would only make me slower.
For about 100 yards I flew down , at least one bee getting all up in my business but deciding not to sting. :worthy: When he finally let me go, I slowed a bit but put another 50 yards in for good measure. What a relief! :y:
Happy but now hearing bees everywhere, I headed west to bag 3219', finding no register, only a sweet ridge southwest with a great view of 3465'. From there I dropped back down to Burro Flats, picking up the trail and heading back to Horse Spring. After all of the trips out to this wilderness, it was great to finally discover what probably inspired it's designation. Hell Canyon and it's springs are amazing.
Oh, and I hate bees.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Prickly Pear, Hedgehog.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Apr 08 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Timucuan Trail - Ocala NF, FL 
Timucuan Trail - Ocala NF, FL
 
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2015
Barrett
Hiking1.10 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking1.10 Miles   1 Hour      1.10 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My family camped at these springs 40 years ago, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see them again.
My wife Karen and I flew in for a week at The Villages (words fall short) to visit with my Dad and his wife Barb. Our two nieces and nephew, who we haven't seen in 5 years, also flew down to escape the still icy north.
We arrived at the springs and almost had the place to ourselves, with everyone making it out to the "boil" with snorkeling gear to take in the amazing view underneath. The main vents form a funnel about 30 feet deep, and the water is ridiculously clear, flowing out with such strength it's almost impossible to approach the vent itself.
After warming up in the sun for a bit and lunch, we hit the Timucuan Trail, appreciating the view but being reminded of why I love hiking in the desert. I can't imagine trying to plow through this stuff in the summer with heat, humidity, mosquitos, and poison ivy everywhere. :scared:
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
2 archives
Mar 20 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Skunk Creek Wander, AZ 
Skunk Creek Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2015
Barrett
Hiking2.20 Miles 66 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles   3 Hrs      2.20 mph
66 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ran out of stuff to make at work, so used another vacation day to wander around Thunderbird Recs east end. :)
A few raindrops at dawn followed by clearing skies, standing pools of water and a bumper crop of Globe Chamomile (thanks New2Hyk!).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Globe Chamomile, Brittlebush, Palo Verde, Globemallow
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Mar 14 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Estrella Peak, AZ 
Estrella Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2015
Barrett
Hiking6.80 Miles 3,286 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.32 mph
3,286 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I reached the ridge, finally seeing my goal, and looked at my watch.
****!
It looked an hour away.
The route had looked so obvious on HAZ, I had not even brought my GPS, and had gone up the wrong ravine. My shin was still on fire from an Agave stab, the Catclaw had gotten thick, and now I was behind schedule. I was not going to be back on time to do the Stuff That Needs To Get Done. I was not happy.
Why was I here? Why couldn't I just be content wandering the washes below, taking pictures or sitting in the shade drinking a beer? What if a rock tipped and I snapped a tibia? Or worse? Who would provide for my family? Why am I drawn to things that are so difficult?
****! I repeated, and put one foot in front of the other.
The top was not an hour away, and soon I was sitting in the shade with a snack and a nice summit brew. The view was awesome, and when I headed down I found the return ridge to be stellar off trail - a ballet on stone. I was in the zone, visually evaluating the terrain, using hands and feet to glide forward, then sideways, even backwards from stone to stone as the incline dictated. My brain and body working in unison, controlling momentum, compensating for loose boulders that teetered under my weight. They say we are happiest when we are challenged by a difficult but not impossible task, and I was happy.
In Personal Training this is referred to as building Self Efficacy - a person's belief about his or her ability and capacity to accomplish a task or to deal with the challenges of life. You don't instruct a beginner client to do 100 Burpees - they will fail, probably vomit, and will believe in themselves even less than when you started. The key is to provide an attainable goal every time, create a victory that fuels the desire to be challenged again, and
create a mind and body that will grow in strength and resilience.
The ridge softened, I entered the wash, and followed it back to my truck. To some this peak is a walk in the park, for me it ended up being one of my hardest but most enjoyable day hikes. As I approached the city, I called my wife, and found that everything was fine and I could take my time. This isn't the place to describe the curveballs, sliders, and bean balls Life has thrown at my Family in the last 7 years - suffice to say we have been challenged in ways we never expected. As to whether these challenges are difficult but not impossible is something I don't know.
What I do know is that I will be sore tomorrow, but also a little more of why I (and I'm guessing more than a few of you reading this) am drawn to things that are difficult. I know this because my body is tired, but my brain is just a little more prepared to put one foot in front of the other.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittlebush, Poppies, Hedgehog Cactus
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
4 archives
Mar 14 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Estrella Star Tower, AZ 
Estrella Star Tower, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2015
Barrett
Hiking0.30 Miles 80 AEG
Hiking0.30 Miles      10 Mns   1.80 mph
80 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've driven by this wild piece of architecture a number of times but finally had a few minutes to check it out.
Built in 2006, this 50 foot tall spiral shaped observatory was designed to resemble the Milky Way constellation, and is a tribute to the area’s many historical stargazing cultures. At night tiny holes in the metal allow pinpoints of light to radiate from the structure, but up top you are in the dark.
Now that I know it's there I can't wait to stop by sometime at night. The park is open until 11:30 pm, and has a nice secluded ramada, but no other facilities. A short paved path leads from the parking lot to the tower, and the only real drawback is the number of video cameras on top to discourage (or just record for someone's personal collection) any recreational activity that the evening might inspire.
Of course there's always that ramada. :D
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Mar 07 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Arrowhead Point Trail - ThunderbirdPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2015
Barrett
Hiking2.50 Miles 556 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   3.33 mph
556 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Having a little fun returning the south ridge to it's natural state. :whistle:
youtu.be/I1vUKO-hBB4
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittlebush 50%, scattered Lupine, Creosote and Fiddleneck just starting. 1 Poppy.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
3 archives
Feb 20 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Ruins Peak - Tonto NF, AZ 
Ruins Peak - Tonto NF, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2015
Barrett
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,541 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   1.74 mph
1,541 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It had been a few years since I had been up to these cool ruins, and I wanted to check out the dramatic east side and find a more interesting way up. Found a decent gulley up, and after hanging at the ruins for a while, tried another route down to the northeast that cliffed out. Trudged back up to the ruins and headed back down the ridge route, which is fairly easy but more scenic than the direct approach.
Talked to two groups of Javalina hunters, and no one has a name for this peak, so "Ruins Peak" seems reasonable.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot Humor
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Black Mesa
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Feb 14 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Thunderbird Conservation ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2015
Barrett
Hiking5.10 Miles 885 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   1 Hour   23 Mns   3.69 mph
885 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Met James for a quick local hike, arriving so early we ended up completing the Glendale highpoint before the sun even rose.
Nice to have a hiking partner with a similar pace, and the conversation was enjoyable as usual. Topics included trail demographic variance, Centrist Libertarian politics, and James' fascinating step-by-step guide on how to enter a Bank. :D
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Old Glory
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Feb 12 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
White Tanks West Middlestuff, AZ 
White Tanks West Middlestuff, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar Feb 12 2015
Barrett
Car Camping4.30 Miles 1,129 AEG
Car Camping4.30 Miles   15 Hrs      1.23 mph
1,129 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Took advantage of the calm before the storm at work to hit the Sun Valley Parkway, arriving at South Camp with just enough time to scramble up "Pee Wee" for last light.
Returned to the Taco to watch the slow fade from the gravity lounger 8) before heading out with the tripod and LED's for some night shots.
Never one to sleep solid the first night, I awoke 20 times to stars overhead, finally rising to Coyote calls and the glow in the east.
Explored between 1908' and 1982' in the morning light, once again amazed at how something that looks so bland from a distance can be so complex and unexpected. :D
Satisfied at having covered the area enough to put together a Description, I returned to my truck, another adventure to process, another chapter.
And it was only Friday morning. :y:
Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Saguaro
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Natural Arch
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ Rides
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Barry Goldwater Peak
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
2 archives
Feb 07 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Thunderbird Triple Summit, AZ 
Thunderbird Triple Summit, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2015
Barrett
Hiking7.10 Miles 1,504 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   3.38 mph
1,504 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Inspired by Hippiepunkpirate's Triplog, I decided on the counterclockwise 3 leaf clover, hiking by moonlight for the first summit 8) , seeing a Red-tailed Hawk and sunrise on number 2 :D , and a gathering of about a dozen adult and two dozen Mormon children on the last :-s .
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Thunderbird Park
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
2 archives
Jan 30 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
White Tank West 1908', AZ 
White Tank West 1908', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2015
Barrett
Hiking5.10 Miles 745 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   1.70 mph
745 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Having seen some interesting alcoves on the side of 1908' on my Barry Goldwater bag with SpiderLegs, the rain forecast tipped the scales for a day off work to play in the rain. :D
Parked at the road washout 45 minutes before dawn and proceeded on foot across the flats, enjoying the petrichor and creosote released by the soft spritz.
Ascended 1908' from the south, it's geology similar to 1982' - a wild mass of molten forms that surprise you with every turn. I'm getting nowhere with the geologic surveys, but hope to get it figured out before writing a description for this amazing area. Whatever it is, it rocks. Solid, chock full of holds, and obviously prone to both alcoves and arches. :)
Following the formations snaking ridge, I found at least 2 dozen recesses large enough to provide shelter from rain, along with half a dozen arches and windows.
The low clouds and fog drifted by above and below, birdsong and raindrops in a 360 degree minimalist symphony as I took a break out of the drizzle before completing the ridge and following the eastern base around to complete my lasso.
The fog reduced visibility to about 300 yards on the way back, so I got a chance to rely on compass alone for the 2.5 mile return across the flats. A little bit off, but otherwise a perfect ending to a perfect hike. One more trip for the stuff between 1982' and 1908', and I'll have enough info to put something together for other HAZzers to enjoy this White Tank geologic anomaly.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Honey Bee
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Natural Arch
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot HAZ Food
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Jan 17 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Barry Goldwater Peak Western Approach, AZ 
Barry Goldwater Peak Western Approach, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2015
Barrett
Hiking3.10 Miles 1,992 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   0.95 mph
1,992 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SpiderLegs
When I originally sent a PM to several HAZ members and asked if they were interested in doing Barry Goldwater from behind, I was surprised at the lack of enthusiasm. :-k
Fortunately SpiderLegs was already aware of my proposed western approach and was down for some off trail adventure. The road in started smooth but the last few miles became high-clearance low range and finally we arrived at where an old Jeep had also called it quits and we started off on foot.
The ridge we chose up was perfect, clear and solid. About half way we ran into a full camo bowhunter who had not seen any deer, and I doubt would have any luck in the strong wind cutting across the terrain. We apologized for probably spooking any wildlife, he politely acknowledged both our rights to be here, and we wished him luck.
We reached the north/south ridge, still easy going but with more grass,and followed it up to Barry Goldwater, where we signed in and I had a summit brew I bought just because I liked the packaging.
From there we scrambled west over to peak "3914", where we found a register that contained only a bullet and some rusted DogTags. To this I added a third unique item that has been in my possession for over 25 years that was waiting for the right occasion to pass on. Of course anyone can discover its iconic beauty, but honestly I put it there just to mess with Desert Boonie for the whole Ludden thing. :D
We decided against the rest of the western ridge - it really looked pretty uneventful from our vantage point, so we headed down. The route was a bit more tricky, steep and loose. After a bit we were able to use a ravine that required a lot of small down climbs and a few side steps, but made for a successful return to the bajada and finally the truck.
A great off-trail hike, far less mileage than any eastern approach, with rugged terrain and big views to the west. It may take a few more gallons of gas and a 4WD, but to paraphrase Mr. Frost, taking the path less traveled can make all the difference.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Barry Goldwater Peak
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Jan 10 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
H4 Loop - Thunderbird ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2015
Barrett
Hiking2.20 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles      38 Mns   4.00 mph
400 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Silent morning air
The smell of distant cool rain
Sun rising softly
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jan 03 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Not Ludden, AZ 
Not Ludden, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2015
Barrett
Hiking1.20 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking1.20 Miles   1 Hour      1.20 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The password was the host of a show called Password, but an unusual parking location, several references to Cholla fields, and a photo of something not the password led me to add another chapter to a game I thought I had put behind me.
The ending of that story has yet to be written.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jan 01 2015
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration, AZ 
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2015
Barrett
Hiking2.70 Miles 1,415 AEG
Hiking2.70 Miles
1,415 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners 13 partners
HAZ - Event
BobP
Charger55
Dave1
desert_boonie
Grimey
joebartels
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
Nightstalker
Oregon_Hiker
outdoor_lover
PatrickL
RowdyandMe
Met Larry (Widowmaker) for the first time and hit the road, arriving within 1 minute of my estimate - so far this year was going pretty well.
Rolled up and after intros and loading of recreational goods, we were on our way up Margies (AKA Skull). The ridge was mostly large granite boulders, with a few quartz veins and enough Cholla to keep you on your toes. Even with snow on the Cholla and boulders, the lack of wind made the temps near ideal.
The summit slowly populated, and when the family was complete, we cracked open 4 bottles of sparkly stuff. Pam's awesome cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries completed our well-rounded meal, registers got signed, the wind picked up, people shivered, attack snowballs were repurposed into a snowman, I politely asked people if they wanted noisemakers and then gently handed them to those interested (actually I just threw them at people - sorry about that), no one had the nerve to use the stripper pole on the summit, someone lit sparklers attached to their head, and people laughed and shivered some more.
On the way down I took the ravine east of the ridge for extra variety, the top third steep and loose, but the drainage itself 95% clear. Compared to the Cholla ridge, I liked it a bit better.
Chilled with Scott (Charger55 - AKA The Guy With The Interesting Job) at the "trailhead", the fastest had already departed, so we waited for a bit for a full head count. After a lively discussion of Arizona's inferior fishing opportunities, we thanked Pam for yet another great event and went our separate ways.
A few new faces and names for me, a cool peak with some serious quiet to the south, and snow on the Cholla - not too shabby. Once again I smiled at the fact that a bunch of friendly people would be inclined to clamber together up a jagged pile of pokey things and rocks far from the city and actually think it's fun. I'm glad there is such a thing as HAZ.
So far the year was going pretty well.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Snowman
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Dec 20 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
White Tank West Cuesta 1982', AZ 
White Tank West Cuesta 1982', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2014
Barrett
Hiking1.50 Miles 581 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles   3 Hrs      1.50 mph
581 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
While planning a western approach to Barry Goldwater Peak in the White Tanks, I came across a cool rock formation on Google Earth I later learned is called a Cuesta. (Mesas are flat-topped, but if the top slants, it is called a Cuesta). I decided to make a trip to confirm access to the area, which turned out to be worth it.
Cattle gates and no signage led to nice two-track which I followed in to park near the landmark. The sun crept over the Tanks as I found a route up on the east side that had solid rock and minimal exposure. :) From there I explored the slanted top of wild stone that looked molten, following the edge clockwise to see if there was any other way down.
I was rewarded with not only an easier downclimb on the west side, but a tunnel to boot. :D
Following the base around, I came across a number of grottos, one of which had a dry waterfall leading out of it's sheltered mouth. My guess is rain from on top of the mesa drains through the roof. 8)
Having had a blast, I made my way back to the truck, taking a few last shots of the Totally Doable Barry Ridgeline Approach for that future trip.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Dec 13 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Mesa, AZ 
Black Mesa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2014
Barrett
Hiking8.70 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.93 mph
3,000 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rolled to the end of 22nd St north of Circle Mountain Drive to access the Tonto National Forest about 45 minutes before sunrise and headed out in a light drizzle under my Chrome Dome.
Took the rough two track east as far as I could before heading off trail to follow the ridge towards Black Mesa. The rain stopped, but the low clouds continued to surround me in a drifting silent fog. The ridge paid off, with smooth sailing most of the way, and I soon stood on top, with killer 360 degree views of fuzzy white in every direction. ;)
I followed the ridge down the first third or so, then dropped south into a drainage and followed that as it grew from a somewhat Catclawey affair to a downright fun open boulder-hopping thoroughfare.
Back to my truck before noon, with the sun now warming the wet, fragrant landscape. I looked back at Black Mesa, it's feet in the sunshine and it's head in the clouds.
Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Pigweed
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Benchmark
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Black Mesa Elephant Mountain
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Nov 28 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
White Tank Black Friday, AZ 
White Tank Black Friday, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2014
Barrett
Hiking11.60 Miles 3,311 AEG
Hiking11.60 Miles   8 Hrs      1.78 mph
3,311 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fleeing the frenzy of consumers, I pulled into the desert north of the White Tanks, only to find a locked gate where there had not been one years ago. ](*,) The sun would not rise for another 45 minutes, so I proceeded on foot in the cold darkness, taking the sandy washes for two miles before reaching the base of the mountains.
The light came up around me as I headed up the drainage to ascend 3161', from there following the ridge southwest over to 3236'.
I then made a beeline for 3724', crossing the north Tower Road in the process, and copped a seat out of the wind near the top, enjoying a Dale's along with my Cliff Bar.
Fortified, I crossed the saddle and followed the ridge up to the tower on 3754', enjoying the best terrain yet before deciding to head down the northeast slope and dropping into a wash to cross the basin to return.(I had originally set out to go all the way to Barry Goldwater completely off trail, but I was pretty beat up already and decided to head back.)
I found a faint 4WD road leading up and out of the basin, and decided to end my off trail there, following it up and over three ridges before finally leaving it to descend the slope that led back to the sandy washes below. I spooked a few Javalina, but soon reached my truck, not having seen or heard a shopper all day. ;)
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Nov 09 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
PSDP Rollercoaster, AZ 
PSDP Rollercoaster, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2014
Barrett
Hiking3.50 Miles 1,275 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   1.62 mph
1,275 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Parked along 27th Ave north of Carefree Highway to access this group of peaks all by their lonesome in the NW corner of the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve. Made a clockwise loop of 2080',2448',2353',and 2225' with a mix of off trail, old use trails, and even some newly spray-blazed routes that look like the Parks Department has been working on.
The northern two summits look like volcanic tuft and basaltic lava, but the southern two switch to granite, with some great sculpted forms resulting. The hiking was steep in places, but fairly open with annoying flora almost nonexistent. If it weren't for the road noise and the sprawl visible in almost every direction, this would be a prime bit of real estate.
Of course beating the crowds 12 minutes from my house isn't too shabby, and my earplugs worked just fine. ;)
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
average hiking speed 1.65 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.

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