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Oct 20 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Tonto Natural BridgePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2014
Barrett
Hiking2.10 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles   1 Hour      2.10 mph
500 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The plan was to hit Tonto Natural Bridge on Sunday, and then a loop of the Buck Spring and Bear Canyon area along the rim for some Big Tooth Maple action on Monday. The downpour that started before we even hit Strawberry forced us to an early check in at The Windmill Inn (on the plus side - friendly owners, microwave, fridge, no bugs. Minus side - maybe the worst mattress ever).
From there it was THAT Brewery in Pine, where we enjoyed burgers and a 6 beer sampler. Karen absolutely loved the Schofferhofer (wheat beer with grapefruit juice) and I agreed - an awesome summer beer.
After a good ten hour toss-and-turn, we started the day at The Early Bird in Pine, where we enjoyed Frisbee sized pancakes and great hospitality before heading to Tonto. The weather was perfect, cool and clear as we arrived 2 minutes before opening and soon strolled down the Gowan Trail to the south mouth of the bridge, being the first to arrive. :D
From there we plodded up the short and steep trail over to the Waterfall Trail, which I had not been on before. Only 300 feet long, it leads down to an amazing fern and moss covered travertine cliff side covered with rivulets of cool water. :D :D
Next came Pine Creek Trail, which soon became a serious boulder-navigating creek bottom route I wouldn't exactly call a trail. An adventure, but without the payoff of the others.
Last came the Anna Mae Trail, leading down to the north mouth. Karen chilled in the shade while I cruised down and checked out the other end for the first time. Short, steep, and transitioning into another creek-bottom boulder fest, it payed off big time. :D :D :D
Just as the tour buses arrived, we piloted the taco up the 14% grade and back into Pine, where we stopped by The Honey Stand, picking up some honey butters, etc., and chatting with Ruth, who is quickly becoming one of our favorite people in the world.
The drive home flew by, Karen making Christmas bows as she did on the way up. We may have only seen one red maple, but the rest more than made up for it.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ Food
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Oct 04 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
White Tanks Radio Summit via Goat CampPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2014
Barrett
Hiking7.60 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.44 mph
2,400 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
RunMule
SpiderLegs
Met James at the Goat Camp trailhead at 6 am, and was introduced to Jeff, AKA RunMule. Now I had both an aspiring and actual ultra-marathoner to hike with, and spent the next 90 minutes trying to keep up.
Saw 2 deer three times, and several hikers in their 70's ( : rambo : ) on this otherwise uneventful double black diamond trail.
Today was Jeff's birthday, so upon summiting we cracked open some Hop Shock (tastes like it sounds) and some Hop Notch (more like Dales - Mmmm), did the register thing and headed down.
Conversation included what you can blend with a Bullet Blender, tattoo-worthy poems, Punk bands from the Great Lakes region, and how visiting off-the-beaten-path bars in France can lead to a friendship with Johnny Depp.
Enjoyed meeting RunMule, even though I found going up faster than coming down completely foreign and against the natural order of things. ;)
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Mule Deer
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] White Tank Mountains
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
4 archives
Aug 29 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Luddamid, AZ 
Luddamid, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2014
Barrett
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,259 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   4 Hrs      1.88 mph
1,259 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
One last trip before writing a Description for Pyramid Peak.
Started with Ludden at dawn to get the best photo vantage point, then drove over to Deem Hills Park from which I proceeded on bike to Pyramid. Went up via the southern saddle, did my first scramble up the south face, placed a register and dug around fruitlessly for the 2269' VABM. If someone wants to bring up a metal detector, be my guest.
Descended the south slope, hearing no hive this time ( :pray: ), and hopped on the bike for the sweet ride back. Gentle downhill over hard packed sand whoop-de-dos. :GB:
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Pyramid Peak
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
Aug 23 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Pyramid Peak 2269', AZ 
Pyramid Peak 2269', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 23 2014
Barrett
Hiking5.40 Miles 893 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles   2 Hrs   35 Mns   2.70 mph
893 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove to Deem Hills Park and proceeded on my mountain bike 2.2 miles to the north side of Pyramid, ditching it just as the sun crested. My favorite summit close to home, I'd already done it from the east, south, and west, and felt it deserved the full four cardinal compass point treatment. With less slope than the other three (and no bees like the southern), it was the perfect decomposed granite scramble with almost no cholla or catclaw. :D
On the way down I started west and spiraled clockwise to pick up my bike, enjoying the smooth "roads" leading back. Other than 2 hikers I could see down below from the summit, I crossed paths with no one and as no motorized vehicles are allowed in the area, it was as quiet as it gets. :)
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Old Glory
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Ludden Mountain Pyramid Peak
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Aug 09 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Yet Another Ludden, AZ 
Yet Another Ludden, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2014
Barrett
Hiking1.90 Miles 1,286 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.90 mph
1,286 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took an alternate vehicle to avoid identification from the local nutjobs and headed up the east slope before dawn. Searched both summits and finally found the elusive register right where it should be, buried within the summit cairn, but noticed that the background seen in Desertboonies photo does not match the area of the actual summit. :-k ;)
Came across three rattlers, each blending in and not rattling upon approach - temps were in the 80's but no direct sun yet. I assume they were not warmed up yet, but I easily could have stepped on any of them and it was a little disconcerting.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Aug 02 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Highpoint 2866', AZ 
Phoenix Highpoint 2866', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2014
Barrett
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,652 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   1.68 mph
1,652 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SpiderLegs
Just over a year ago, I demonstrated to BobP and Tortoise Hiker my inability to carry passengers and navigate in the Lake Pleasant area. Today Spiderlegs benefitted from this anomaly and can now add peak 2510' to his list of bagged peaks, even though that particular little gem was not what we had set out to climb. :doh:
Once we stood on top, the error was apparent and the topography of the area was much easier to figure out, so we hopped, skipped, and jumped over to Phoenix Highpoint 2866', finding a summit register with only 7 names. From there we headed toward Peoria Highpoint 2765', but the heat and humidity caused us to reconsider and loop back to the truck.
Both the correct and incorrect approach "roads" are rough, high clearance and 4WD are a must, I even needed my rear locker for one steep stretch of bowling balls. Now that we know the area better, the Peoria High Point should be fairly straightforward - but waiting for cooler/dryer weather is not entirely out of the question. ;)
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sweat Peak
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jul 19 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Glendale Highpoint, AZ 
Glendale Highpoint, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2014
Barrett
Hiking6.80 Miles 1,405 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.27 mph
1,405 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've probably done 1862' over a hundred times via the Thunderbird Park H2 trail, but after SpiderLegs informed me it was actually the highpoint for the city of Glendale, I decided to bag it off trail. I left my front door (it's that close) at 4:35 am and enjoyed a few sprinkles along with coyote calls in the darkness as I travelled across the creosote flats.
A nice red dawn played out as I neared the top, so I copped a seat in the reconstructed sleeping circle south of the summit. 8)
I returned on a slightly different route, coming across a rattler, a saguaro hawks nest, what I think may be some of the remains of the old Hedgepeth Ranch, and not one but two wigs. :-s
It may not be much of a mountain, but starting from my porch, it's hard to beat.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Crepuscular rays Sunrise Virga
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jul 12 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Prescott Loop, AZ 
Prescott Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2014
Barrett
Hiking13.30 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking13.30 Miles   5 Hrs   27 Mns   2.60 mph
2,500 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Our original plan was to beat the heat and bag Granite Mountain outside Prescott, but at the last minute Granite was all "Waah Waah Waah, you can't hike off trail because of the fire!" Whatev.
Brian (mt98dew) put together a backup loop that supplied a nice pine-scented sampler of the area, the greatest challenge being trying to decide where to drink the Prescott Brewery IPA and Amber Ale that had been designated as summit brews.
We were back at the Honda by 11:15 am, where James sprung some Stone IPA on us, and soon after stopped at the Circle K, where Brian picked up, oddly enough, a Mountain Dew. :-k
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Granite Mountain
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jul 04 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Ludden MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2014
Barrett
Hiking1.90 Miles 1,286 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles   3 Hrs      0.95 mph
1,286 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had to return after Desert-boonie's comments. Searched at least 6 likely high points for the mystery "summit" register and found nothing. :tt:
The third highest point had a downed flag (they had used a pool cleaning pole and it was folded like a plastic straw - big surprise).
With the flag folded neatly in my pack, a bag of trash hauled out, and the pole I headed down, only to be confronted by two males and a female in their 50's driving a black SUV.
Their opinion was that I was in the wrong for bringing the flag down and demanded that I give it to them, as it was "their friends".
I pointed out that
1) It is illegal to construct any type of display on public property, and the downed flag and pole constitutes trash that should be removed.
2) Proper respect for the flag dictates that it should only be flown during fair weather, and illuminated if flown at night, neither which is possible given the location. Proper respect also dictates it should not be left laying in the mud.
Apparently immune to both reason and the law, the "leader" appeared ready to result to force. My knife was in full view, and I tried to maintain a balance between a polite, non-escalating tone while still holding my ground and viewpoint.
One of them photographed my license plate and I decided that though I might be comfortable with combat, I could not be sure they were not armed and this was really not worth fighting over. I gave them the flag and left. I have no doubt I did the right thing, every step of the way, and yet it still feels kind of crappy.
Happy 4th everyone.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Velvet Mite
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Old Glory
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jun 21 2014
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Ludden Mountain Morning, AZ 
Ludden Mountain Morning, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2014
Barrett
Hiking1.50 Miles 689 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.50 mph
689 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Early morning offtrail from the Honeysuckle cul de sac, had shade for almost the whole hike. :D
6 foot round summit boulder now teeters after one of its three support points shattered. I won't be copping shade under it any more.
The eastern approach is more stable, and has far fewer Cholla, but avoiding the sun was worth it.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] House Finch
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jun 14 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Union Hills Lassoo, AZ 
Union Hills Lassoo, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2014
Barrett
Hiking5.80 Miles 1,530 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   3.05 mph
1,530 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I noticed some missing Descriptions of some of the trails making up what MEWhiteman has called the "Union Hills Loop", a Phoenix Sonoran Preserve hike close to my house.
The Owls have flown the coop, but still a nice early morning hike under the shade of my umbrella..ella...ella...eh...eh...eh?
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 31 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Rondo Spring Loop, AZ 
Rondo Spring Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 31 2014
Barrett
Hiking9.60 Miles 1,133 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles   5 Hrs      2.74 mph
1,133 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Parked a few hundred yards past the cattle pen and hit the trail in a wet cotton long sleeve shirt under my GoLite Chrome Dome. My amazement at the number of spider webs was interrupted by a familiar rattle about 8 feet to the side. Got some nice shots and headed on, my smile even wider. :D
Found Rondo dry as a bone, and was only able to get a few ounces of brown sludge from the pump. There's definitely water down the pipe, but the rubber seal is leaking to much to pull it up. Numerous gnats and my lack of repellent made my stay less idyllic than I had hoped. I used my second layer shirt as a Shemagh and that worked pretty well for my break.
Decided to follow the wash out and make a counterclockwise loop around 3047' and check out an outcropping I saw on Google Earth. Two beehives made it less than perfect, and I headed back. It just topped 100 degrees when I reached the truck, my shirt was dry but the umbrella made all the difference in the world.
If the pump gets fixed, Rondo would make a great campsite. The grill, along with nice flat sand tent sites and decent views would make a great base camp for Elephant Mountain and the two major ruins in the area.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Rondo Spring

dry Rondo Spring Dry Dry
Pump seal is shot and doesn't work. Small amounts can be obtained by siphoning with Camelback tubing. There's water down there though.

dry Upper Well Dry Dry
No sign of water in any of the three tanks or well.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 24 2014
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2014
Barrett
Hiking2.20 Miles 1,180 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles      46 Mns   2.87 mph
1,180 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Coming off the Canyon and my training peak, I was curious to see how my time would compare to the end of last summer, my training low. Knocked 3 min off the up and 2 off my down, for about a 9% improvement. Man, that is a steep trail. I'm amazed at how HAZzers even more ancient than I do this trail so much faster. ;)
Now my ankle is starting to hurt - looks like my weekend will start with an icepack and an ego check.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 12 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
GCNP Ribbon Utah Battleship, AZ 
GCNP Ribbon Utah Battleship, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 12 2014
Barrett
Backpack42.00 Miles 9,868 AEG
Backpack42.00 Miles4 Days         
9,868 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 1 - 15.7 miles - After a breezy 44 degree night under the stars outside Tusayan, I entered the park early enough for it to be free and soon headed down the South Kaibab. Taking a break out on the Cedar Ridge end point, I let the Canyon sink into my brain for a bit before heading down to Phantom Ranch for lunch under a shaded picnic table. From there I continued up North Kaibab to Ribbon Falls, only to find it temporarily closed for a Zuni ceremony. I had to wait just around the bend from the falls with a guy named Randy from Macon, Georgia, who had been there 29 years ago with his brother. We lay on our backs in the shade, listening to the songs reverberate off the natural amphitheater overhead for an hour before we were allowed to finally enter. 8) Their creation story describes the first people emerging from the cave at the base of moss covered travertine monolith, and I personally can't think of a better place to call sacred than where we stood. I ducked into the cave, climbing to the window and poking my head out, the cold water a curtain in front of my view of the canyon beyond. :y:
Cottonwood Camp was only another 1.5 miles, so I set up camp and had dinner, returning for a sunset walk to the falls for some moonlight/LED photography. I can't say the pictures turned out very well, my sensor and LED's are too small and the falls are too big, but it made for an interesting adventure.
Day 2 - 8.6 Miles - After a morning trip to the falls, I cruised down North Kaibab to Phantom for another wonderful lunch under the shady tree before watering up (170 ounces) for my first trip up Utah Flats. The first half was like climbing a sand dune with a heavy pack, and Piano Alley was like climbing up a huge pile of (you guessed it) pianos with that same heavy pack. I found a nice flat spot at the saddle just southwest of the red rock basin, set up camp and soon was wandering around checking out the area. The small knoll just northeast of Piano Alley commanded awesome views in every direction, and I hung out there for the sunset. :D
Day 3 - 10.5 Miles - I had planned to bag Cheops Pyramid at dawn, but...
1) From where I stood, the southern ramp looked gnarly. My awesome wife K and I recently celebrated 25 years, and I'd like to be around to go for Gold.
2) My left heel, already sporting a whopper moleskin, did not like the look of that long off-camber talus approach one bit.
3) Bagging Cheops would mean I would miss the Golden Hour of light at the Utah Flats red rock basin.

Suffice to say I had a blast meandering around the sculpted forms with my new camera before breaking camp and heading back down. Another lunch at Phantom, this time under the shade tree just east of the stables near the silver bridge. From there it was up the Bright Angel, where I chatted up a group of Mung people in custom black silk uniforms ( :-k ), as well as joining Tom (Illinois), and Jenna (Tennessee) for the walk up to Indian Gardens.
At camp I met future HAZ member Roger from Phoenix, who had also planned his trip around the full moon. He was up for the trip out to Plateau Point for the sunset/moonrise, so we headed out and had a great time. After the sun went down, we had the place to ourselves, the conversation and beverages flowed. (simply mix Vodka with Indian Gardens water, add Smuckers Natural Concord Grape Jelly, shake vigorously until dissolved, and enjoy. Pretty Smuckin' good). The full moon walk back was the perfect last night in the Canyon.
Day 4 - 7.5 Miles - Roger headed out for a 26 mile dayhike to Granite Rapids (yeah, he'll fit in here on HAZ just fine), and I bopped up to the 2 mile switchback to access the Battleship route for my first trip there. Once again, my pack, though getting lighter, still made this less fun than it could have been. I carried it as far as the chimney, hoping it would be safe from critters for a few minutes while I went up. The climb was great, solid rock, little exposure, and a great summit. After taking in the scenery, I headed down, finding my pack undisturbed , and returned to the Bright Angel. The rim arrived soon, and I celebrated another safe return with the two Pyramid brews I had in my truck (still cool!), sitting below the edge along the Rim Trail by the Worship Site. 8)
A perfect trip. As always I'm torn between wanting to return to the same amazing places, or exploring new ones. Cheops looks much easier when viewed from the south, and someday I'll return. A dayhike from Bright Angel camp seems like a better way to do it.
Till then, I'll hike around Phoenix, and have some great adventures. But in the back of my mind, the Canyon will always call to me, a timeless sacred place that my words, my pictures, my videos will do no justice.

P.S. Not that I don't try. http://youtu.be/5O1toDCfdxI
Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Utah agave
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Mule Deer
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot Ghost?
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Moon
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 02 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Bike 'n Hike Spark 'n Spin, AZ 
Bike 'n Hike Spark 'n Spin, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar May 02 2014
Barrett
Mtn Biking3.80 Miles 277 AEG
Mtn Biking3.80 Miles   3 Hrs      7.60 mph
277 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Artist Formerly Known as Chuckwalla pulled up on his mountain bike as the sun dipped behind a nearby peak. We were soon on the trail, enjoying the golden glow and perfect temps.
Stashing the bikes and copping a seat with a view near our destination, we caught up on each others lives in hushed voices. It was that quiet.
After a short hike the LEDs were set up and we got to play with my new camera. Along with inspiration, I can thank Skatchkins for some tips and tricks. :D
The sparklers followed, and finally my first attempts at spinning wool. We had a hard time keeping quiet - this was blast. :y:
Chuckwalla showed quite a talent for flashlight line drawing - unfortunately some of his best, although quite entertaining, did not meet the family-friendly requirements of this site. ;)
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Apr 26 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Recon, AZ 
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Recon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2014
Barrett
Hiking11.56 Miles 2,347 AEG
Hiking11.56 Miles   4 Hrs   40 Mns   3.15 mph
2,347 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Rainy recon for an upcoming night shoot with my new camera. :D
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ - Hike HAZard
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Apr 05 2014
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Sheep Mountain Lasso, AZ 
Sheep Mountain Lasso, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2014
Barrett
Hiking9.60 Miles 5,584 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   1.40 mph
5,584 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The local 4WD club rates FR25A's difficulty as an 8 out of 10. Suffice to say I parked my beloved Taco right before things got heavy and proceeded on foot. I was amazed how much the canyon floor had changed since the fire/erosion/floods - not a place to be after a rain to be sure.
I passed the Sunflower Mine, having seen it before, and followed the canyon up to drainage that leads to Thicket Spring. Wanting to cover some new ground, I broke away and headed up a drainage on the west side and started to make my way across the decomposed shale foothills of Sheep and Peeley. Catclaw was growing in between the burnt Manzanita trunks, and the shale was slippery and sharp - it had all looked so easy on Google Earth.
Ravine 4 was better, with a seep where the topo shows a tiny lake.
Soon I was on top of Sheep, which indeed has great views, and read the poignant summit register.
From there it was down the steep scramble leading to ravine 1, which was similar in character to 4. To be honest, the foliage that remains, along with multiple tributaries at times, made it impossible for me to say the area is truly searched.
I opted for McFarland Canyon on the way back, which BobP had promised would be better than the way I came, and I was not disappointed. Amazing geology, little waterfalls, moss, just the right amount of downclimbs and obstacles - a perfect hike.
25A arrived and soon I was in my truck and headed back to camp. Both my hiking pants and gaiters were torn, with a few drops of blood between the black stripes of charcoal from head to foot. I was relieved to be back after what was definitely my hardest dayhike yet, and parts of it were truly beautiful, but all I could think about that night was what I did not see, and the tremendous weight of effort that has been carried through this wilderness.
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cinnabar Jasper
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Mar 22 2014
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North Loop 2, AZ 
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North Loop 2, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2014
Barrett
Hiking4.60 Miles 851 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   1 Hour   52 Mns   3.37 mph
851 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
Having done the big loop last week, I was able to make a loop out of what was left, arriving at the Ridgeback Overlook at dawn. :)
The east end of this preserve has to be the quietest in north Phoenix, with almost no houses in sight the entire way. Both times I had the trailhead to myself before first light on a Saturday, coming back to 30+ cars - but it still had the feel of untouched desert. Every major Sonoran flora is on this little loop, so it would make a great intro for out-of-towners. For an easy hike close to home, this one's hard to beat.
Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Saguaro
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cave Creek Dam
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Mar 15 2014
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North Loop, AZ 
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2014
Barrett
Hiking14.20 Miles 2,201 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   3.70 mph
2,201 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routes
Had to check out some of the new trails in Phoenix Sonoran Preserve's north section, so I pulled into the Apache Wash Trailhead at 6 am and headed out. The cool, moist air flowing down the Cave Creek Wash pulled the scent from the Creosote and made for a perfect start, along with a band of Coyotes celebrating breakfast maybe 200 yards off in the darkness.
My plan was a counterclockwise loop of the Sidewinder and Ocotillo trails, with a side trip up Apache Vista for the dawn. I arrived on top of Apache Vista a little early, waiting in the chilly wind for the arrival of Sol, who, as always, arrived right on time. :)
From there Sidewinder spent some time in the Creosote flats, which was quite nice, before beginning its journey up but not quite to the top of a number of small peaks (though I did opt for the short spur to the top of 2799', the ranges high point). Houses became more visible, and road noise increased on the western half, until I reached the end of Sidewinder and began my return on Ocotillo.
The first mile or so was noisy and boring, until the trail put some hills between it and the Carefree Highway. From there it heads east through about a hundred small washes, with a nice selection of Flora on the way. A nice trail for beginners.
I saw about 20 hikers on my loop, and about 100 bikers, as the trail is pretty smooth. I really like the old-school bells some use, as opposed to yelling as they approach.
Other than my dawn break, I really pushed the pace on this one - the terrain was easy, but I'm definitely feeling the mileage today.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Mar 08 2014
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Flatiron plus 5024', AZ 
Flatiron plus 5024', AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2014
Barrett
Hiking6.30 Miles 3,338 AEG
Hiking6.30 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   1.64 mph
3,338 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SpiderLegs
It only took me 12 years to get around to it, but thanks to Spiderlegs' last minute invite, I finally got a chance at a classic AZ hike. He'd done it after last years snowfall, and was anxious to do it with a reduced chance of sledding down the chute on his kiester.
We parked in the Mining Camp Restaurant lot, where they have an implied arrangement of "We'll give you trail access if you patronize us", so we made sure to stop by after the hike and "treat them with apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority".
A beautiful cool morning and a field of blooming brittlebush greeted us as we began, soon entering the draw and the relentless uphill. A trickle of water flowed and we were in shade all the way to the saddle - perfect conditions.
The Flatiron was very cool, we topped out at 90 minutes flat, but the 40+ mph gusting wind made getting close to the edge unwise, so we soon headed southeast to the southern overlook, where it was more mellow.
From there we headed for 5024', following some misleading cairns that led us too far north for about 15 minutes before we backtracked and summited.
On top we met James/Jim/Jimbo from Alberta, who was on his way back from the Andes (dude gets around), and he showed us his Snake Deflection Device. We all agreed this was a great hike on a great day, took some pictures, and headed down.
For a challenging trail, I was surprised at how crowded it was, but 5024' is easy and gets you some relative solitude. The geology on top of this end is amazing, and the spandex in the draw can also be quite scenic. :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Mostly brittlebush, with some other varieties just getting started.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.05 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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