username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... 11  Next
220 triplogs

Oct 28 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Frustum Hunting Out West, AZ 
Frustum Hunting Out West, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.85 Miles 109 AEG
Hiking4.85 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   2.20 mph
109 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The goal today was to locate two benchmarks and two boundary markers (frustum shaped).
All four were set in place in 1924 and the BMs were set in conjunction with determining the county border between Maricopa & Yavapai Counties.

This hike was about 15 miles west of Wickenburg, in what has to be the flattest desert I’ve encountered while searching for these boundary markers. With only one exception, all the rest of the frustums further west are in this same type of flat, desert terrain.
I compare hiking around in this flat, “It All Looks The-Same” desert terrain to attempting to find your way out of a huge corn field. With a cloud cover (no sun position), and no compass/GPS, it would be very easy to get totally, directionally confused. Long live my compass and GPS !!

The first Benchmark I attempted to locate (Divide BM 1924), was a lost cause from the beginning, as even surveyors, way back in 1984 couldn’t find it. I bet it’s there, but out of sight, buried under loads of sandy soil. There are pack rat middens all over this area also, so I didn’t “dig” too much before moving on.

The next item to locate was boundary marker #7. It was an easy find, but the Maricopa plaque side of the three sided frustum, was hard to photograph, as the frustum is ensconced in a barbed wire fence. I finally ‘jumped the fence’ and got a good photo of the Maricopa plaque.
HA - What a surprise the surveyors left for me. Check out the photo of the Maricopa plaque, and give out a chuckle.

Next up, hike through the “It all looks the same” desert, and locate Corral BM and boundary marker #6. Both were in great shape, about a quarter mile from each other.

The trek back to the TH was uneventful, except for coming across a ‘pipeline survey’ crew. They were out in the middle of nowhere (like me), stringing magic survey wire that they could ‘read’ with their survey instruments back in their ATV.

This was a fun walk in the flat desert, finding some 92 year old ‘Arizona culture’.
The fact that the three ‘culture' items I located were in excellent condition, was a bonus.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Oct 22 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
7 Heli-Pads, AZ 
7 Heli-Pads, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.62 Miles 1,187 AEG
Hiking5.62 Miles   3 Hrs   32 Mns   2.15 mph
1,187 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is my first hike in Arizona since April, so I started out with a warm-up hike.
I’m also rehabbing a summer injury that, hopefully will not deter my disk & frustum hunting.
Of course, I chose a ‘no wind, shadeless, 96 degree’ day to do this ‘warm-up’. Possibly not the best conditions to ease back into trekking around in the desert.

This hike started at the Golden Eagle TH in Fountain Hills. I hiked about half of the Dixie Mine Tr. while on my way to the Sonoran Tr. I’ve done this hike many times, so very little planning was needed. I just hiked, and checked-out my electronic gizmos (GPS & PLB), and refreshed my brain on using all their functions.

The Sonoran Trail portion of the hike always amuses me. The Sonoran Trail is only 2.8 miles long (one way), yet it has seven ‘Emergency Rescue Heli-Pads’ strung along the 2.8 miles. Yep - Seven rescue heli-pads, all marked with signs and arrows, pointing to their close-by locations.
Granted, the trail has alot of washes and ridges to maneuver, and the heli-pads are nothing more than flat, square, cleared desert areas, but still, …..7 heli-pads?

I was the only hiker on the trails, and had only one sighting of wildlife.
I startled a deer from his hiding place. The deer ran off a short distance, turned around and stared at me. The deer then literally stuck his tongue out at me. Mean, mean deer! It must have had a misguided youth.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
3 archives
Apr 21 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Sears In the Mazatzals, AZ 
Sears In the Mazatzals, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking14.35 Miles 1,968 AEG
Hiking14.35 Miles   7 Hrs   56 Mns   2.72 mph
1,968 ft AEG   2 Hrs   39 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This will be my last Arizona hike for awhile, so I chose a nice long one. (long for me, anyway).
I started out at the Horseshoe Dam and proceeded down FS479 to FS477, with my destination being Sears Triangulation Station, far to the east of Horseshoe Reservoir.

FS477, going through Davenport Wash, is a bit of a comedy, as there are many ‘tracks’ to choose from, in order to get on the other side of the wash. There are occasional “477” signs in the wash, but it’s still a ‘hunt-and-peck’ situation.
Once on the east side of Davenport Wash, FS477 is well defined. Very rocky in spots but overall not a bad trail/road.

I proceeded east on the trail/road for awhile, then took a shortcut that actually use to be a road. The shortcut knocked 1/2 mile off the entire hike distance and was easy to follow, although very overgrown. I passed a couple corrals on the way east, then proceeded to ‘Trail Springs’. There are some huge trees at Trail Springs, making it stand out from afar. Your eyes note the difference in vegetation right away.
From the springs, I went off trail, up a couple bumps and located the remote little disk.

This area must not get many visitors now. However, years ago, cattle must have been roaming all over, as there are still some very nice corrals near Trail Springs. No cattle now, and no ‘cattle scat’ or other animal tracks (or scat) anywhere to be seen.
Just the lonely little benchmark disk and me.

This was one of my longest hikes in awhile, and I somehow chose a windless, 97 degree day to do this ‘shadeless’ hike. What was I thinking? Plenty of water and a big hat saved the day.

Except for the last few miles of boring FS479, (back to the dam), this hike was a good one.
The Mazatzals never disappoint me.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark Corral
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Apr 17 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Two Frustums - Four Benchmarks, AZ 
Two Frustums - Four Benchmarks, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.12 Miles 865 AEG
Hiking5.12 Miles   5 Hrs   18 Mns   2.21 mph
865 ft AEG   2 Hrs   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I haven't gone ‘frustum hunting’ in five months, so I decided to go out and locate three frustums and four benchmarks. All those things are associated with the Maricopa/Yavapai border survey of 1924.
As it turned out, one of the frustums has disappeared. It was there in 2009, and my guess is - It was totally yanked out of the ground and stolen. No small task as it was one of the larger boundary marker frustums. So, with that frustum gone, I netted two frustums and four benchmarks.

The hike was just northwest of Wickenburg and south of Highway 93. My biggest challenge was finding a spot to park and hike, without going on private land. It appears Wickenburg has some growth going on, toward its northwest side.
In this area, going west along and near the Maricopa/Yavapai county border, the terrain is mostly rolling desert, with an occasional little mountain here and there. It was rather easy hiking.

I first located ‘Rail’ benchmark and boundary monument #9. They were about 30 feet from each other and very near some railroad tracks. (Hence, the BM’s name).
I then moved further west and located ‘Citrus’ benchmark on the side of a little volcanic rock bump. The associated boundary monument (frustum #8) was at the top of the same rock bump.
All four of these ‘discoveries’ are in excellent shape, and all were set in place in 1924.

Another benchmark, named ‘Pack’ (also 1924) was further west and a bit north of the borderline, and was near the top of a little mountain. Only half of the disk is left, with the missing half no where to be found.

After I located these disks and frustums, I headed back to my trailhead, hiking on some railroad tracks, as part of my route of travel. The rails were very shiny, so I assume this rail line is active. However, I never saw or heard a train all day.

Once done with the hike, I did a ‘benchmark drive-by’, just north of Wickenburg, to locate that third frustum and its associated benchmark. That’s the frustum, (#11), that is totally missing. Frustum, #11 was near a road, and I would imagine a winch etc, could have been used to get it out of the ground and dragged to a vehicle. Again, #11 was the large size monument/frustum with a huge 6 or 7 foot pipe going through its huge concrete base.
The missing frustum’s associated benchmark, ‘Hass’, was located and is just fine.

All in all, it was a fun little hike, in an area I had never hiked in before.
Plus I located all the things I left home to find, including (at least) the location of the stolen frustum #11.
I’m now all done with frustums for awhile (I’ve said that before), until I figure out how to make my car run on water - or air.
Named place
Named place
Vulture Peak
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Apr 09 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Saddle Mountain - Mazatzals, AZ 
Saddle Mountain - Mazatzals, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.69 Miles 2,034 AEG
Hiking6.69 Miles   7 Hrs   42 Mns   1.77 mph
2,034 ft AEG   3 Hrs   55 Mns Break
 
This hike was more of a test of fortitude than a hike. Half way through the hike, I started laughing out loud.
(Good thing I was alone).

Hike Positives
1 - I easily located a benchmark on the summit of Saddle Mountain.
2 - I also located two reference marks that I didn’t know existed.
3 - The hike is over.

Oh yes - another positive - I discovered that the normal clothes-washer cycle, takes soot out of hiking clothes.

Hike Negatives
1 - The off trail climb and descent was nasty, craggy, hiker-unfriendly, and absolutely full of thick vegetation on all steep sides, AND on the summit.
2 - Mixed in with all the tall, thick brush was charred brush remnants, from the Sunflower Fire of 2012 and earlier burns. (excellent to blacken all parts of your hiking costume).

Most mountains lose their “look”, the closer you get to them and Saddle Mountain is no different. Saddle Mountain is very distinctive from afar - It’s taller than the mountains around it, so it stands out in a very majestic way, what with its unique shape.
Up close - It’s not so majestic.

The trail (#91) portion of the hike was excellent. Trail #91 started life as a road and is now a very nice, wide trail.
The off trail climb, up and down, was very steep, with a bit of scree, and boulder hopping, but I assumed it would be. No surprises there.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the constant brush. I’d say the thick brush was over 95% of the off trail portion, with the actual top of the mountain totally covered with thick, 6 ft high vegetation. When I finally got up there, I actually did laugh out loud.
I felt like the mountain top was saying “Gotcha”, especially since the mountain looks so docile, and friendly from below.

As mentioned, I located the USGS benchmark “SADDLE” (1963). I located both reference marks first, then followed their arrows to the ‘brush hiding’ BM. All three disks are in excellent shape.

I unsuccessfully looked for a summit log on the ‘horn’ of the saddle and on the actual high point. I don’t think this summit gets alot of action, and I believe only a few HAZ members have made the fun journey to the top.

I stayed on top for quite a long time, after I took photos of the benchmark etc. I found a large boulder near the saddle, and had lunch.
I eventually stopped laughing at the mountain, and I finally got rid of my ‘mountain-malice’.

My choice of routes up and down were a ‘coin toss’. Looking back now, I don’t believe there’s a clear way up to the top that would be better. Give it a try and let me know.
Dress accordingly - Try to fully encapsulate your body.

Or get a helicopter and get ‘lowered down’ to the summit. I’ll guarantee you the chopper pilot will not land on the top.

I log this as a very successful hike, but in many ways, the mountain won.
I guess I’ll call it a draw.
Named place
Named place
Potato Patch Saddle Mountain 6,535
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
3 archives
Apr 04 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Sevenmile Mountain - Peak 2948Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.02 Miles 1,628 AEG
Hiking3.02 Miles   6 Hrs   58 Mns   1.73 mph
1,628 ft AEG   5 Hrs   13 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Sevenmile Peak (Peak 2948) is the highest point on Sevenmile Mountain.
‘This’ Sevenmile Mountain is between the Sierra Estrella Mountains to the east, and Rainbow Valley to the west. (There are a few other Sevenmile Mtns in Arizona).

The mountain has a very narrow ridgeline that runs NW to SE, and Peak 2948 is just about in the center of the seven miles. I hiked up to the east, from Rainbow Valley and basically went straight up to Pk 2948.

When done locating a USGS benchmark (and summit Log) on the high point, I wandered SE on the ridgeline for awhile before dropping down to a spur ridgeline, on my way back to my trailhead. (I was looking for another benchmark on that spur, but had no luck).

Going directly up to the high point entails a very steep climb, with no trails. It was just over a mile to the top, with over 1,500 Feet of elevation gain. I had to dodge all the normal cactus, loose rock, and scree along the way. I wore gloves, in order to get a better grip on anything I trusted, like boulders and palo verde limbs.
I guess if you start from one end of the range, the steepness would be partially substituted by 3 1/2 miles of ‘narrow-ridge, boulder-hopping’, to get to the high point. Take your pick.

I had to contact the USGS for the benchmark’s datasheet, since the info wasn’t available online.
They set the benchmark up there in 1949, but did not set any reference marks. (Current TOPO maps do not have a BM symbol on the peak. I knew about the BM from other sources).

Locating the disk was easy, as the Height of Light (and its wires) was still in place, directly over the BM. All I had to do was remove a huge rock cairn that was helping the Height of Light stay upright. After some photos, I reassembled everything again, and then located the summit log, which dates back to 1990.

I did this hike on a very clear day, and spent alot of time on top, just taking in the views in all directions. I actually would have stayed longer, but all of a sudden I had a gnat attack.
Zillions of gnats joined me on the peak, and their main agenda was to take roost on my arms, hands, and face. I took my hat off to swat at them and discovered there had to be at least 50 or 60 gnats perched on the hat. I should have brought along a few Black Tailed Gnatcatchers.
When I left the peak for the ridgeline the gnats did not follow. Good for me.

This mountain range is tiny, compared to its neighbor, the Sierra Estrellas, but still very worthy.
Hiking the entire seven mile ridgeline would be a fun trek.

I enjoyed this hike alot. It was challenging, a good little workout, and a successful benchmark find. (well, the one I was really looking for, anyway). Plus, it was nice seeing the Height of Light still standing, 67 years after the surveyors put it up there.
If you take away the gnats, I’d give the hike a 10.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 30 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Wind Cave Trail #281Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.34 Miles 870 AEG
Hiking3.34 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   2.23 mph
870 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My two favorite hike-masters took me on a hike to see a wind cave.
The three of us went up to the ‘wind blown’ cave, and then used a couple unofficial trails to view more stuff.

Along the way they encountered a bit of scree on those unofficial trails, and both hike-masters noted that they could do without the scree. They also pointed out a huge bee hive, high on the wall of the main cave. The morning temps were still cool, so the bees weren’t too active yet.

Hikers of all ages were going up the trail this morning, from babies being carried, to one or two 80 year olds. We politely passed all hikers, some of them two or three times as the two hike masters kept stopping to climb on top of rocks, and boulders. They also stopped to climb into every alcove available.

All types of cactus were pointed out, including my un-favorite, jumping cholla. Some hedghog cactus had flowers, but most cactus were not in bloom yet.

We could see the huge PHOENIX ‘sign’, painted on the side of a mountain to the west, with its arrow pointing to the city. I told them that it’s been there for about 60 years, at which time they asked if I ever used the sign to find Sky Harbor Airport. A bit of explaining was in order on that question.
They also said they’d like to climb on that PHOENIX sign, until I told them that there’s a shooting range right below it. They both said, “Never mind”.

After climbing on top of even more boulders, and climbing ‘into’ more rock alcoves, we had a snack (on a boulder), then hiked back down to the trailhead.

My two hike-masters have my enthusiasm for hiking now.
I just wish I had their stamina and endless energy.
AHHH - To be 10 years old again !!
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
Named place
Named place
Pass Mountain
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 24 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
SPUR in Estrellas-Success, AZ 
SPUR in Estrellas-Success, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.65 Miles 1,696 AEG
Hiking4.65 Miles   6 Hrs   35 Mns   2.07 mph
1,696 ft AEG   4 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this hike the day after my aborted attempt. (Leaking hydration reservoir).
I again, started out from Rainbow Valley, just west of the Sierra Estrella Mountains.

SPUR Triangulation Station (1936) was placed on a mountain peak in the Sierra Estrella Mountains, on a “spur” of the long, Sierra Estrella main ridgeline (ergo the name of the benchmark). I had a great view of the entire mountain range from the benchmark peak.
Out of curiosity, I had downloaded JuanJaimeiii’s tracks of his Sierra Estrella ridgeline marathon hikes, and got an up-close look at how tough those hikes must have been.

I used a steep wash to start my climb, and then transitioned to a scree-filled mountainside.
Close to the top, I chose to ‘go-to-the-right’ of some vertical boulders.
Wrong move - I had to deal with a good amount of exposer and alot of loose rock, before getting to the tiny top of this peak.

All three NGS survey disks (Spur benchmark and its two reference marks) are in good shape, with just the normal weathering of being on a mountain top for 80 years. I don’t think this peak is visited very much. Wood, wires and alot of nails, all from the Height of Light, are strewn all around the tiny top. From the top, you can see all of Rainbow Valley to the west. That valley is as flat as a pancake.

I chose a totally different route down and had no problem. It’s so much easier to evaluate and choose a bushwhack route ‘down’, as opposed to up. I used two steep, boulder filled washes to get back down to Rainbow Valley.
Once off the mountain, I passed beside the “knoll” that Spur Azimuth Mark was placed, just before reaching the “flats”. (Quotes around the words used by the surveyors in 1936).
I had located Spur Azimuth Mark on my aborted hike yesterday.

Some cactus in Rainbow Valley are starting to ‘flower-up’. It makes for a good contrast to what is normally a rather, drab looking valley.

I’m glad I went back and did the whole planned hike, even if it was a 130 mile drive round trip, each day. Yep - I have to buy a gas station.
Flora
Flora
Hedgehog Cactus
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 23 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
SPUR in Estrellas-ABORT, AZ 
SPUR in Estrellas-ABORT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking2.66 Miles 272 AEG
Hiking2.66 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   2.66 mph
272 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well there’s a first time for everything.
The plan was to first find an azimuth mark in the desert, then hike up a mountain and locate a benchmark that no one has reported on, since the initial surveyors put it up there in 1936.

I aborted the hike at the azimuth mark, while still in the flat, Rainbow Valley desert, right next to the Sierra Estrella Mountains.
While at the azimuth mark, I noticed my back pack was leaking water. Upon further inspection, the hydration reservoir had a 1/2 inch tear in a seam. That’s a first for me, especially since I do a ‘pre-check’ of all my hike stuff before leaving on every hike. Hours earlier at home, the reservoir was fine.

From the azimuth mark, I turned around and went back to the car and drove out.
Easy decision - No water, no hike.
On the way home, I went back to the store where I bought the reservoir. They exchanged it for a new one, with no hassle and no charge. All is good, except I lost the day’s adventure, but that’s OK.

I’ll post this tiny hike now and will post the real, full hike when I have time.
(Its ‘Spring Break’ for my favorite 9 and 10 year old Hike-Masters, who are in town now. They want to take me on a hike too - busy, busy time).

To be continued - -
Culture
Culture
Azimuth Mark
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 18 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
SALT in South Mountain, AZ 
SALT in South Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.82 Miles 1,612 AEG
Hiking5.82 Miles   6 Hrs   33 Mns   2.27 mph
1,612 ft AEG   3 Hrs   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I just figured out that ….. I haven’t hiked in South Mountain Park in 46 years.
WOW - I better get back in there before another 46 go by !!

I started on E San Juan Rd, took a short-cut to the Alta Trail, then went up Maricopa Peak Trail, to locate a benchmark named “Salt”. All but the last part was easy.
Locating Salt took a bit of doing, as the little disk was buried, somewhere, seven or eight inches below the surface of Maricopa Pk. I knew of the burial from the benchmark’s datasheet.
Alot of measuring, guessing, digging and luck finally unearthed the little guy. Locating the reference marks for Salt BM was easy, but the “RM photo shoot” was tedious, as both of the RMs are right on the edge of the little peak.
One wrong step and a hang glider would be desired.

Why name the benchmark Salt? South Mountain used to be called Salt River Mountains (and known by many other names by various indian tribes).
The first surveyors (1935) hiked up to Maricopa Pk by climbing straight up, from the SE to NW, from what is now known as E San Juan Rd, which is in the valley between the north and south mountain ranges. They left the peak by backtracking down again, to the road.

When I was done on the peak, I too went off trail, straight down toward E San Juan Rd, as the Salt Azimuth Mark was placed in that direction, way down in the valley. It was a short cut to the azimuth location that I don’t recommend. The off trail descent was quite steep and full of loose rocks that tried to make me skate board down the slope. All turned out OK, but I’ll take a trail down next time.

The surveyors placed the azimuth mark about 1/2 mile away and 1,000 feet lower than the benchmark, at the end of a ridgeline that comes down from Maricopa Pk. I located the mark after just a little searching. The azimuth mark wasn’t buried, but it was under a bunch of small little rocks.
From the Salt Azimuth Mark, I ‘hiked-the-road’ back to my TH.

I did this hike on a Friday and started out at 6:30 AM.
I saw no one all day, except some bike riders on the ‘closed-to-cars’ section of E San Juan Rd, as I was getting back to the car.

I guess I shouldn’t wait another 46 years to hike in S. Mtn Park. Heck, maybe I’ll hike there next week. :)
Flora
Flora
Hedgehog Cactus
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 13 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Apache Mid-Peak, AZ 
Apache Mid-Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 13 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.43 Miles 2,157 AEG
Hiking6.43 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   1.74 mph
2,157 ft AEG   4 Hrs   35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Apache Peaks
It’s made up of a huge range of peaks northeast of Globe, and covers at least ten or eleven individual peaks, depending on which ones you include in the range. The tallest of all the peaks is Peak 6940, and there’s a Forest Service benchmark on the highest point of Peak 6940.
The Forest Service called the benchmark, “Apache Mid-Peak”, and placed it there in 1934.
Future surveyors (1938), placed two reference marks and an azimuth mark.

The area to the south of this tallest peak is called Richmond Basin, and it once had a bustling mining town of about 800 to 1,000 people. Many mines and prospects were located in the Apache Peaks range, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Now the mines are done, and the town of Richmond Basin is on the list of Arizona ghost towns.

Azimuth mark
I first set out to locate the Apache Mid-Peak azimuth mark, which was ‘set’ off the mountain.
The info on the datasheet didn’t make sense, as to its location, until I deduced that one or more of the mining roads had been realigned. The benchmark datasheet’s ‘location info’ for the azimuth preceded the realignment. I could finally make out the original road segment on Google Earth, and once I did that, the surveyor’s instructions made sense.
I located the azimuth disk, hiding in a boulder that was partially hidden by a pine tree and fallen pine needles.

The hike up.
There are no trails anywhere, and there are only 5 previous HAZ hikes to the top of Peak 6940. Three hiked up from west to east, one from east to west, and one from the SE to the NW. I read all 5 triplogs, and they all basically say the same thing. Thick brush at times, very steep, loose rocks, some open areas, and one or more boulder ridges to maneuver through.

I chose to hike up a totally different way. I used the basic route that all the survey groups used through the years, which was a more ‘south-to-north’ direction. This route starts out on the east end of Richmond Basin.
I encountered all the same stuff the other HAZ hikers encountered, plus some thicker brush in a steep wash on my way down. This hike is a bit of work. (loose rocks, manzanita, juniper, prickly pear, buckhorn cholla, & agave) - Dress accordingly.

The actual top of Peak 6940 is about 800 ft long and only about 60 to 70 ft wide. It’s covered in alot of vegetation, the same stuff encountered on the hike up and down. The top is not a very friendly place to move around.
I located the benchmark right away, along with remnants of wood and wire from the Height of Light. I also located both reference marks, but have no photos of them. I could barley see both RMs, deep in the middle of thick, sharp needle-filled vegetation. I wasn’t about to move that stuff out of the way and get even bloodier arms than I already had from the climb. Trust me - The RMs are up there.

The hike down was like the up portion, with parts of the wash better, and some parts worse than my ‘non-wash’ track up.

Sooooo …..
If you desire to hike up to Apache Peaks’ high point, you now have four different tracks to choose from, or pick your own track and let us know how it goes.
Flora
Flora
Buckhorn cholla
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sun
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 09 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Squaw Creek Ruins and ET 1 JEK, AZ 
Squaw Creek Ruins and ET 1 JEK, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking2.84 Miles 225 AEG
Hiking2.84 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   2.30 mph
225 ft AEG   3 Hrs   22 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my first hike on Perry Mesa, so I started out early, not knowing the road conditions on the mesa. I recommend maps, GPS tracks etc, just to get to the correct spot to start your hike, as the many roads on the mesa could really lead you astray.

For my first adventure, I chose a couple ruins that are waaaay south on the mesa. From I-17, it was a slow 18 mile drive to my chosen trailhead, which was about a mile short of Squaw Creek Ruins. (The roads were good enough that I could have driven right to Squaw Creek Ruins, but I wanted to wander around to and from the ruin.)

I visited a smaller ruin on the way to Squaw Creek. As usual, this ruin was very overgrown with vegetation, but the walls were very evident. It’s about 1/2 mile from the huge Squaw Creek ruins.

Even to this ‘ruins rookie’, Squaw Creek Ruins was easy to locate, as the flat, grass filled mesa gives way to a more raised and more dense vegetation representation.
Squaw Creek Ruins is huge, especially when you include the area that encompasses its outer rock walls on its north side. It appears it’s not just a dwelling with multiple rooms, but north of the rooms is a boulder-bordered area bigger than a tennis court, that possibly was used for raising crops or used for ??? (Again, I default to my ‘rookie-isim’).
What ever the function was of the open and cleared area, it had to be purposeful, as the ‘dwellers’ took alot of time and effort to clear it and build the wall.

Pottery sherds must number in the thousands. They’re all over the place, easily visible in that open, cleared area. The ruin is right on the edge of the mesa, with a foreboding boulder wall as its eastern border. The trek down to Squaw Creek for water etc, probably had a well worn path, as all humans don’t last long without water.

The exterior of that eastern boulder wall is where the majority of the petroglyphs were carved.
I trekked along the outer wall and viewed as many as I could locate, including a few that are pigmented in red. There are three “red” deer depicted, with a few other petroglyphs that still display a fading red hue.

Another reason I chose this ruins for my first PM adventure, was because there’s a benchmark inside the ruin. The benchmark’s name is ‘ET 1 JEK’.
(ET = Electronic Traverse, the ‘1’ is the first of a series of 5 benchmarks going east from here, and the ‘JEK’ is more than likely the head-surveyor’s initials). The #5 in this ET JEK series of USGS benchmarks is on W Cedar Mtn, which I located a few weeks ago.

The dusty drive back to I-17 was slow going but uneventful. I expect I’ll venture out on Perry Mesa many more times, as there’s so much to see.

I’m always amazed at how ‘hardy’ the occupants must have been, to handle this southwestern environment through all 12 months of a year. My ‘hat is off’ to all them.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 03 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
I Found GOLD, AZ 
I Found GOLD, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.21 Miles 1,249 AEG
Hiking5.21 Miles   4 Hrs   52 Mns   2.40 mph
1,249 ft AEG   2 Hrs   42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The triplog title is not a ‘play-on-words’. Well maybe sort of…….

I hiked down Gold Ridge Trail #47 from FR3348 and went off trail, up a mountain, to locate GOLD Benchmark. I had no information on the mark, other than a symbol on some topo maps, plus a remote reference to it from another source. My thought was, if I locate the benchmark - Great.
If I do not, well, that’s OK also, as the Gold Ridge Trail looked like a nice trail to hike anyway.

I located the disk with little problem. It was hidden from the sun and other elements, under a bunch of rocks. The rocks also probably protected it from discoloration from the Willow forest fire of 2004. The wood used for the ‘Height of Light’ didn’t fair as well, as the wood displays alot of fire damage from that lightning produced Willow fire. The entire area still displays alot of fire damage from that fire.

GOLD is a USFS (Forest Service) benchmark, set in place 90 years ago, in 1926. It’s in almost perfect shape, and to top it off, the disk is gold in color. It’s one of the best looking disks I’ve come across. No reference marks were located and my guess is, none were set. The Forest Service usually just sets the main benchmark disk. GOLD BM is probably named after Gold Creek, that runs just south of the benchmark. That’s just my guess.

The Gold Ridge Trail is in great shape, and the part I hiked on is so good, someone should sponsor a trail run on it. Very easy hiking. There are some trees laying across the trail, but it appears the forest service is dealing with the trees nicely.

The off-trail hike up to the mountain top was much easier than anticipated also. It was mostly thick brush (new growth since the fire ?), that was easily pushed to the side.
After I was done with the benchmark peak, I stayed on a ridgeline that led southwest to many other peaks, all the time paralleling the actual trail below. Once I reached a mountain that was full of fire charred brush, I dropped down to the Gold Ridge Tr. I didn’t want to be covered in ‘fire-produced-soot’.

Close-in views included alot of green covered mountains, and the ‘further out’ views included Mazatzal Peak and all the peaks around that highest of peaks. Sadly, views also include the evidence of fire damage in the area, and most of us won’t live long enough to have that ‘view’ disappear.

All in all, it was a great little hike. Since I don’t usually hike on trails, especially trails this good, it was an extra treat of a hike. I should have brought my trail running shoes.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
Geology
Geology
Jasper
Culture
Culture
Benchmark Campsite
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 27 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Picture Mountain and Picture, AZ 
Picture Mountain and Picture, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.16 Miles 783 AEG
Hiking3.16 Miles   4 Hrs   23 Mns   2.08 mph
783 ft AEG   2 Hrs   52 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Years ago, while traveling on Rte 188 to the Roosevelt Reservoir area, I took notice of a mountain to the north that appeared to have ‘etchings’ on its vertical, southwest face. It turns out I was looking at Picture Mountain. After a bit of planning, I decided I’d find the way to the top and look around. I also knew there was a benchmark atop the mountain, and an azimuth mark off the mountain somewhere..

I hiked up a faint resemblance of a road (FR875) that goes up the mountain from the north. The makeshift road will get you part way to the high point, before it meanders to the east and goes over to Bear Head Mountain.
For a short stretch, the narrow, rock-filled road is as steep as the Thompson Pk road. I was laughing at its steepness while I huffed and puffed going up.

I actually did three hikes the day I climbed up Picture Mountain.
One hike before going up the mountain, and one hike after. Both of those hikes were my futile attempts to locate the azimuth mark associated with the actual benchmark located on top of the mountain. My information stated that the azimuth mark is located - “Off the mountain - In a boulder, on the west bank of a wash”. Which wash ? - Who knows? (There are three washes out there in the direction of the azimuth mark).
I do know I got all scratched up on both failed azimuth hunts. Hiking through and near three vegetation filled washes, while looking at all the boulders, tends to be a pain in the … arms ….

The actual hike up Picture Mtn is a fun little hike, with scenic views only on the edges of the mountain. Most of the interior is covered in trees and brush. There are some treeless sections up there however, where the ground is open and covered with red rocks. The Picture Mountain area is known for ruins, but this ‘ruin rookie’ couldn’t verify these open areas were once used as dwelling locations.

The etchings on the mountainside (from afar) are really unique, especially the ‘Horseman-Carrying-a-Spear’. Ironically, the horseman’s spear tip is pointing to the benchmark location atop the mountain.
I wish the spear was pointing to the azimuth mark. If it was, I might have located it. :(
Flora
Flora
Prickly Pear
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 18 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
West Cedar Mountain, AZ 
West Cedar Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.89 Miles 1,472 AEG
Hiking3.89 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   1.87 mph
1,472 ft AEG   2 Hrs   42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four days ago, I drove up a very dusty Seven Springs Road/FR 24, to go up a mountain, for the views and a benchmark. I washed the car the next day.
Washing the car wasn’t too smart, as I just went up the same dusty roads to climb up West Cedar Mountain.

West Cedar Mountain is just north of the Fifty One Ranch and just east of FR 24. Most maps do not show the road I used to get a bit closer to W Cedar Mtn, (off of FR24), even though it has a forest service road number.

I chose to hike straight up the ridge that goes directly to the high point. The mountain has many ‘up’ ridges to other, lesser peaks and also a ridgeline connecting all the peaks. I ran into a load of continuous catclaw on the way up to the high point. My thought was, once done with the high point and benchmark, I would have easy sailing on the ridgeline going north, that connects all those lesser peaks. Not so …….
The entire north ridgeline was full of catclaw and partially burned out trees and brush from a fire in 2005. This made for very slow going, as I was playing ‘dodge-ball’ with the sticky stuff. My hiking shirt got shredded and is now history. I recommend long pants for sure, and covered arms. My hat actually saved me a couple times also.

I finally got tired of getting beat up by vegetation, so I dropped down to a road that was built to facilitate the power lines and towers that run along the west side of the mountain. On the road, back to the trailhead, all of a sudden I could hike at more than 1/2 mph.

The summit log is full of alot of known ‘peak-baggers’, and quite a few hikers from Tucson.

Even though the views (in person) were great, the almost continuous overcast made for murky photos. A new camera (and lessons) may be in order also. If I ever do this hike again, I’ll make sure it’s a sunny day.
Oh, and I’m now off to wash the car again.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 14 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Dugan with Views, AZ 
Dugan with Views, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.23 Miles 1,313 AEG
Hiking4.23 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   1.94 mph
1,313 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Dugan triangulation station is located southwest of the confluence of Red Creek and the Verde River, and about 5 miles north of Sheep Bridge. The benchmark is located on the highest and middle peak of three peaks that make up a small ‘no-name’ mountain range. The benchmark is named after a now non-existent Dugan Ranch. My hike started near the ranch ruins, off FR18.

I hiked up to locate the benchmark (obviously), but my main intent was to take in the views of the surrounding area from a high vantage point. I wasn’t disappointed. I had impressive views in all directions, including the Mazatzal Wilderness to the east, East Cedar and West Cedar Mountains to the west, Tangle Peak to the south and the Verde River winding its way to Horseshoe Reservoir. (Horseshoe was also in sight).
Plus, I had an excellent view down to the Red Creek Forestry airstrip. A plane was parked there in the morning, along with a setup tent. By the time I left the mountain early afternoon, the plane (and tent) were gone. The plane was a STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) taildragger.
On takeoff, the STOL aircraft leaped into the air very quickly, using only a small portion of the short 1,480 foot strip. What a great way to go camping.

All three peaks have their own ridgeline going up toward the east, and I chose to go up the southern most ridgeline. From Google Earth, I could see a possible ruin or two on that southern ridgeline. My guess was correct. I located two small ruins, side-by-side, half way up that long ridgeline. The one-time occupants had great views from there. (If they even cared about views).

I located the Dugan benchmark and its two reference marks on the middle peak, then used the middle ridgeline for my return to the west. Once off the middle ridge, I located the Dugan Azimuth Mark. Azimuth marks are usually a challenge, but this one was an easy find. Maybe I’m getting better at it.

It was a long drive, on slow going dirt roads, to get to my ‘trailhead’, but well worth the effort. I now have at least two more hikes to do ‘up north’, since I had so much fun on this hike.
I envision a few more car washes after the future, dusty drives up FR24 and FR269
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 10 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Cerro Prieto and Two SASCOS, AZ 
Cerro Prieto and Two SASCOS, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.72 Miles 1,053 AEG
Hiking5.72 Miles   6 Hrs   35 Mns   2.00 mph
1,053 ft AEG   3 Hrs   43 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked up a mountain that topo maps call Cerro Prieto. I located some trincheras on the way up, then located alot of Hohokam ruins atop the mountain. I also located a benchmark up top Cerro Prieto. The surveyors named the triangulation station, SASCO, after the now defunct town and smelter operation nearby.
I then hiked the ridgeline of the mountain to the west, then dropped down to the flat desert, and hiked through the town portion of Sasco, then ended up in the smelting area of Sasco.

Cerro Prieto loosely translates to Dark Hill, and is the location of Hohokam ruins, not only atop the hill, but along the lower sections of the mountain’s slopes. Archaeologists call these slope ruins, trincheras. Trincheras are carved out of the mountain slope, making flattened areas that give the mountain side a terraced affect. The mountain side is covered with volcanic rocks that were ‘re-arranged’ to support the dug out, flattened terraces. Most of the terraces I hiked near are quite small, with larger ones on another slope of the mountain.
Trincheras are rather rare, and archaeologists don’t always agree on their function. Some believe trincheras were built as either dwellings, terrace gardens, lookouts, or for defense. Possibly, they were built for a little bit of all those reasons.

Cerro Prieto, is in the Samaniego Hills, and is the mountain just south of Sasco. Sasco is an acronym for - Southern Arizona Smelting Company, and was comprised of a company town and a copper smelting operation for the various mines in the area. Sasco functioned from about 1907 to 1921, then was abandoned. By 1933, the town and mine buildings, and the railroad system were dismantled/demolished, leaving behind only huge cement structures and a railroad bed.

From atop the mountain, I had a great view of the Sasco complex, including what appeared to be many very straight and long rectangular lines ‘drawn’ in the flat desert by aligning volcanic rocks.
Possibly, the ‘straight-line’ rocks were portions of the Sasco town layout. That’s just a guess, as the lines’ purpose puzzle me. I included a Google Earth view of the rectangular lines, along with my photos of the ‘rock’ lines from the mountain ridgeline, and from the flat desert.

In conclusion, the hike encompassed Hohokam ruins (that include trincheras) that date back to the year 1200, a ghost town and mine smelting operation that dates to the early 1900s, and by comparison, a ‘new’ benchmark that dates to ‘only’ 1935.
There’s alot more to see in this area that I didn’t have time to investigate, including petroglyphs near the foot of Cerro Prieto and in some nearby hills. There’s also a presumed prehistoric reservoir located in the Pan Quemado Hills, right next to Cerro Prieto.
An obvious return visit to the area will be a must.
Fauna
Fauna
Honey Bee
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 02 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Dome Mountain Plus Peaks 3269 and 3239, AZ 
Dome Mountain Plus Peaks 3269 and 3239, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 02 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.86 Miles 1,837 AEG
Hiking4.86 Miles   6 Hrs   28 Mns   1.64 mph
1,837 ft AEG   3 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Dome Mountain, at 3,381 Ft, is the highest point in the Goldfield Mountains.
Peak 3269 is 1/2 mile to the south of Dome, across a high saddle, so since I made the effort for Dome, I climbed up Pk 3269 also.
Actually, I also went up a third peak - Pk 3239.
Pk 3239 Is just 300 yards south of Pk 3269 and separated from it by another, smaller saddle.

I parked inside Bulldog Canyon and started the hike from the road. This knocked off 3 miles (round trip) of ‘road walking’ from the Bulldog Canyon locked gate area.
There are many ways to hike up Dome Mtn, and most hikes start by hiking northwest, through a large valley, as my hike did. It’s all off trail, so choosing a good track is up to the hiker.
When I left the valley, I chose to stay high and actually hike along the lower side of Pk 3269, then angle north to that high saddle. This avoided a few drainages, and reduced the time in a scree field. It had rained the day before the hike, and this kept the scree (just prior to the saddle) from bothering me too much. From the saddle, it’s very evident on how to proceed up Dome Mountain.

Early TOPO maps display a benchmark symbol on Dome, but the symbol is not on current maps. I’m less than 50-50 in locating benchmarks that are ‘only’ on older maps. I looked all over and came up empty. Bring up a metal detector if you go, and let me know what you find.
There’s a huge rock cairn on Dome. Find the summit log and log-in. It dates back to the 1980s.

While literally wandering to all parts of the top of Dome, I found alot of ‘white paint lines’ that were coming up the mountain. It wasn’t near my track up, but it obviously marks the way of a different way up. Maybe the ‘painter’ is a relative of the Flatiron painter……

After Dome, I went down to the saddle, then up Pk 3269. From that peak, I went over to Pk 3239 and had lunch. My lunch entertainment was a bald eagle soaring above me, riding the wind currents, and expending almost zero energy, except moving its head left and right while looking toward the ground. I’m assuming he/she was looking for lunch.

After the bald eagle show, I retraced back to the previous peak, then to the high saddle, then down to the valley, and took a different track through the valley back to the car.
It’s a fun hike, especially if you don’t have to do the ‘road walk’ from the Bull Canyon locked gate.

One thing I noticed about all three peaks was, they took on a totally different look once I got to the high saddle, as opposed to how they look from the valley.
From the valley, the peaks look very majestic, almost regal. From higher up, the three peaks look rather normal. Maybe it’s due to the light colored tuff rock walls that is so visually prevalent from the valley. The tuff really gives the whole range a cool look.
Fauna
Fauna
Bald Eagle
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 28 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
CURVE at the Agua Fria, AZ 
CURVE at the Agua Fria, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.69 Miles 1,190 AEG
Hiking5.69 Miles   5 Hrs   8 Mns   2.09 mph
1,190 ft AEG   2 Hrs   25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked up a little mountain range that is located northwest of Perry Mesa, with the Agua Fria River acting as the border between the two. Badger Springs Wash is nestled southwest of the range, with Black Mesa just on the other side of the wash.

This hike was sort of a ‘recon’ hike. I wanted to view the Agua Fria River, and its steep banks, from high above, so as to get an overall feel for future hikes. This little mountain range also gave me a good view of Perry Mesa itself, displaying how huge it really is.

I parked at the Badger Springs Wash TH, beating the sunrise to the trailhead. The pretty sunrise colors only lasted about 5 minutes before the reds, yellows, and oranges disappeared.
I proceeded to cross Badger Springs Wash, and purposely went up an old eroded mountain road to its end. The road ended right at the steep bank of the Agua Fria. As I thought, the road led to four or five mining prospects. (I had seen the disturbed earth on Google Earth).
With an active Richinbar Mine just a couple miles south, I’m sure the whole area was checked out for possible mineral riches. This specific area must have been a dud.

From the wanna-be mine area, I went up to the high point of the mountain range, Peak 3692, and located CURVE Benchmark and its two reference marks. I assume the surveyors named it, after looking at all the tight ‘curves’ in the river below. Alot of the benchmarks in the area were set in place in the late 1950s, including CURVE (1958), probably in conjunction with establishing the roadway location for what eventually became I-17.

From the benchmark, I travelled around the perimeter of the range, taking note of the curving river, with its very steep banks, especially on the Perry Mesa side. Getting down to the river from my side would be rather easy, as there are numerous river bank areas that are more gradual.
Although there appeared to be many places along the river bank edges of the mountain suitable for ancient ruins, this ‘ruins rookie’ found nothing.
I do know, someone with initials “AG” is in love, as I located a ‘modern glyph’ proclaiming those heart felt thoughts.

Wildlife observed included many deer, disappearing before I could quick-draw my camera.
I also heard an ‘out-of-context’ noise. When I finally looked up, I saw over 50 Canada Geese, in a “V”, flying due north. They were ‘honking’ away.
I see them all the time in the midwest, but not that much in the southwest. They were changing the lead goose position as they flew over. That ‘lead’ goose works the hardest and has to rotate back to conserve energy.

All in all, a good recon hike. I’ll have to get up on Perry Mesa now and take a look around. I’m sure it would take a dozen hikes to cover all of that huge mesa.
Fauna
Fauna
Canada Goose
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon Sunrise
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 25 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 192
 Photos 8,212
 Triplogs 220

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2016
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking11.76 Miles 2,001 AEG
Hiking11.76 Miles   6 Hrs   27 Mns   2.34 mph
2,001 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
I was up on Black Top Mesa a couple years ago and not much, if anything, has changed atop the mesa. However, it’s a fun hike and the last ‘re-hab hike’ for Mike, the bionic hip guy. (He’s only in Az in January).
It’s amazing to me that he can hike this far, with this kind of AEG, after having his 2nd hip replacement just three months ago. Good for him.

As many know, the Dutchman and Bull Pass Trails are very nice trails, with only the Black Top Mesa Trail a bit more challenging. The BTM Tr is where most of the AEG comes from, with the trail obviously getting a bit steeper and rockier until atop the mesa. The fact that you transition from desert trail to ‘dirt’ trail going up BTM Tr is an interesting anomaly.

I showed Mike around the top of BTM, including the petroglyphs (or Mexican glyphs) and, what I call ‘graffiti’ glyphs. He was amazed at the huge crop of prickly pear cactus up there, along with the various types of grasses. Photo ops are great in all directions also.

After lunch on BTM, we retraced our steps back to First Water TH, instead of looping back on Black Mesa Tr. The bionic hip guy had time constraints and the Dutchman Tr is a bit quicker.

Other than a group of about 10 backpackers (out for their 3rd day), we encountered few hikers. I’m sure that will change as daylight increases and the morning temps increase.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
average hiking speed 2.12 mph
Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... 11  Next

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.

help comment issue

end of page marker