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660 triplogs

Mar 27 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bootlegger Trail - MSPNPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2020
kingsnake
Hiking9.79 Miles 736 AEG
Hiking9.79 Miles
736 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Wanted to get this out while you folks may be planning your weekend expedeitions: Go to MSP North!

Counter-Clockwise, I hiked parts of Bootlegger Trail, the Overlook, Granite Mountain Trail, Branding Iron Trail, Cholla Mountain Loop, Cathedral Rock, the Amphitheater, Balanced Rock Trail (plus the Rock itself), back on Granite Mountain Trail, Saddlehorn Trail, then back to the trailhead on Bootlegger Trail. Around 10 miles and 750 AEG. Trail was pristine. No climbs. But the flowers ...

OH MY.

Bootlegger Trail (substantial) at 8:30 still had shadows, and it was 47o, so only the Brittlebush were really out, and they were abundant. Plenty of lupine. Some desert globe mallow. Plus owl clover, blue dick, fairy duster, and other species too small too photograph.

Granite Mountain Trail-North (moderate): Coverage definitely tapered off.

Branding Iron & Balanced Rock Trails (light): Branding Iron at the north end of the valley separating Granite Mountain and Cholla Mountain, and Balanced Rock at the south end, had the least coverage of all. It was more spikey succulents. Never saw one cactus flower all day.

Cholla Mountain Trail (Substantial): By the time I got to Cathedral Rock it had warmed up a bit. Brittlebush & lupine had come back in in numbers, both north & south of Cathedral Rock, and there tons of penstemon, and that until I turned onto Balanced Rock Trail. Some good fairy duster by the rock.

Can allergies cause a bloody nose, because I got a good one on Balanced Rock. Maybe it was the lofty altitude?

Granite Mountain Trail-South (EXTREME): Penstemon and brittlebush were BONKERS! Lupine substantial. Some really dense patches of owl clover. A few desert marigold, daisies, some good desert globe mallow, sparse buckwheat, small desert chicory. Not a whole lot of Mexican gold poppy anywhere all day, and what ones I saw were mostly cinched up tight against the cold & recurrent deep cloud caused shadow.

Met a couple who were out last week, on the south end of Granite Mountain Trail, and they said the flowers were definitely better today compared to last week.

It will be awhile before I get pictures up, as I shot around 200.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
See extended report above.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Mar 15 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 624 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      48 Mns   3.19 mph
624 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four minutes overall faster (from home) than on Thursday. At least 30 seconds faster on way up (17:30). Sunnyslope got hit hardest any place in Phoenix in Thursday afternoon's torrential downpour, and it showed (see photos). Phoenix Rain Gauge: http://alert.fcd.maricopa.gov/alert/Google/v3/gmap.html

(Why are these triplogs being set to hide one week?)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittlebush a little worse for wear after the rain. Lots of small lupine on lower half of access road. Globe chamomile by 7th St. Saw one desert globemallow. Scorpionweed. A couple of small things.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Mar 12 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 624 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      52 Mns   2.94 mph
624 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided a long hike looking for flowers might not be a good choice today, so i'm sticking around the house. Watching radar ( http://alert.fcd.maricopa.gov/alert/Google/v3/gmap.html ), I snuck out between rain bands while the next downpour was still over the White Tanks. Unlike yesterday, when I got soaked walking to the post office, today I was smart enough to wear a rain jacket, just in case.
Named place
Named place
Piestewa Peak Shaw Butte
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
The valley between North Mountain and Shaw Butte is golden with Brittlebush, even after 36 hours of rain. Even spotted one lupine looking good.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
7 archives
Mar 06 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Hawk's Nest Trail - Sonoran PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.59 Miles 995 AEG
Hiking7.59 Miles   2 Hrs   59 Mns   2.54 mph
995 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I hiked a spastic looking figure-8 that included seven trails. If you want to follow my route, see the attached route. Or you could just wing it: With all the signage in Phoenix’s city parks, you have to try to get lost. (That said, the day before a rescue chopper was airlifting some doofus off North Mountain, across from my office window.) 🤪

All the trails were in great shape!

Brittlebush predominated — as they have for the past month throughout Phoenix — but there were also some lupine along Hawk's Nest Trail.

The flowers along this short section of Dixie Mountain Loop included desert chicory, blue dick, lupine and brittlebush.

While Hawk’s Nest Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop existed when I first hiked the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve [ photoset ] , the next five trails were either under construction or in the planning stages.

The flowers along Valle Verde Trail included lupine, globe chamomile, blue dick, fiddleneck, owl clover, scorpionweed and lots of Mexican gold poppy.

Cactus Wren Trail is also rated moderate, but other than a few wash crossings was also flat. It should be rated easy. I continued to find Mexican gold poppy and scorpionweed, while the owl clover and lupine density increased. I took some really nice photos with multiple flower species mixed tightly together. 📸

Cactus Wren Trail is where I had my first rattlesnake encounter of the spring: A small, maybe 30″, western diamondback with indistinct diamonds. A retired couple, completely unaware, were resting in the shade a few yards away. That’s the thing about rattlesnakes: They are all around you, all the time, you just never realize it because they don’t feel threatened enough to make you aware of their presence.

As elsewhere throughout the Sonoran Desert Preserve, there is very little shade on Great Horned Owl Trail. I tried to make myself small under a palo verde while I swapped out water bottles.

I was tired enough I wasn’t sure I wanted to even try Union Peak Trail, but I made it. 👍

South past Deer Valley Airport, I could clearly see Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, North Mountain and Shaw Butte. The only summit flowers were the sole desert globemallow of the day.

After an extended break on Union Peak, including a hiking beer — Hofbräu Dunkel — I headed back down to the saddle, then west on Great Horned Owl Trail, where I found large, dense patches of Mexican gold poppy.

On Desert Tortoise Trail, I was in no mood to take pictures or even much notice what kinds of flowers it had, other than the ubiquitous brittlebush. (Besides the climb up Union Peak, I was under-watered for higher than expected temperatures.)

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 17 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Dreamy Draw Nature Trail #220Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 17 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 339 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      52 Mns   2.94 mph
339 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Arrived about 1:00 p.m. to do lunch time hike, forgetting that it is Presidents' Day. There were cars illegally parked all along the spillway. Oh boy. Probably no spaces, but I didn't want to get a ticket. So I followed two other cars into the lot. First car turned right into a space. I was looking at him, so missed the space to my left. Couldn't back up as there were pedestrians behind me. Not sure where second vehicle went. Looped back around and ... THE SPACE WAS STILL OPEN!!! :y:

Then I went walking.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some good patches of Mexican Gold Poppy along the Trail #220 route.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 13 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
First Water TH to Canyon LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.42 Miles 1,265 AEG
Hiking8.42 Miles
1,265 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had intended to do my video intro at the First Water Trailhead map board, but there were too many talkative oldsters milling about, and besides I felt self-concious about it. I got far enough ahead of them that I was able to do my intro at the trail split instead. 🤳🏻

Second Water Trail #236 narrows to single track, and gets rocky as it descends to Boulder Canyon. I really don’t like rocky, as it makes my feet sore, and I have to take care I don’t twist one of my bad knees. Hiking poles really help with balance. My first hiking pole was actually a saguaro rib I picked up at Ballantine Corral [ photoset ] . It made such a huge difference, that I became a convert, running out that week to REI to buy actual hiking poles: A pair I still use, all duct-taped together. (I tend to maximize the ROI on my purchases or, less generously, I am a ragbag.)

Near Second Water Creek, I met a couple of English hikers who were wondering if there was a way up Battleship. I knew there is a safe route up it, but where, I was not sure enough to tell them. 🇬🇧

Second Water Creek had pooling with trickle; so did Boulder Creek. La Barge also had pooling, but I did not see any trickle and was able to cross dry.

I think the climb up from La Barge looks worse than it is. Looking at my route, 500 AEG in a half mile seems worse than it was. There's plenty of switchbacks. 😅

While taking a short break at a scenic spot above La Barge, my hiking shoes finally began delaminating. The fuzzy covering on the laces has been almost gone for ages, and the tread is so thin, they are basically mocassins at this point. But hey, they were still wearable. Not if I am tripping over flapping tread, though. 25 months and 1300+ miles later ... 🙏🏻

Descending the ridge towards Canyon Lake, there is an unsigned trail intersection. The official route, which continues straight, is narrow with a line of small rocks across it, seeming to indicate it is no longer active. The major trail was left, so that is the way I went. I soon realized while I appeared to be on the active route, it was not the “official” trail. So, I doubled back to the intersection. Either way is fine, and left only adds a ¼ mile to your total distance.

I met my shuttle driver / loving wife at the Canyon Lake Marina, where I enjoyed a few beers while feeding bits of my chile burger to the marina’s crows & ducks. 🦆

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Humor
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Mexican Gold Poppy near Second Water. Lupine & Blue Dick on climb out of La Barge. Some others. Spring is starting ...
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 10 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Perl Charles Trail #1APhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.84 Miles 463 AEG
Hiking2.84 Miles   1 Hour   4 Mns   2.66 mph
463 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Lunch time walk from the Myrtle Ave. trailhead. The trail is blocked north of Orangewood Ave. all of this week for water pipeline work. Bummer. So, I walked the streets through the neighborhood to a cul-de-sac park access at the end of 22nd St. to do a short loop of Perl Charles anyway.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Some small purple things. One yard already getting African daisy's, which I love. 🤗
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 06 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Boy Scout Loop from Emery Henderson TH - BCTPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2020
kingsnake
Hiking10.34 Miles 874 AEG
Hiking10.34 Miles   4 Hrs   3 Mns   2.55 mph
874 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Unlike the cleaned up first segment of the Black Canyon Trail [ photoset ] , I found two garbage piles in the first mile of the Boy Scout Loop: The first, several rolls of foam padding; the second, a cheap metal futon and frame mattress. I actually took a look at the rolls to see if there was a body inside. It may not seem like it, but the desert is a great place to hide bodies. 🔎

There are several informal firing ranges on or near Boy Scout Loop: The first is 1.6 miles north of the Emery Henderson Trailhead. When I last hiked the Black Canyon Trail’s second segment nearly nine years ago [ photoset ] , the first range was riddled with shell casings and shot up targets. There was still some casings left, but it looked like whoever used it last at least tried to do a cleanup. I can just imagine how long 1st Sergeant would have had me beat my boots if it wasn’t “No Brass! No Ammo!” when I left the Ft. Bragg range.

The first 2.7 miles of the Boy Scout Loop, the Black Canyon Trail parallels, and often crosses a good size wash. On this trip, the flood plain along that wash was was thick with thigh-high grassy reed things. (Not a botanist.) 😏

At the base of the loopy part of the loop, I split right, counterclockwise. In a ½ mile, at “3 o’clock” on the loop, the Boy Scout Loop crosses a fence. There used to be a half-collapsed barbwire gate there with a “close gate livestock in pasture” sign. It was been replaced by a modern metal square tube gate. Not sure why, as “9 o’clock” a ½ mile west, on the jeep trail part of the loop, there is no gate at all. Why go to the expense of installing that gate when cattle could wander out the other way? 🙄

From the top of Boy Scout Loop, I booked it 5.2 miles back to Emery Henderson Trailhead in only 1h 45m. When I check my pack back at the trailhead, I found I’d only drunk a liter of fluids. That won’t last long with higher temperatures looming … 😅

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few of two different small purple species, plus some brittlebush here & there.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Feb 02 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ 
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Feb 02 2020
kingsnake
Scenic Drive5.00 Miles
Scenic Drive5.00 Miles      5 Mns   60.00 mph
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I'm not sure if I should post this, as it isn't a hike, but rather the product of 10 hikes over the past 5 years. And I'm sure at least several of you have already driven the new freeway around South Mountain. (Now formally known as the Ed Pastor Freeway.) But I hope some of you might be interested in what the west end of South Mountain Park looks like now, compared to how it looked before freeway construction? 🤔

The conceit being I compare the EXACT SAME location on the freeway to that which used to be dirt, pointing the same direction. Yeah, I planned that five years out. 😁

Comparison Video: [ youtube video ]

Chronology of Survey Hikes & Changes
1) April 13, 2015: Planning & scouting: [ photoset ]
2) December 17, 2015: First real survey hike: [ photoset ]
3) April 29, 2016: Dusty Lane properties abandoned
4) October 28, 2016: New luxury development underway
5) April 28, 2017: Dusty Lane properties erased: [ photoset ]
6) November 8, 2017: Exploring abandoned ranches: [ photoset ]
7) April 20, 2018: Driving Dusty Lane / access road construction: [ photoset ]
8 ) November 7, 2018: Main Ridge South cut / culverts installed: [ photoset ]
9) April 6, 2019: Main Ridge North cut / some bridges girdered: [ photoset ]
10) December 7, 2019: Almost complete: Just needs lights & stripes! [ photoset ]
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jan 30 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Limestone Trail #252 - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.87 Miles 1,434 AEG
Hiking7.87 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   1.95 mph
1,434 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
LosDosSloFolks
Hiked through the beautiful Saguaro forest along Metate Trail over to the old corral, then up Limestone #252 to Page Spring. Rather than head straight back along the rocky unnamed trail, we instead continued west along 252 to Ringneck Spring. It started out cool, but had gotten sunny, and felt pretty warm. Took a bit of a break in the Ringneck shade before heading east along Elephant Mountain Trail et al towards the trailhead. Really cooled off the last hour and looked like rain, but we got out dry. Greg treated me to late lunch in Cave Creek. Thanx! 🍻
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Just a few small purple things in one or two spots. Kinda like last week on South Mountain.

dry Limestone Spring - Spur Cross Dry Dry
No water at all. Slight moisture in dirt.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Page Spring - Spur Cross Dripping Dripping
Not dripping, but not dry. There was *some* water in the box.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jan 23 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Telegraph Pass - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2020
kingsnake
Hiking10.19 Miles 1,652 AEG
Hiking10.19 Miles   3 Hrs   47 Mns   2.69 mph
1,652 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had planned on waiting until 8:30 a.m. to start my hike, but I got to Desert Foothills Trailhead early, so after shooting my hiking [ youtube video ] intro I headed out. My timing could not have been better! I turned to look east just as the sun burst over the edge of some hills.

The first 0.4 miles of Telegraph Pass Trail, along the edge of the Camelot Ridge neighborhood, is wide, rough concrete. Not sure why they did that, instead of smooth concrete or plain ol’ dirt.

I turned left, clockwise, as Telegraph Pass Trail turned to normal dirt & rock single track. My favorite Hohokam petroglyph, outside the protected area, was a fractal pattern. From the petroglyphs, the trail pitches up, climbing 350 ft. in the next 0.4 miles to Summit Rd. at Telegraph Pass. The climb is steep, but short. The hardest part is the number of stoney step ups.

Being on the north slope of Mount Suppoa, National Trail was deep in shadow even at 9:00 a.m. It climbs 450 ft. in 1.5 miles to a saddle just east of the antenna farm. Surprisingly, there is a summit log there.

Just before Buena Vista Lookout, my 💩y Garmin 62S threw a fit, so I had to backtrack a bit before heading down Corona de Loma Trail. Corona de Loma descends 150 ft. past Chinese Wall -- it was my first viewing -- before following a wash for a bit, then climbing 150 ft. to a saddle where I took my only break. There are great views south from that saddle … Or there would be if there was not a dense, thick layer of smog all along the I-10 southbound corridor. It was 1970s Los Angeles-level pollution. (I should know: I lived in L.A. back then.) 🤢

From the saddle, Corona de Loma Trail descends 700 twisty, rocky, feet in ¾ of a mile to the Lower Corona Trail. I’m glad I went down, instead of up it.

Desert Classic Trail might be one of the top rated mountain bike trails in the country — and a lot of them passed me — but for hiking it was underwhelming. Basically flat, crossing a few random washes, Desert Classic accumulates a massive 300 AEG in 3.1 miles. The best part of Desert Classic is some interesting saguaro. It sure isn’t the ¾ of a mile right along some mansions’ back fences. 😒

After completing the loop at Telegraph Pass Trail, it was a quick jaunt along the rough concrete path back to the Desert Foothills Trailhead. I killed two birds with one stone today: First, getting some good exercise; second, concluding my survey hike project by actually driving the new freeway over Main Ridge North and Main Ridge South, past Vee Quiva Casino and Dusty Lane, then through Laveen to westbound I-10, so I'd have point-by-point footage to compare to all the photos I've taken over the last five years.

Not sure why triplog auto set itself to hide one week ... 🤔

Went back in to edit, unclicked the check box, clicked update ... STILL hidden a week! 😠
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Just a few small purple things, and only in a few spots.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
3 archives
Jan 16 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
San Tan Trail - San Tan MRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 16 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.94 Miles 608 AEG
Hiking7.94 Miles   2 Hrs   44 Mns   2.90 mph
608 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
There are nine trails in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, rated from easy to “difficult”. I hiked a loop consisting of all 0.7 easy miles of the Littleleaf Trail, 0.4 miles of the “difficult” Goldmine Trail, and all 6.4 “moderate-difficult” miles of the San Tan Trail. In reality, the loop is no more difficult than hiking Charles M. Chistiansen Trail #100, only shorter. I didn’t even bring my hiking poles.

I did, however, carry my hiking pack. With low temps and 100% cloud cover, I didn’t need more than a bottle or two of water, but for training purposes I humped all the crap in my pack anyway. 💪

After paying my respects at the Afghanistan-Iraq War Memorial, I started up the Littleleaf Trail. I did the whole 0.7 miles of it in less time than it took me to type this triplog.

San Tan Trail didn’t have nearly as many horse 🍏’s as I remember from last time I hiked it, in 2010 [ popup triplog ] . The only “climb” is 200 ft. in the 0.6 miles from Rock Peak to a saddle. (I saw one guy pushing his mountain bike up it.)

Other than that one little climb, San Tan Trail just rolls up & down small washes. It is at its best south of the Moonlight Trail intersection, where San Tan approaches the Malpais Hills cliff band, 2.4 miles to the Rock Wash Trail intersection on the northeast slope of Rock Peak. I thought I spotted one doable route up the otherwise sheer face of the Malpais Hills.

And ... That's it. Not much to it, really.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Malpais Hills Rock Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
One weird cactus (see photoset), but no flowers.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jan 09 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Kaiser Hot SpringNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.60 Miles 931 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.42 mph
931 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I knew Kaiser Hot Spring was near Burro Creek Campground, but I did not relish a rocky, and possibly quite wet, 12-mile roundtrip between the two. Plus, I did not want to get shot at: https://azdailysun.com/news/local/flags ... 0819a.html. (In 2018, Danny Button was sentenced to 22 years in prison.)

After doing some satellite recon, I came up with a route from US-93, down Warm Spring Canyon, to Kaiser Hot Spring (aka Warm Spring, itself). But the route is only 3.4 miles round trip — meager exercise on a 4-hour roundtrip drive from Phoenix — so I added a jeep trail loop up an unnamed mesa.

There was a retired couple camping at the junction of Warm Spring Canyon and FR 7519. I announced myself before passing by, on my way up FR 7519. I went counterclockwise, up the rougher half. At the top, I could see Wikieup through a highway cut in a nearby spur. 🔭

On the way down FR 7519, I saw two separate burros, but they moved too quick to get a decent photo. I also spotted an absolutely enormous ocotillo, easily 15 ft. tall! (Waymarked on the official GPS route.)

Passing back by the campsite, the retired couple and I had the first of several conversations we would have as we hop-scotched each other down to Kaiser Hot Spring, Burro Creek, and then back. (I filled them in on how wonderful Aravaipa Canyon is: I have to get back there one of these days!)

Warm Spring Canyon was incredible! I wanted to check out Burro Creek Mine before getting my feet wet, so I passed by Kaiser Hot Spring.

Just past Kaiser Hot Spring, there were a bunch of warning signs. According to the Arizona Geological Society, Burro Creek Mine had not been worked since the early 90s — the 1990s, that is — but besides the signs, I found three Caterpillar earthmovers and lots of mining supplies. Though I neither saw, nor heard, any mining activity, Burro Creek Mine was clearly active, not just some placer mining desert rat.

Later research proved me correct, as Sitka Gold Corp. of Vancouver, BC, has assumed ownership of the Burro Creek Mine claims, and is in the midst of a $1.3 million exploration effort. There are four patented claims, and 30 unpatented, totalling 650 acres, stretching two miles from FR 7519 on top of the unnamed mesa, southeast across Warm Spring Canyon, and along Burro Creek to Andy’s Hole.

I’ve read Sitka's 56-page geological report, and they expect to extract as much as 200,000 ounces of gold, from ~5 million tons of ore. Gold is currently over $1,500 per ounce. Even at the 5-year low of around $1,000, that would be $200 million in revenue. Strip mining is authorized on their claims, so with that kind of money at stake, it’s going to happen. Visit Warm Springs Canyon while you can! 😥

I could not cross Burro Creek dry, and did not want to go to Federal Pound Me In The :pk: Prison, so I doubled back to Kaiser Hot Spring.

As I mentioned, Kaiser Hot Spring is also referred to as Warm Spring, which is more accurate description of the water’s temperature. The pool is small, and only calf deep, but the bottom is soft, and safe to walk in, so you can sit & soak, but not swim. I ate lunch and relaxed with a hiking beer.

After lunch, I made short work (37 minutes) of the 1.7 mile hike back up Warm Spring Canyon to US-93, where a small herd of burros were keeping watch over my patient wife.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
None, but lots of bright green grass under every palo verde and many creosote.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Warm Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Flowing heavily enough that overflow was running down to Burro Creek. Some moss & algae. Probably drinkable filtered.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Warm Spring Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Not deep, but wide and flowing pretty good. Could not cross dry. Wouldn't drink it though, being immediately below current Burro Creek Mine operation.
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Jan 02 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Carefree Hwy to Emery Henderson - BCTPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2020
kingsnake
Hiking13.85 Miles 375 AEG
Hiking13.85 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   2.91 mph
375 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I first hiked from Carefree Highway to New River Rd. back in 2011 [ photoset ] . But I did not start making YouTube videos, in earnest, until 2014. So, I had not made a video of the Biscuit Flat segment. I wanted to do something closer to Lake Pleasant, but ran out of time, deciding to do this instead.

To tell you the truth, I was not really looking forward to it. If you read that link in the previous paragraph you will know why: In 2011, the entire area between Bob Bentley Trailhead and the New River was riddled with garbage, particularly shotgun shells and various shot up home appliances. 😣

I hiking from the Emery Henderson Trailhead just after 9:00 a.m. Even though it was 41°, it was sunny, so it felt good with only a shirt on, no jacket. After playing “Frogger” across New River Rd., I headed south towards New River. I’ll skip telling you about my outbound hike, since I wandered down various jeep trails, so suffice to say that I could not cross New River dry (a rare event) and I crossed paths with a small herd of burros. Also, it was obvious that someone had done a huge cleanup all across Biscuit Flat, as I only spotted occasional shotgun shells.

There is no parking lot at Bob Bentley ( https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituar ... ey-5550459 ) Trailhead, so either park on the side of Carefree Highway or just inside the gate. (If it is unlocked, which it probably is.) An obvious jeep trail heads northeast, but turn east along the less obvious jeep trail paralleling AZ-74. In 250 yds., at Deadman Wash, the jeep trail splits. Turn left along the more obvious of the two. (Or pick your way up the middle of the riparian area, looking for birds or flowers.)

There’s quite a few cholla, in a variety of species, saguaro are rare, and I only spotted one barrel cactus. There was plenty of green grass, and even some dense clusters of a leafy plant, due to the heavy winter monsoon. The small heard of burros were quite vocal about me interrupting their grassy meal. 🐴

I knew Jeffrey MacDonald, the "Fatal Vision" family killer, had once been at FCI Phoenix, but had no idea that one the Meat Puppets had also done time there. Besides the Ben Avery Range, you may also hear shooting at the prison, but it is another range, not a jail break.

Today, mid-monsoon, New River had flow 100 ft. wide and 4″ deep. (The river bed is about 400 ft. wide.) In the morning, heading south, I tried to rock hop, but gave up after getting my feet wet. In the afternoon, on the way back north, I didn’t bother, and just splashed right across.

To summarize the southern most segment of the Black Canyon Trail: It’s not all that scenic, but it is a fair number of miles. And, at least, it has been mostly cleaned up!

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Wild Burro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Some white fluffy things in the New River bed, some tiny purple things along Deadman Wash, and a fair number of brittlebush.
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1 archive
Dec 19 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bowl of FireVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2019
kingsnake
Hiking7.72 Miles 1,433 AEG
Hiking7.72 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.68 mph
1,433 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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After finding the correct NV-167 pullout for Bowl of Fire, it still took me a couple of minutes to figure out where the Bowl of Fire Trail was, and I only figured that out after my eagle-eyed wife spotted the cairn. The trail does not get much foot traffic, so it is faint in spots: More of a disturbance in the desert surface than an actual worn trail.

The temperature was perfect hiking weather, with temps in the low-50s. I did not need a jacket, and only drank about 1.4 liters of fluids all day.

The first major formation, where the Bowl of Fire Trail ends, has a couple of easy, slightly scrambly, routes up its backside. I spent a couple of minutes on top, admiring the views, before dropping back down. Casual hikers will want to turn around at this point. I headed off trail. 🗺

I can't really describe the route I took from Bowl of Fire to Northshore Summit, other than to say I tried to find as many beautiful red rocks as I could, while also taking the path of least resistance. I had used satellite view to plan my route, and for the next 1.8 miles, it worked well, and I followed it pretty close. Check out my GPS route.

The most interesting rocks I saw in Bowl of Fire were on the ground: There was one boulder that was covered with dozens of small desert varnished hoodoos. On the saddle where I had lunch, there were a number of delicate hand-sized rocks each covered with numerous overlapping concave surfaces: [ photo ] .

Mile after mile of the area was covered with ½" Aztec sandstone marbles. I thought two of the marbles had copper mineralization, but upon picking them up, I discovered it was lichen. The marbles were not at all slippery, as I found them on flatter, hard-packed sand surfaces, rather than boulders.

Anything that was not Aztec sandstone -- e.g. granite -- is way rougher than it looks, with razor-sharp edges. Take care picking up any rocks: By the end of the day, my hands were covered with scrapes. 🚑

The vegetation in Bowl of Fire was scattered and not at all stabby. Very few cacti. I only saw one plant with flowers, which were too tiny for my pocket camera to get focused photos of.

After a quick snack break, I left the Bowl of Fire after 3.3 miles, commencing 1.9 miles of steep wash crossings as I attempted to find a route to Callville Wash that was both easy and scenic travel. It was a crapshoot if any given gully, as twisty as they all were, led to Callville Wash or not. Thus all the wash crossings, which really wore me out. 😅

Many of the wash crossings, particularly after leaving Bowl of Fire, showed signs of recent flash flooding, such as mud or flow patterns, but no stacked brush.

The ½ mile I was in Callville Wash was SUV-able, with very few rocks and relatively firm sand. Indeed, there were a number of 4-wheel tracks. It was moist in spots, and I even saw a few small puddles.

Where I saw some fenceless metal poles, I left Callville Wash, turning up a very narrow side wash. I had a suspicion it would turn into the west end of Northshore Summit Trail, which it did a ½ mile later. The transition is marked by a cairn.

It is 300 ft. up to the Northshore Summit ridge, but that comes in only 0.4 miles, so it is a good blow. Once on the ridge, Northshore Summit Trail meanders another ⅓ of a mile to a split: Left is down to the trailhead; right to the summit itself. I went right.

Despite being only a 200 ft. prominence, Northshore Summit has some decent views. Through the distant Las Vegas haze, I could see the rapidly descending sun glaring off Lake Mead. Rather than take the "steep" direct route down to the trailhead, I doubled back to the previous split, then headed down. The only two people I saw all day, were 200 yds. ahead of me. 👍

It took my wife & I 90 minutes to drive back on Lake Mead Blvd., past Nellis Air Force Base, to North Las Vegas, where I did my recovery at the Bacon Bar. Pretty much everything at the Bacon Bar has bacon -- even the Bloody Marys! I had bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers and the Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger, washed down with Oskar Blues Brewery's Hotbox Coffee Porter and Garage Brewing Company's Marshmallow Milk Stout. All delicious. Oh, and I got an order of Man Candy (maple-glazed bacon) to go. The next day, I had pig coming out of my pores! 🐷

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
Named place
Named place
Callville Wash Lake Mead
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunburst
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
I saw one flowering plant all day.
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Dec 07 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ 
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2019
kingsnake
Hiking11.25 Miles 1,577 AEG
Hiking11.25 Miles   4 Hrs   33 Mns   2.47 mph
1,577 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

From Bajada Trailhead, I followed National Trail 1.5 miles to the east end of Taylor-Morrison’s luxury development. I then went off trail up Main Ridge South. The grab & stabs were minimal, but is steep. I found a 10ft. deep unmarked test shaft along the way. ⚒️

Travel along the top of Main Ridge South was easy, with a few small outcroppings easily avoided. When I first gained the crest of the ridge, I was a ½ mile northeast of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway’s big curve at the west end of Pecos Rd. It’s a stretch that spans Waypoint 1 through Waypoint 5. (The former being the old pump station at 3303 Pecos Rd., which disappeared sometime after my seventh survey hike in April, 2018; the latter being near the petroglyph site.)

I briefly considered heading straight over the side of Main Ridge South, but its south side looked much steeper. So, I headed west for a ½ mile, as it gradually descended, before hopping onto Shaughnessey Ave.

At Waypoint 1, right on the edge of the non-eminent domained existing Pecos Rd. community, I noticed that there was a very tall, dark, sound barrier. I had seen the pale ribs from up on Main Ridge South, but could not distinguish the wall from the paved Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway surface. 🔭

The Center Segment, which is what I survey, has been fully paved. The Taylor-Morrison luxury development also has a sound wall, but it is pale. The entire length of the segment has barriers between the north- and south-bound lanes. Pavement markings and light poles have yet to be added anywhere along the segment. There were a few white-on-green exit signs — e.g. “Vee Quiva Way ↗” — but I’m not sure if that is all the ones the segment will have.

All the bridges, multi-use crossings and culverts have been installed. Only one culvert still had its wooden concrete forms. I could have safely travelled under any of the five multi-use crossings to the narrow strip of public land between the west side of the freeway and the Gila River Indian Community, but workers were still doing finishing work on the crossings. The only underpass currently in legal civilian use is the access road to the Dusty Lane community.

After checking out Waypoints 1-5, I headed up 35th Avenue to the luxury development’s gate, climbed up 50 ft. to the barbwire fence which borders the right-of-way on Main Ridge South, then followed the fence line down the north slope of the ridge. Crossing the ¾ mile wide valley to Main Ridge North, I took care to trespass on neither freeway nor luxury development property. (Some of which people have now moved into.) 💰

The rock crushing plant at Waypoint 9 is gone, but the sign remains, letting all & sundry know that its permit is good until 2022. Though there are still plenty of junk piles scattered about the west end of South Mountain Park: Today’s neatest find was a terrain engineering schematic that wind had blown out of the construction zone.

I briefly to diverted off the right-of-way to check out the Graffiti Ranch. It had some really nice graffiti pieces, when I first started my survey hikes, but it has been whitewashed the last several years. There’s still enough structure left that it made a shady spot for lunch. (It was otherwise overcast the rest of the day.)

After lunch, I hiked past the dragged gravel spot that used to be Rock Wall Ranch, then began the steep fenceline-following ascent to the top of Main Ridge North. The fence at the top has been moved out from the right-of-way, so I couldn’t get a close look at Waypoint #15, where I used to enjoy my hiking beer, but there were still great views southeast to Main Ridge South, and northwest past Vee Quiva Casino and Dusty Lane, towards the tip of Alta Ridge at 51st Ave. 🎰

Rather than walk through the Dusty Lane community, I followed the South Mountain Park fenceline to the Maricopa Trail on the south slope of Alta Ridge. The Maricopa Trail is a 315-mile loop around the Phoenix metropolitan area, but I was only on it for a ½ mile, as I headed west towards Waypoint 25.5, the location of the last Dusty Lane home condemned to make way for the freeway.

The survey portion of my Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway hike complete, I continued 2.0 miles clockwise around Alta Ridge on some really nice, recently-constructed, trail to the San Juan Trailhead, where I hooked back up with National Trail for the final 1.5 miles to my SUV at Bajada Trailhead.

As I mentioned earlier, this was my last of ten semiannual survey hikes. I hope you enjoyed following the changes to the west end of South Mountain Park, if not necessarily the changes themselves. Hopefully, when the Center Segment opens for business in another month or so, the congestion relief on I-10 through Tempe will have been worth it.

Previous Survey Hikes:
1) 2015-04-13: [ photoset ]
2) 2015-12-17: [ photoset ]
5) 2017-04-28: [ photoset ]
6) 2017-11-08: [ photoset ]
7) 2018-04-20: [ photoset ]
8) 2018-11-07: [ photoset ]
9) 2019-04-06: [ photoset ]
Culture
Culture
Bridge
Named place
Named place
Alta Ridge Sierra Estrella
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Nov 28 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Thanksgiving Walk, AZ 
Thanksgiving Walk, AZ
 
Walk / Tour avatar Nov 28 2019
kingsnake
Walk / Tour7.12 Miles 139 AEG
Walk / Tour7.12 Miles   2 Hrs   2 Mns   3.50 mph
139 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I figured it was a good idea to work off the calories to come, so I walked from Sunnyslope to Biltmore for Thanksgiving. 😁

Hope you had a good one! 🦃
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2 archives
Nov 22 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Windgate Bell LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2019
kingsnake
Hiking10.22 Miles 2,097 AEG
Hiking10.22 Miles   4 Hrs   21 Mns   2.35 mph
2,097 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had planned to mine explore in the Dripping Spring Mountains this week, but after Arizona got absolutely hammered with rain I did not relish driving eight miles on muddy dirt roads: The last time I tried that [ youtube video ] in my stock SUV, with street tires, did not go so well … ✋

So, I switched plans, deciding to do this hike instead.10:00 a.m. on a Friday there were plenty of people out exercising, not all of them over 65.

There were a ton of people and lots of chatter on the Saguaro Trail and even on the first third of Gateway Loop Trail. I don’t recall any unleashed dogs, or “forgotten” dog 💩, bagged or otherwise. There’s always at least one person wearing WAY too much perfume and today, surprisingly, it was a man. A middle-aged one at that. 😏

Every trail intersection is signed, with distance, direction and even an emergency marker — i.e., “BP7” — you can call in if some sort of disaster has occured, like somehow getting lost despite all the signs. I thought it ironic some of the signs asked hikers to stay on trail to respect the habitat of snakes & scorpions: It would have been nice if the scorpion that stung me three times on my couch had returned the courtesy. 🦂

Between Tom’s Thumb Trail and Inspiration Point, what may have once been ~10 ft. tall saguaro lay across Windgate Pass Trail in three large pieces, like a snapped pencil. The damage looked fresh. I did not see any signs of shooting, skin damage from a chain or rope, or other vandalism that may have caused the saguaro to break apart. Curious. 🤔

East from Windgate Pass, I could see Ft. McDowell and even Weaver’s Needle. Four Peaks was obscured by clouds. 🌁

After lunch — gas station murderwich and a beer — at the intersection of Windgate Pass Trail and East End Trail, I turned southwest up Bell Pass Trail. It was not a bad climb, but I was feeling the lack of elevation gain over the past few weeks. (Hiking 18 miles from Great Falls to Edwards Ferry on the C&O Canal had half the gain.)

Bell Pass had great views west towards Phoenix. I could easily pick out Papago Buttes, Camelback Mountain, Mummy Mountain, Piestewa Peak, North Mountain and Shaw Butte. 📸

From Bell Pass, it was all downhill back to the Gateway Trailhead, where I arrived feeling not too bad. (Though I was pretty sore the next two days.)

Hiking Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Ocotillo Saguaro
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Oct 30 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
C&O Canal MP 20-31, MD 
C&O Canal MP 20-31, MD
 
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2019
kingsnake
Hiking18.35 Miles 319 AEG
Hiking18.35 Miles   5 Hrs   36 Mns   3.28 mph
319 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Today was my second of two Halloween week hikes along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath.

My first hike, on Sunday ( [ photoset ] ), was supposed to be from Carderock Recreation Area to Pennyfield Lock 22, or milepost (MP) 11 to 20, but I bailed at Great Falls Tavern (MP 14.4) due to heavy rain. I considered a number of options, including skipping the six miles I did not complete, but when I finish hiking the C&O Canal, I want to be able to honestly say, “I did the whole thing.” 😇

So, today I did the missing six miles from Great Falls Tavern to Pennyfield Lock 22, then did my planned Wednesday hike, the next eleven miles to Edward’s Ferry at Lock 25 (MP 31.0).

Despite the clouds, the lack of rain meant there was decent enough light to take pictures of canal artifacts and low-hanging leaves. (Leaves high up in trees still appeared black in my viewfinder, requiring a bit more post-processing to draw out their natural color.) 🍂

Getting pictures of the fall colors was especially important to me because the Potomac River appeared just past peak, whereas usually on Halloween I’m lucky there’s any color left at all.

For the most part, I had the towpath to myself. Maybe because I was hiking 18 miles? 🤔

If you don’t have anyone willing to shuttle for your 11- or 18-mile hike, you can do an out & back hike from any lock / trailhead to any other lock / trailhead in roundtrip distances ranging from a mile on up.

The picnic areas and campgrounds scattered along the C&O Canal typically have a picnic table, grill, fire pit, well hand pump, outhouse and doggie doo bag dispenser. Unlike hiking in Phoenix, bags full of canine crap were not scattered along the C&O Canal. Camping is only legal at designated camp sites, but it’s easy to mistake a picnic area for a campground as they have all the same amenities. 😇

I picked up a fresh water bottle from my wife at Pennyfield Lock 22. (I rarely bring any hiking gear on my flyaway hikes.) I refilled my water bottles from the water fountain at Riley’s Lock 24 and the well hand pump at Horsepen Branch Campground. The well water looked clear in my hand, and tasted okay, but was tan / yellowish in my bottle. But all pumps are treated with iodine, so it didn’t give me the squirts.

The best fall colors today, on the C&O Canal, were between Great Falls Tavern and Violette’s Lock 23: A smorgasbord of yellows, oranges and reds. Past that to Edward’s Ferry, with this notable exception [ photo ] , yellow predominated. 📸

The first nine miles today, I averaged 3.4 mph. That dropped to 3.3 mph in the third quarter of my C&O Canal. After taking my only sit down break of the day, at Horsepen Branch Campground, I got my average back up to 3.4 mph. I was truckin’.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

In 1917, Thomas Edison's film crew took a silent cruise in the opposite direction, downstream.

Fascinating footage:
Part 1: [ youtube video ]
Part 2: [ youtube video ]
Part 3: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Oct 27 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 85
 Routes 195
 Photos 8,254
 Triplogs 660

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
C&O Canal MP 11-20, MD 
C&O Canal MP 11-20, MD
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2019
kingsnake
Hiking5.39 Miles 168 AEG
Hiking5.39 Miles   1 Hour   58 Mns   2.74 mph
168 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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My plan for this week was to hike from Carderock Recreation Area (MP 10.5) to Pennyfield Lock 22 (MP 19.6) today, then hike from Lock 22 to Edward’s Ferry (MP 30.9) on Wednesday. Roughly halfway on today’s hike, I would meet my wife at Great Falls Tavern, so we could ride the historical Charles F. Mercer canal boat, which runs only on weekends.

It was predicted to be rainy today, but I really couldn’t put off the hike to Monday or Tuesday, and still have time to rest for the hike from Great Falls to Edward’s Ferry on Wednesday. Plus, I was hoping it would clear up. 🙏🏻

The rain stopped by the time we arrived at Carderock. Wearing a just-in-case rain jacket, off I went.

No sooner had I started down the C&O Canal towpath than it began drizzling.

The Marsden Footbridge is at MP 11.5. The bridge crosses the C&O Canal to a pullout on MacarthurBlvd. that can hold about six vehicles. Anglers Footbridge, at MP 12.3, crosses the canal to Old Anglers Inn, where there is parking for dozens of vehicles. Anglers would be a good option for a short out & back to Great Falls followed by one — or several — cold refreshing beers at the Inn. 🍻

By the time I reached Widewater (MP 12.6), the drizzle had changed to rain. Nothing I couldn’t deal with the next seven miles to Pennyfield Lock 22. Though Widewater looks like a lake, it is actually the ancient remains of the Potomac River. Other than Great Falls, the towpath along Widewater was my favorite part of this segment, as it edged along boulders and even among pine trees. 🌲

By the time I reached Lock 15 (MP 13.6) at the north end of Widewater, the skies were pouring buckets. Lockhouse 16 (MP 13.7) is boarded up, so I was relieved to find shelter under the Stop Gate at MP 13.8. I stayed under Stop Gate for about 15 minutes, until the rain sufficiently relented that I could continue my hike without washing down to Washington, D.C. 🌧

Normally, the C&O Canal towpath drains pretty well, but I was sloshing through big puddles. By the time I reached Lock 17 (MP 14.1) I had decided to bail when I met my wife at Great Falls Tavern. (Unfortunately not serving adult beverages, nor with a warm fireplace.)

The Great Falls Overlook Trail intersection is at the upstream end of Lock 17. It’s only a ¼ mile, one way, to the overlook on Olmsted Island. I didn’t realize at the time how spectacular the Great Falls are: I was happy with the first cascade. 🤗

Unfortunately, the Charles F. Mercer was already in drydock for the winter, between Lock 18 (MP 14.2) and Lock 19 (MP 14.3). Great Falls Tavern, located across a bridge at Lock 19, now houses a National Park Service visitor center. The rangers there were very friendly, and I picked up a couple of maps. Thankfully, my wife had no problem meeting me at my intended halfway point. Now, instead of handing me a fresh bottle of water, we instead skedaddled back up MD-28 and MD-85 to Frederick.

We encountered the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen while driving, on I-70 just west of Frederick: On a Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., both sides of the freeway — three eastbound lanes, and two west — were at a near standstill for several miles. I thought maybe there had been a mass accident. Then I thought “climate protesters”, but the road was not actually blocked. I wondered if Pokemon Go was still a thing because there were vehicles on both shoulders, and in the median, with people milling aimlessly about. Weird! 🤪

Hiking Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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average hiking speed 2.63 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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