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426 triplogs

Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Kendrick Park Watchable Wildlife TrailFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking2.50 Miles 125 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
125 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
1 of 3 Hikes I did yesterday and I actually sort of did this one twice. I did the short loop the first time and recorded a track for it and then I did the long loop and attempted to record that track. Something happened with RS on the long loop and it failed to record 90% of the hike. Wouldn't be the first glitch of the day for RS unfortunately. :(

I have been replacing shoes the last few months and needed to break in 3 pair. I started on 1 of them a few weeks ago, but needed to change out the insole for more comfortable wear. Thus the multiple short hikes on this day. 1 set of shoes for each hike. :lol: For the two loops around the Wildlife Area, I was retrying the Backpacking Boots with new insoles. Way better and the boots are breaking in some. Almost ready for a short backpack at least.

I got a late start leaving the barn, so my hopes of Deer and Elk and most wildlife was dashed since the sun had been up for an hour. But I think I got my yearly quota of squirrel and especially chipmunk shots. Found a Badger Den and got some birds along the way. The Paved Trail is really nice. People that need wheels for mobility will really enjoy this trail. The longer dirt trail is almost as smooth in most spots with very little elevation change. Someone with a cane even, could do this trail. I could most certainly do it with crutches. I did the Mall of America that way one time and probably got in more mileage than this. :lol:

Nice Area and if I was around here looking for something short, I would do it again. I could see even taking my Mom on the short loop, she'd be just fine with her walker.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lupine, Vetch and even Fleabane is doing well. Some yellow and white thrown in too.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Weatherford Canyon LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking6.40 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles
1,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Hike 2 of 3. My new Trail Runners drew this Hike. Same Trail Runners I had before, just updated. Like my old Trail runners, I developed hots spots initially, but I think changing socks will help with that and my feet get used to them too. They did fine and will do even better after a couple more hikes and tweaking the socks.

Did this CW upon Jake's suggestion and he was spot on. The Description doesn't include the intersection with the Arizona Trail, but just know, that that intersection is NOT the 1st Intersection with the use trail that he lists in his description. I took a break next to some nice Aspen along the Weatherford and when I started up again, I ended up blowing by the 2nd Intersection. So I got some extra mileage and AEG in before I realized that RS had intermittently stopped again and that I missed the turnoff. :sweat: Got back on track and took the Use Trail down.

Remarkably this Trail is still in pretty good shape although there is some deadfall along the way which is all easily negotiated, one way or another. Looked for Aspen Spring, and finally found it, but it's dry. There is some flora encroachment on the trail in places, but unless you hate brushing up against 4+ foot high Ferns, you'll be fine. The Aspen area comes later than you think, but it's worth the loop for sure. After seeing what upper Weatherford looked like from above, that Aspen stand goes almost all the way up the Canyon, you just catch the lower part when you intersect it on that Trail. Got some photos and just enjoyed the Hike at a fairly leisurely pace. Trail Runners were a bit problematic, but I expected it on their first outing due to experience with the old ones.

Before and after the Loop, I visited Shultz Tank. First time at this TH, so it was all new. The Dragons were numerous and even included some Butterflies in the mix. TH Parking was almost full, both at the start and at the end. Busy place. Good Hike and a nice forest experience for sure.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lupine and Vetch were going strong, as was the Fleabane. Yellow and White flowers were also numerous in places.

dry Aspen Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Schultz Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Aspen Nature LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking2.30 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike 3 of 3. My new Hiking Shoes drew this Hike. They're actually approach shoes. Beefier than Trail Runners, but still a low cut and not as beefy as my Backpacking Boots.

NOTE: This Hike has changed from the original Description and the Route. The Stem of the Lollipop is a bit longer now. There are now 3 new layers of Parking Lot where the original Switchbacks used to be. They were the access and the stem of the lollipop. No more. You take the Humphreys Trail to a turnoff and go through an Aspen Forest before crossing the big meadow to the original loop. This may affect the Arizona Trail Access as well. @sredfield The changes took me by surprise, but I had seen the turn off of Humphreys a few weeks ago, so I knew to start there. They have closed the Switchback section completely at the other end. Most of them are obliterated anyway and I doubt that they will open that section again.

Honestly, having done the new section and the old section now, the new section with the Aspen Forest is much nicer. You just get a small sample of Aspen via the old loop. Now you get a nice stroll through them for almost half the hike. It was a great way to wrap up the day.

Shoes need better insoles for sure. And along with my new Trail Runners, La Sportivas are very narrow, so it's going to take a bit for my feet to get used to them again. No Blisters for the day though, so I'm happy with my choices.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
The Meadow is full of Purple between the Lupine and another tall purple stalky flower that is seriously stealing the show. Paintbrush is trying. Some yellow and white scattered. Once out of the meadow, flowers are almost in the Light range especially on the Loop itself. No Sunflowers on any of my Hikes, I'm surprised since they are nuts in the median of I-17.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 25 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Page Springs Trails and Birding, AZ 
Page Springs Trails and Birding, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking1.50 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Didn't get a Hike in last Wednesday and I still wanted to get out somewhere. So I met up with a Friend I hadn't seen in 2 years and we went Birding and Hiking along the Bubbling Ponds and the Audubon Trails around the Ponds and Hatchery.

The Trail at the Ponds takes you through a Mesquite Thicket, a Meadow with Wetlands and along Oak Creek before looping back towards the Ponds. The Mini Trail System on the Hatchery side takes you through woodlands, along Oak Creek, into grasslands and into the Hatchery area itself, although the Hatchery is closed to entry right now for the Pandemic. I might hit this area again this winter. I should probably do some Descriptions and Routes for this as they are great little nature walks on good tread.

Quite a few birds, but it's a slow time of year, so nothing spectacular. Started at 5:30 am and finished up at 10:30 and then grabbed lunch in Cottonwood.

My Friend headed for home and I decided to drive up to Mingus for a bit, hoping some Storms would come in and I could Storm Chase. Although the Clouds were nice, the Storms just weren't going to amount for much, so I headed over to Payson where things were rockin' and rollin'. Still not much for Lightning but some really nice Rains. 64 Degrees at times, felt amazing. Got some take-out in Payson and ate at the local park. The Storms were fizzling so I headed home, catching a tiny rainbow along the drive. I had a nice day until I got to the 188 Intersection and started seeing the results of the Bush Fire. I did not enjoy the rest of that drive.

I did get some exercise, some birds cooperated, and I caught up with an old friend, so it was still mostly a good day. And the Shell Camper was a great place to nap on top of a mountain that had a whole bunch of people on it. No Solitude to be found on Mingus on this Saturday. :sweat:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 15 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Kendrick Peak Trail #22Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
2,800 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What can I say? If you told me at the beginning of the year, that I'd bag Humphreys, OLeary and Kendrick within weeks of each other, I'd tell you that you were nuts. But well, I did. :sweat: Having Humphreys and OLeary under my belt, Kendrick just seemed like the next logical choice. Granite Mountain's success didn't hurt either.

Got to the TH just a bit later than I wanted, but hit the Trail immediately and knew it would be fine. The Author of this Description pretty much nailed this Hike. Good Tread, nice Forest (unless it had burned) and lots of birds. I did my normal Photography thing on the way up so I was slow, but somehow still made good time (for me anyway) to the top. Wildflowers were starting to come on strong in places. Down low, the Lupine was putting on a show and as I ascended, they faded and were replaced by lots of Firecracker Penstemon. (I think that's the type anyway) The Penstemon combined with a few amazing stands of 4 foot high Ferns, which was pretty cool. I think the Flowers will peak up there in about another week when another bush starts to peak as well. The Trail will be lined in yellow. There were other flowers thrown in along the way and more than a few butterflies to go with them. The Birds kept me busy as well, with lots of Juveniles trying to figure out where their next meal is coming from.

I only saw 3 people on the way up, but by the time I headed down there were more coming. Probably saw a dozen or so overall. I was surprised at this Peak, I didn't realize what a Postage Stamp the high point was and the fact that the Tower is on top of the high point. The Helo Pad was a nice spot for a break and to enjoy the views. I didn't spend much time at the Peak itself, just because I knew that the Tower was off-limits anyway, so I headed down to the Cabin and then decided to go out to one of the far points to see what I could see. Probably won't do that again. The Effort to Reward Ratio just wasn't there and looks deceiving from the top of Kendrick. Just more Exercise. :sweat: Came back and connected up with the Trail and headed on down. Startled a few ground squirrels that didn't seem to be around on the way up, although the chipmunks were.

When I got to the Truck, I was glad to be back as I was starting to hurt a bit, but it was ok. The Drive out had a cool moment. Dirt Road was pretty smooth so I was driving at a decent speed when I noticed something in my peripheral vision on the left. 5 Pronghorn had decided to "race me" and were running parallel to the truck about 30 feet out. They were doing at least 40 mph and were pulling ahead. I stopped the truck and they immediately veered to the right and crossed the road in front of me, heading for a line of trees. I kept the truck stopped and they stopped short of the trees in the meadow, so I got a good look. 1 Buck, 3 Does and a baby who had no trouble keeping up with the adults. Once the excitement of the run was over, he decided that it was time for dinner even. :lol:

Stopped in Flag for a quick bite and then began what became a small saga trying to drive home. Other than the drive, it was a really good day and I really liked this Hike. I can certainly see doing this one again. Maybe a Loop next time. :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
On Average, for the whole Hike, Flowers were Light, but the Lupine and the Penstemon were Moderate to almost substantial in places. Other Varieties were coming in as well.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 08 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Picture Canyon Loop, AZ 
Picture Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 08 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Hike 1 of 2.
Wanted to do something short to break in some Backpacking Boots and was trying out an Insole Idea. This one's been on the List for awhile and I thought if I hit it first and early, there'd be some birding as well. Well, the birding was decent and Rio De Flag is pretty cool, but the Insole Idea was a flop. Everything started to hurt within a mile, so I alleviated and went back to default. Just too tight. Made my knees and legs achy the rest of the way and made me wonder if my part two was going to happen. Took my time and enjoyed the water. After the Hike I actually got some takeout breakfast and contemplated whether to still attempt the next hike. It was getting pretty warm in the sun and I wasn't sure how warm that hike would end up. I decided to go for it and will detail it in another Triplog. This was a nice little Hike and you have a couple of different options for Loops actually. It was nice to see Flagstaff's only Waterfall. Too bad you're still in town where the city noises invade. Great spot to just get some exercise, although I imagine Flag has a bunch of spots to do that. Glad I finally got to see it though. Might be interesting at the height of migration for birding.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Just a few Lupines and smidge of others very occasionally.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 08 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
OLeary LO and Peak, AZ 
OLeary LO and Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 08 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking11.00 Miles 2,225 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles
2,225 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
2nd Hike of the Day
After Picture Canyon, I was waffling on doing this one as it was getting pretty warm. I was worried there wouldn't be enough shade. Turns out there was JUST enough. :sweat:

Didn't start until 11:30 so it was warm enough. The first mile is shaded so I wasn't feeling bad, but after that it was actually probably too warm with the intense sun to boot. But, about every couple of hundred feet or so, there would be a Pine Tree casting shade on the roadway, so it literally became a "shade to shade" hike to the top. If the shade hadn't been there, I think I would have aborted this hike for another time. The Heat and the Uphill took it's toll, but I made it and managed to enjoy the views on the way up. I hit the Peak first, knowing it was the steeper and higher of the two points and that was an interesting ascent. Just enough people have done it to make a slight use trail, but you still sank in and the effort was still there. It was kind of fun coming down as you could almost glissade it, but not quite as good as if you were on pure, very fine cinders.

Then it was over to the Lookout. I knew from Liz's triplog that I couldn't go up, but the Lookout and I exchanged hellos anyway. The Wind had come up and was almost howling at the top so it was difficult for her to hear me. But it was good. I took a small break up there and then started back down. Funny, it didn't seem as hot when you move twice as fast. :sweat: It was also after 4:00 before I headed down. Made good time back to the truck and was certainly ready to be done when I got there. :lol:

In spite of the Heat and the fact that I'm not big on Road Walks, it was a good hike and I felt like I did something. Will I do it again? Maybe, would love to go up in the Tower sometime. :)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Almost Non-Existent, but there were a few here and there.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jul 01 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Granite Mountain Trail and Peak, AZ 
Granite Mountain Trail and Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
rayhuston
Hike to an Overlook, a Peak, and in the end, a small lap around a Pond in tennis shoes. Amazing Wildlife, tons of Granite, a bit of thorns and lily pad heaven.

Ray had mentioned this Hike a few weeks ago, but knowing what Granite Mountain looked like, I knew that it would be pretty warm in the heat of the day this time of year. I told him thanks, but no thanks, due to the heat. Then we got a cold front this week and it seemed like a window opened to do it. So we planned it.

I'd never been in that area before although I'd always wanted to check out the little pond. I was surprised to see all the Pine Trees, I didn't realize how high the TH Elevation was. It was a nice surprise and at 6:00 A.M., it was refreshingly cool as well. 50 Degrees at the start was delightful.

Nice Trail and as soon as the Sun started hitting the trees, the birds got active. It didn't take Ray long to play along. In fact, he became the designated spotter, as he was in the lead and doing a much better job at finding the cool birds than I was. I was finding ordinary Flycatchers and Woodpeckers, but Ray was, well, all about Raptors and only the best in the Sparrow Family! :y:

It wasn't long and we hit the Switchbacks and started the first long ascent. I put the Camera away mostly, but Ray kept spotting cool Wildlife, so we enjoyed the Birds and Lizards along the climb. We get out to the Overlook and although the Route we followed wants to take you to the very top, Ray showed me a really nice slab of Rock that was perfect for a break. Great Views and a serious Peregrine Falcon Show ruled here. If this had been our only destination, those Birds would have kept us there way longer. But we still had places to go and a Peak to bag, so after a long break, we got back to the main event.

Bagging the Peak was interesting from start to finish. Off-Trail mostly with just some use trail and some game type trail thrown in to help occasionally. And some Cairns to either help or confuse, deptending on whether you were actually trying to stay on the GPS Track or not. :sweat: I seemed to find a theme halfway up and all the way down and it involved dirt. If you could find dirt, it was as good as finding a Trail, with the dirt areas being the paths of least resistance. Still it took us quite awhile to get up to the last saddle before the Peak itself. We split up at times, just trying to find the best routes. By the time we hit the saddle, the wind had come up and was blowing quite hard. We finished the ascent up to the Peak in pretty short order, but where we thought the Peak was, I was not about to stand up to get on that rock, much less stand on that rock itself. Too sketchy for me on this day. I was content just to see the Benchmark from a rock away. :sweat: We ended up hitting all three of the high points up there before heading back down. I had mowed through a patch of Locust, so there was a bit of blood loss involved up there. I was kind of dreading the "down", just because the up seemed difficult, but following my "dirt" theory got us down pretty quickly and seemed less painful somehow. It took less time than I thought to get back to the overlook junction. But when we got there, we were ready for another break for sure. We had a late lunch before heading back down the switchbacks. It was mid to late afternoon and getting pretty warm, so the Pines at the end were most welcome. Got back to the Vehicles and parted ways, with Ray having another appointment in Prescott to get to.

After a long break at the truck, I decided to finally check out the Pond. I had changed into my Tennis Shoes, which weren't ideal, but managed to find a Trail all the way around the Pond. The Lily Pads were in full bloom, so there was some Camera time, even though the birds were still scarce this time of day. It was a nice way to wind down before the drive home. I'd like to keep this pond on my list for wintertime and see what water birds come in for it.

It was a good day and I'm glad to get this one in, after admiring it from a distance for so long. Thanks for the Invite and putting this one back on my Radar Ray! Good to hike with you again and looking forward to the next adventure! :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some Penstemon along the Trail and another Flower that I can't remember, but all in all, light for the Flowers on this Hike.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Granite Basin Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jun 24 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.75 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking10.75 Miles
3,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This has been on my list for 9 years. I just never thought I was physically good enough to do it. The Fear of Failure was strong. I realized recently that I was failing every day that I didn't at least attempt it, so it was time to just see what I could do and keep the expectations low. The Weather window was also closing, as I knew I didn't want to do this during the Monsoon Season.

I had acclimation against me as I just couldn't get up there the night before. I hoped that some of the higher elevation hiking that I've been doing would at least help.

Left the house at 3:00 a.m. and arrived at Snowbowl at 6:00. Hiked through a meadow of transition before going into the Wilderness. The Iris are fading and the Lupine are just getting started. I started feeling the elevation when I hit the Switchbacks in earnest. I did take Aspirin beforehand to try to stave off at least the headache. It worked well for that. Stayed as hydrated as I could and about 3/4 of the way up to the saddle, I took a long break at a large switchback corner. I was feeling pretty light-headed by then. :sweat: About this time, I started leapfrogging 3 retired guys who were also working hard. We ended up cheerleading each other all the way up to the Peak and it was good. They even brought a Pulse Oximeter to check their Oxygen levels. Turns out 2 of them were retired Medics from Scottsdale and the other, oldest, was a dentist. And as far as the Oxygen levels went, the ex-smoker beat them all.... :y:

Finally made the saddle and took another long break, trying to let the body ease up from being so lightheaded. I then continued up and then some of the dizziness started, but it was manageable. I fell on the final small ascent to the Peak, simply because I became so slow and had no reaction time. It wasn't bad though, I caught myself with my hand and then just toppled over. :sweat:

On the small saddle just before that, I had to stop and not because I felt bad, but because of what was happening around me. It was a serious Butterfly Irruption. Hundreds of California Tortoiseshell Butterflies streaking by the Peak at a fast pace and they kept coming and coming and there was no end. There were probably over a thousand. They were in the middle of a migration to new areas according to a biologist I talked to. But they attracted the Crows and Ravens of which there were at least a dozen at times. And if the Butterflies landed, the birds were feasting on them. I had never seen anything like this, ever. I've seen groups of Butterflies near water and Peak loving Butterflies of different species, but nothing like this. I took a ton of photos and also video at that saddle and then made the final ascent.

I stayed up top for about an hour, just enjoying the views and the victory. @chumley showed up within a few minutes and after a bit we chatted. He had come up via Inner Basin and had a long way to go before he was done, so he didn't stay long. It was good to see him again.

The Weather was absolutely phenomenal up to this point. The Temp was perfect, we had a darker type cloud parked right over us the whole time so the Sun was blocked as well. I almost thought I was going to get rained on up there. Just a very light breeze until just before I headed down. At that point, the breeze became more of a wind and it was time to go. It was fairly windy the rest of the day after that.

The return to the truck at Snowbowl was probably the longest 5+ miles I've ever done. :sweat: By the time I hit the truck I was hurting. But the sense of satisfaction still helped to numb what would be temporary pain. It was a good day and it was so awesome to finally get this one in the bag.

Butterfly Videos. Unedited, so forgive the heavy breathing, LOL Also, these are at normal speed, so yes, these Butters were booking!

[ youtube video ]

[ youtube video ]

[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
The Meadow is in transition from Iris to Lupines. Other Flowers here and there along the way.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jun 17 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Lynx with a Hill, AZ 
Lynx with a Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking4.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Definitely needed to get away last week. But I had no energy and there was supposed to be high winds where I had planned, so I chose this instead. Got there before it even opened. Didn't realize that Wednesdays are Free Days or I might have rethought this one. But if I read it right, they aren't charging at all right now, but I don't think most got the Memo based on what I saw on a Free Wednesday. People also don't understand that Restrooms are closed and locked until we get a Vaccine or Herd Immunity, whichever comes first. :sweat:

I birded, photographed, napped and just pretty much chilled myself around the Lake. The Birds totally kept me entertained on the first half of this Loop. An Eagle terrorizing the local Herons and the Herons getting pushy with the local Cormorants. And everybody's catching fish. :D By the time I got done with just the Lake Loop and Hilltop, I knew I didn't want to do the Salida Gulch Long Loop. Too hot and I wasn't feeling it, so I went to a Plan B.
Flora
Flora
Wild Geranium
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Not much there, just a few Lupine here and there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lynx Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jun 17 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Banning Creek Trail - Goldwater LakePrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking2.40 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking2.40 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a very casual loop around Lynx Lake, this was my Plan B. It was pretty warm out to do the Long Loop I planned and I wanted to stay in the tall pines. I thought that at one time I had visited the Goldwater Lakes before, but I guess not, so it was a perfect choice. Another casual wander around the upper lake. Tons of Birds and Dragonflies and Spring in the High Country is starting to transition to Summer for all of them. Not much effort needed here, but I made up for that this week. Beautiful Lake and pretty packed with people on a Wednesday as was Lynx. No Fees needed to be paid here either, for Free Wednesdays.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Not much popping yet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lower Goldwater Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper Goldwater Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jun 10 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Fishing for Sandys Walnut, AZ 
Fishing for Sandys Walnut, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,075 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
1,075 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Another that has been on my list for a long time. I meant to go last week, but couldn't get out. Decided that the LosDosSloFolks might like this one, so sent out the invite. I've changed my Hiking day to Wednesdays due to crowds on Fridays, but still start early to try to avoid people in the morning at least. And that high elevation sun does get pretty intense in the afternoons if there's no shade. Most don't like to start that early especially when you figure in the drive. Greg and Cathy are no exception, but they decided to humor me. I looked at the Forecast and the high was supposed to be 80 with a low that morning of 38. At 5:00 a.m. in Mund's Park, it was 50 degrees. I was impressed. It wouldn't last long. Dinking around Lake Mary before our meet time at 6:00, I wore a heavier jacket. Lots of Elk and Deer spotted along the road. I had to stop for a herd of about 25 Mule Deer crossing the road at one point. Eagles and Osprey at the Lake.

Got to the TH and met up with the Crew and John, their friend from Williams. It was 28 degrees. Decided since I would be moving, I could get away with the lighter sweatshirt, but donned gloves. Hands still eventually got cold the first 45 minutes until we hit sun. But it was perfect after that until just before we finished midday, as the sun got really warm. 80 up there, feels like 95 down here. Thinner air, higher elevation, more intense sun.

When I planned this, I tried really hard to make a loop out of it, scrutinizing possibilities to get down into Walnut and then back up the other side. But nothing looked very promising. I did, however, plan the Hike above, to where I ended at a side canyon going down into Walnut. It had possibilities and I thought I'd go that far and at least check it out. Greg and I talked about it before the Hike and decided that we might split up for a bit, if I wanted to go that far. They were about walking up into the Canyon itself. He did challenge himself to get up to Fisher Point and he was not the only one that enjoyed that portion of the Hike. Just a beautiful area.

I told Greg and company to take their time going back down and into Walnut Canyon and I would catch up with them down there. I had 1 1/2 miles to go from Fisher, to get to the other side Canyon, so I figured if I hustled to do the out and back, I would only be an hour behind the crew when trying to catch up. The tread along what is the Arizona Trail to that side canyon turn around point was pretty decent and I made good time. When I got there, I wanted to take a good look at it. From the top going down actually didn't look too bad and there was a game trail, which gave me hope. My concern was going to be the last 200 feet or so and wondering about cliffing out. Although, I felt like I needed to start heading back, curiosity got the best of me and I figured that if I COULD get all the way down, then I would actually be ahead of the rest of the crew. So I started following what appeared to be a deer trail. If the Wildlife were going to pick a Canyon to get all the way down to the bottom of Walnut, it would be this one. This was no steeper than some of the approach hikes I've done to technical sections of canyons, so I treated it as such and was happy for the practice. That doesn't mean it wasn't plenty steep. :sweat: And it got steeper. There were 2 spots that almost had me turning around as I appeared to be cliffed out. But I managed to find a way to get it done and in those spots, there was only one way. And I made damn sure that I could get back up what I was going down, just in case I could go no further. It took me about 45 minutes, but I got down. Only 2 remotely "sketchy" spots, but more so just because I was alone and travelling an unknown. But I was comfortable with both of those places. Just before the very bottom, I encountered a bear's morning dump. :D But the Deer were the ones that ultimately showed me the way. :y:

Since I had never been to Walnut Canyon before, I wasn't sure if there was even a Trail this far into it. At first I didn't see one so I figured I'd have to just off-trail/bushwack for a bit, but then within 200 feet of hitting bottom I encountered a really nice single track. I guessed that I was actually "ahead" of the rest of the crew, so I started going down canyon back towards Fisher. I hadn't told the Crew that I was going to try to descend into Walnut, because well, I hadn't planned on it. So I knew when I ran into them, they would be surprised. And they were. Greg came around the corner first and his expression was priceless. :lol: There was shade right there, so I took a small break. That last 45 minutes had been a bit strenuous. :sweat:

The Crew was getting a bit tired as well and thought that our rendezvous point was a good turn around spot. So we continued down canyon and just enjoyed the day. The Cliffs and Alcoves in this Canyon were pretty cool. Some of the Alcoves might be considered Caves, but they didn't go back very far. Really neat area, with a Riparian feel in places even though I didn't see any running water in there. Tons of birds and butterflies on this entire hike and some were pretty special. As we got closer to the TH, we started running into more and more people heading in. It was really quite warm in the sun by then and a cold drink and a late lunch was sounding really good. The TH parking was overflowing when we hit the Vehicles.

Finished up the Hike, got some excellent Mexican Food in Flag and then parted ways. Everyone headed for home but me. I drove back down into the Lake Mary area to do some more exploring and maybe see a Common Crane at Mormon Lake. I took a back way to get to Lake Mary, taking 128 from almost I-40, down to Lake Mary Road, around Marshall Lake. I could not believe how many people were camping on the second half of that stretch. When I got to Lake Mary, many of the parking lots were also full with lots of people on the Lake. Spent a bit of time at Lake Mary and then at Mormon Lake before heading home via Happy Jack and then over to Camp Verde to hit the 17. Nice Drive and I minimized the Elk/Road encounters although one motorist and elk wasn't so lucky. The only downfall of driving Rim and Flag country at dusk into darkness. It really makes me nervous at times.

It was a really good day. The best I've had in awhile actually. Got some mileage in, some off-trail work in, some amazing wildlife encounters in, and best of all, some laughter, which is by far the rarest experience right now. I'm so glad to have had the company on this one and they were awesome! Thanks guys! Until next time!

Fauna documented through Photos
Mammals: Mule Deer and Elk
Birds: Osprey, American Crow, Common Raven, Bald Eagles (Adult Pair and Fledglings), Juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak, and Mexican Spotted Owls (Probably Male and Female Pair)
Butterflies: Painted Lady, Southwestern Azure, Western Pine Elfin, Silver-spotted Skipper, Ilavia Hairstreak, Arachne Checkerspot, Common Buckeye, Weidemeyer's Admiral, and California Tortoiseshell.
Other: Grasshoppers and Plateau Fence Lizards.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, some yellow, some white and some other blue/purple. Just enough to enjoy. It'll be a bit before you have the option of tiptoeing through it all yet.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cherry Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fryer Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lower Lake Mary 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lower Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Marshall Lake 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Onyx Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

dry Skunk Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Upper Lake Mary 51-75% full 51-75% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
1 archive
May 27 2020
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Rim View Webber Loop, AZ 
Rim View Webber Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 27 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
2,500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
This Hike will go into the "What in the h*** was I thinking" Folder. Wrong Loop to do after barely doing anything in the last two weeks.

I can sum this up in 3 sentences.
My Curiosity of this Area has been completely satisfied.
This Loop completely and utterly kicked my Ass.
Of the 4 Trails that I used to create this Loop, 3 of them are definitely a One and Done.

I did this Loop CCW. I wanted to get the Rim View Trail out of the way early on and hopefully before it got too hot. Huh.... It was a good Decision for the former at least. I would have hated leaving this one for the back end. It took me so long to do that Trail that I was in it for most of the heat as well. So glad I brought almost 5 Liters of Water. Drank every drop on this Hike and could have drank more. Webber Creek saved me, I was an overheated, bloody mess by the time I got there. If there had been a swimming hole at that crossing, I would have just gone completely in.

Highline/AZT 26
Whenever the AZT comes into play on a Trail, the maintenance is pretty stellar, at least in the places I've experienced. This Section was no different. Just a Dream to Stroll, Hike and just Cruise along. The ATA has done some impressive work here. I'll compare it to a Wedding.

Rim View Trail BSA
Omg... :sweat: :sweat: :sweat: First, I will tell you that the Highline/Rim View Trail intersection has been moved further north and east. Because of that, the Rim View Trail has been extended and that extension is in great shape. The Trail is marked with green fence poles with the tops painted orange. The first mile or so was great, if the Trail was questionable at all, the poles could usually be found to help with the Route Finding. I'll compare this Section to a Honeymoon. Nice Views and decent Trail. After this Section, the Honeymoon was over. The Vegetation, consisting of Manzanita, Scrub Oak, Locust and even Raspberries, competes with the Love and the Love loses, badly. And so do the Poles. If the Poles didn't completely do a vanishing act in the Vegetation, they were bent or broken to where you still couldn't see them until you were right on top of them. I don't think the rest of this Trail has seen any Love except from the Wildlife, who love it in places, but even they desert it at times and that makes it even worse. If there were new sections of Trail through here, then I guess I was on them, but most of it is gone too. After the 1st hour of basically a bushwack, with some of it actually being on the Trail (which was better), I should have turned around. If I hadn't had a GPS, I would have for sure. But I had gone this far and I was trying to stay optimistic with the chance that at some point, someone had done some work somewhere along here. Besides, turning around meant another hour of crap, just to get back. So I kept going. Someday, my stubborness is going to kill me. The Length of that Trail is roughly 3.6 Miles. With two very short breaks to snack and get some electrolytes, it took me over 6 hours. With the Honeymoon being long over, I was now ready for a Divorce. It was incredibly hard to stay on the Route at all. But I kept trying to stay on the Route, because at times, the Trail was still defined. It was still being taken over by vegetation, but easier to walk through. But those areas would only last 100 feet if I was lucky and then I was trying to follow the path of least resistance that would end, and I would immediately be off Route again. In trying to get back to the Trail, I would try to use some Route Finding and Trail Logic. I was wrong 80% of the time. I soon learned that if in doubt, stay high, and at times, the Route went even higher. But then, Cairns appeared briefly and they went even higher, so I followed and it didn't seem right. I was off Route yet again. No Clue what was up with the Cairns. If Hank and Kyle hadn't put in the Waypoint for the Rock Chute, I'd been hard pressed to find a way down at all. As it was, doing down off that Slope was mostly on my butt. I finally made the Creek. Going into and out of the Creek was the most defined part of the Trail in the last 2 miles. I spent some time sitting in the Creek, cooling down and washing off blood. It was much later than I wanted, but I made the Decision to go for the Spring, up canyon on East Webber. I made it, but it just about finished me off.

East Webber to Spring
There is no defined "intersection" of East Webber and Rim View. No Sign either. But the Trail was nice for a bit at least. And it stayed "defined" for most of the way up towards the Perennial Spring. And there were Pink Ribbons occasionally to help. The Trail is there, but for most of the Hike from the 2nd Water crossing on, it is littered with debris. And when I mean littered, I mean, you can't see the dirt at all. Wood chips, bark chips, wood chunks galore. The Bears are busy in there breaking up and destroying old logs and nobody is cleaning up after them. And let's add quite a few downed trees over the trail. This trail was only about a mile and a half one way, but it became exhausting. It wasn't helpful after what I had just done. The Route shows that you can go up to the Spring, but I never saw it and actually went farther up the Trail before I turned around. The Creek is dry at that point. Note to others. Wear pants on this Section. Most of the Vegetation encroaching on the Trail is Raspberries. I wouldn't do this section again unless I could be sure to hit it at the Peak of Autumn. Lots of Maples in here.

East Webber/Geronimo to the TH
By the time I got back to the Webber/Rim View "Intersection", I was physically and mentally fried. And I still had over 4 miles to go with about 2 hours of light left. I had less than a liter of water left and used it with another electrolyte with 3 miles to go. Needless to say, I just put my head down and got it done. I will say that from that intersection to where the Trail turns into a Jeep road, East Webber was a wonderful single track tread and it almost made me euphoric at that point. Once it became a road and eventually merged with Geronimo, it was just ok, but the Forest and Creek were pretty nice through there. Nice road walk if you're in the area and don't have a lot of time. Geronimo was pretty much all Road Walk until just before the end, where you basically merge with the Highline/AZT for the final 1/4 mile or so.

I could have almost cried when I saw the Truck with less than 30 minutes of light left. I was one hurting mess. A cigarette would have been sweet here, but no, I had to settle for downing a cold Powerade I had in the Truck. I'm about 40 days Smoke Free at this point and as hard as it still is, I simply can't give in. I made a deal with myself. The only way I could afford the truck was to give up the smokes. And I sure do enjoy the Truck. I look at it every time I'm having a lot of trouble with a craving. The Reward is worth it and I seem to be not as winded as easily while hiking, so that's always a bonus. :)

Additional Perspective on the Rim Trail. I might do it again if someone paid me, but they would have to dig very very deep. I would recommend this Trail for about a mile as an Out and Back from the Highline, that is all. The rest of it isn't a Trail anymore, it's simply a bushwack. Unless the Forest Service or Boy Scouts come back and say they've completely revamped it or you're simply masochistic, don't do it. And if you're the latter and decide to do it and you want even more punishment, don't take a GPS. You'll adore the Hell you've walked into.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
Named place
Named place
Geronimo Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
New Mexico Locust is in full swing. Other bushy Flowers as well. The Raspberries are getting started. One cluster of Indian Paintbrush. Some smaller wildflowers here and there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Webber Creek Light flow Light flow
Until north of 2nd unnamed Spring just below the Rim. Then East Webber is dry.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Geronimo Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
At the Trail. Although there was a path to the Spring Box, it's getting pretty overgrown with Raspberries, so I didn't check the Spring Box.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max South Fork of West Webber Creek Light flow Light flow
At Webber Trail Crossing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Un-named Spr(Off TR 289 at 6162ft) Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Webber Creek - Kehl Ridge 7.5 Topo Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Webber Creek @ Highline Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max West Webber Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
At Webber Trail Crossing
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
May 20 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mini Sycamore Loop, AZ 
Mini Sycamore Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 20 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking5.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few Verbena here and there.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Colcord Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
At Sycamore Creek

dry Kitty Joe Canyon Dry Dry
At SR87
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
May 08 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Colonels Tunnel to Freds Box, AZ 
Colonels Tunnel to Freds Box, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
2,100 ft AEG
 
1st trip
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
New Mexico Raspberry is going strong. Ground Vegetation around Pieper Hatchery is also going strong with a pretty purple flower. Some small white flowers on small stumpy plants is trying to go strong. Paintbrush is starting. Some yellows are also starting. Other sporadic whites in places.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Box Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Bottom 3rd of Canyon had bank to bank water in deep main channel. Middle third was mostly dry with rare pool. Upper third was mostly dry with sporadic flows and pools in places.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Verde River - Source Medium flow Medium flow
Verde River along Colonel Devin Trail. Lower 1/3 was medium flow. Middle 1/3 was light flow. Upper 1/3 with the exception of the Spring itself, the Riverbed had intermittent light flow, mainly just pools here or there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Verde River @ Highline Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max General Springs Quart per minute Quart per minute
Not sure where the actual Spring itself is. Some standing water on west side of the road, but it's drying up. General Springs Canyon had light flow with all pools full for about 1/3 of the way to Box Canyon along Fred Haught. Dry in sections after that, but still some intermittent flow and large pools occasionally. At Box Canyon, there is a lot of water again and great pools as Box Canyon was flowing into General Springs Canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pieper Hatchery Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
May 01 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Six Shooter Trail #197Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
3,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a tough week, I had an off day. Didn't get started on the trail until mid morning, so I missed the best light and the best birding time. I also didn't think I would actually be up to doing what I had intended to do. Out of sheer stubborness, I ended up doing most of the miles although the last leg to Ferndell Spring just about killed me. I had thought about looping this with the Telephone Trail, but from where I started at the bridge, it would have been a pain to get back there, so I opted for an out and back instead. It was more than enough.

I was really slow going up, but that was fine, I just wasn't feeling it. But I kept going, taking some pics along the way. I've only been in this area once, in Autumn one year, before it burned. And even then, I was just around the top of these Trails, so this trail was all new to me until just above the Telephone Junction. I was really impressed with this Trail. Just rocky in a few spots and smooth going for the rest of it and it was easy to follow.

The Creek was really nice, there were a lot of butterflies and a few birds still made themselves known in the hotter parts of the day. And it was windy which kept the insects from collecting around the face, which is always a blessing this time of year. The fire did not hit this particular trail hard, but there were still quite a few dead pines and others were fairly charred at the base. I noticed it, but didn't think about it too hard until I was about 3/4 of the way up. Did I mention it was kind of like, really windy??? I heard what sounded like a gunshot right in my ear and suddenly realized it was a tree snapping very close to me. Kind of like when you hear a Rattler, you freeze and rapidly try to figure out where it is. I froze, looking around to see what tree was falling and spotted it about 50 feet straight below me, falling away from me. I had been on that particular switchback 5 minutes before. I marveled at the sound it made. Yes, a tree falling in the forest makes one helluva noise.

I got to the Telephone Junction and decided to keep going to Ferndell Spring before taking a late lunch break. Although it was less than a mile longer, I swear it felt like the steepest part of the whole trail and I felt like I was really dragging my ass by the time I got there. I did a circle, saw the Spring and the Aspen and decided to just head back down to Telephone for lunch. The Downhill was refreshing and it didn't take me long. Had a nice break next to the creek. Some backpackers showed up on Telephone and made camp across the creek. I'm not sure they even knew I was there. The only people I saw outside a Vehicle all day.

After the break, I started heading down. There was a little more up before you actually finally keep going down again. A cruel joke on the trail designer's part. :sweat: I was starting to feel pretty good after eating and resting and made good time back, enjoying the Golden Hour and the shaded areas of creek along the way. It was nice not having to fight the harsh light for photos at that point. Got back to the truck while the sun was still up even. Although I didn't do quite like I planned, I still felt like I definitely got a workout, in an area that's pretty new for me. So it turned out to still be a pretty good day. When I'm dragging like this, half the battle is just getting out there and getting started and today I managed to win. And I can tell you that I will be back here again for some exploring, when things "lighten" up a bit out in the real world.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Fleabane was nuts in lower parts. So was the Manzanita. Also a yellow that I don't know the name of. One extremely lonely Indian Paint Brush. Lupine just getting started in upper parts.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Ferndell Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Trail Junction Mine Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Hard to tell flow on this, but there was water in the Mine and the Springbox at the Junction was 3/4 full, with a pipe connected out the back feeding it to somewhere else apparently.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Apr 24 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Pine Mountain Verde Rim LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.90 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking10.90 Miles
2,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Pine Mountain has been on my list for several years now. But I never thought I had enough vehicle to get there, and if the current road is any indication, I was right, at least for me and my vehicle. But things change and so do vehicles. :y: And even with the truck, that road though. 5 MPH tops for the last 7 miles. It wasn't hard, no need for 4L, but just rocky and rough enough that unless you wanted to keep hitting the top of the cab with your head, you were going to have to take it slow. :sweat: There was an outfitter camp in the campgrounds, but I was the only other vehicle when I arrived.

My first time in this area at all and it was pretty sweet. I started a bit late, I think it took me about 1 1/2 hours to get from I-17 to the TH. I thought about doing a bigger loop, but with the later start and me dinking around the first 3 miles of the hike taking photos, I had to stay with the original plan. I also wanted to do the rough drive back while it was still light.

It was interesting to learn after about 1 1/2 miles of hiking the Nelson Trail, that I'd been hiking on Private Property? Apparently, although no indication at the start, part of the Nelson Trail is not on Public Lands, according to the signs later encountered. There were also fresh survey ribbons and stakes along the way, which makes me wonder what the fate of this particular stretch of trail will be. It would be a shame to lose it, as it is a beautiful section of the trail.

The first 3 morning miles were beautiful, with Sycamore Creek flowing, springs running and trees glowing with new spring growth. The birds were very active too. Then it started to heat up, the water dried up for the most part and the gnats were out in force. Luckily there was a breeze at times, but I kept moving. Decided to do the loop CW, just to get the uphill out of the way as soon as possible. Just before topping out on Rim, I ran into the Outfitter, with 2 others. Hunters, with 3 Mules and 6 Hounds. Looking for Spring Bear and Lion I guess. They weren't the talkative type and neither was I, but I did sweet talk the hounds a little.

Topped out on the Rim and enjoyed the views. It was rather warm and the gnats were incessant, but I found some shade under a pine for a break and a snack and then I hit the top of Pine Mountain. I was kind of amazed how the top itself was almost devoid of trees, but the views were really sweet. Back down and around and more trail along the rim for a bit. Hit the Pine Mountain Trail and started the descent. Trail is pretty rocky here, so there was no cruising, just trying not to roll an ankle. Hung a right back onto Nelson and kept going. Got back to the non-loop part of the hike and the trail got better and I started to cruise for the finish. My "back to the barn" mentality was interrupted by a sun bather on the trail. He was over 4' long and gorgeous. I couldn't help but stop and admire that beautiful skin. He modeled for me for about 20 minutes or so and then he went off to go find some lunch. And my cruising resumed. A few brief stops for photos the last 1 1/2 miles and then it was back to the truck. With the exception of the Guide and his Clients, I hadn't seen another soul all day. Until now. The Campground was filling up. Several cars and quite a few people were there. Time to go.

I was hoping to not meet cars on the road, but on a Friday afternoon, even with that road, the hope was for naught. Luckily there were only two coming in. The road is a single lane, with very few spots to pull over for oncoming traffic. The first small SUV had to get up off the road, as I was climbing a hill. I had to get up off the road for the 2nd small SUV. It's not that easy, as the tall grass along the road tends to hide even the bigger rocks. No clue whether either of them made it to the Campground, or if they were even going that far. Hit the highway and headed for home. Looked like a normal Friday Night in late April, as far as traffic goes. Lots of vehicles headed north, many pulling trailers.

The Truck did great and I was so happy. I'm feeling a bit liberated in that there are a few more areas I can now get to without the worry of breaking a vehicle to do it. Trying to break the truck in right, and that always involves a little pinstriping. :D

This was a great area! I'll be back to do some other Loops here as well. There are several options out there. This was my first time above 4000 feet in over 1 1/2 years, so it was a good hike to acclimate to something higher. And much cooler than the Valley for sure. Not sure if my desert hiking is over for the season or not, but it was nice to see and hear the pines again.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Named place
Named place
Pine Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
There are a few blooms starting, but nothing significant. Verbena has a few clumps here and there and the Lupine is just starting to think about spring.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Beehouse Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Black Alder Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Dry Creek Dry Dry
At FR 68 Crossing

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Little Sycamore Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Crossing Water in Dugas

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Nelson Place Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pine Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Tank Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Apr 17 2020
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking13.50 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
When people did the Walking Jim Loop, I've heard nothing but good things. When people did 3465, I heard nothing but good things. It's been on my List for years to do both. With the clock ticking on our rising temps, I made a point to get this one in, especially since the bloom is so nice out there. Besides that, I wanted some mileage and elevation since I'm having a very off week. I'm on the Patch, but still even with that, there's been a lot of low energy, restlessness and lack of motivation. At least the Patch is keeping me awake and out of bed. Should be better hopefully in a few weeks. This kind of hike is going to help, a LOT. And thanks to Joe's triplog, I made sure to put the gators on when the legs got unzipped. Good Call. :sweat:

I arrived just before sunrise to one other car in the lot. The couple belonging to the car had camp chairs set up across the road and were enjoying the sunrise. They were the only people I saw all day. When I got back to the lot, I was the only vehicle. Heard some distant shooting at times and there was traffic noise towards the beginning and end. This Hike totally had me forgetting about civilization for awhile. Can't beat that.

What an amazing trail. What an amazing hike. What an amazing day. Water in the creek, rolling hills of purple and blue, with some white making an appearance too. Yellow was still there and the Ocotillo and Cholla were beginning to share. Birds called, flirted and flitted and a well hung Squirrel feasted on Spring. The Butterflies abounded and sometimes landed. There were some new ones today. The Easter Bunny made a post holiday appearance. At least it was alive, the Kangaroo Rat was not so lucky. It was a 3 Rattlesnake Day, two different species, one of which was a new one for me, finally. The first one didn't rattle, but it didn't matter as his mouth was full and he was more worried about finishing breakfast in peace. The second one rattled, but the rattle was pretty small and quiet. He was nice too and just crawled under a rock. The third one was just a teenager, maybe, and if I hadn't been super vigilant at that point and spotted his head, I probably would have smoked right by him and never knew it. He never moved a muscle and that tiny button wasn't capable of much sound. And the Trail was so nice that even Asses liked it. Clouds made for great skies. I liked the wind in the afternoon, the gnats hated it. It kept the temps pretty nice too. Breaks were shorter than normal since I wasn't including oxygen sticks, but the photography early on used up a lot of time. Just so much to see, do and enjoy. I was tired at the end, but finished pretty strong still.

What else is there to say, just a great day....
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Wildflowers Observation Extreme
The Owl Clover and Lupine is insane, but probably will be about done in a week at these temps. The Hedgehogs are still showing off nicely and now the Cholla and Ocotillo are getting into the game, with the Prickly Pear not far behind. Brittlebush is still showy in spots. Palo Verde is a week or two away from being glorious, but a few were hinting. Lots of groupings of flea bane and other whites in places as well.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Apr 10 2020
outdoor_lover
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Cave Creek Indian Ruins at Chalk CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
LosDosSloFolks
Greg wanted to go look for some Prime Real Estate and invited me to go with him. I was ready for a bit more mileage and I really enjoyed the last outing at Spur Cross, so I took him up on it. I even managed to convince him to start early, more to avoid people than anything else. Although it was a bit colder at the start than I thought it would be, it was a good call. The Parking Lot was full upon our return and we started running into more and more people (and horses) on the return, the closer we got to the TH.

Decided to take the road out and then Metate Trail back. Another good call, as the wildflowers along the road were pretty sweet. The water level in Cave Creek was even higher than when we were here 3 weeks ago, so finding decent crossings to keep the feet dry was just a tad more challenging than last time. Since it was pretty chilly with a breeze and the sun took it's time cresting over the mountains to the east, we pretty much kept moving for awhile and made good time to the Skull Mesa TH. Once we passed the Cottonwood Trail, I was in new territory. Even when the sun hit, it stayed chilly for a bit, but the uphill on Cave Creek Trail finally started to warm us up.

A few Photo Ops along the way, mostly for butterflies as there are more species out these days. They were enjoying the forests of blooming thistle which have gone nuts since last time I was out here. I can't remember seeing them so tall and robust as they are this year. Cool to look at, but a bitch to bushwack through. :lol: I was actually enjoying the uphill workout which is rare for me. I didn't stop frequently or for long until we hit the creek down in Chalk Canyon. Just before the bottom, coming down the hill, a hill bordering the Trail was seeping water from several spots and formed a small creek, which dumped into the larger creek at the bottom. Once we hit the bottom, the main creek was lightly flowing, so it was a great place to take a snack break, before heading back up out of the canyon. So we take a break and after a bit, Greg decides to get a head start up the hill. He isn't gone more than 90 seconds and I hear this weird noise that's getting immediately louder and I thought I was going to witness some sort of plane crash. I could not believe how loud it was and from where I was, I couldn't see the plane go over. But then, another, noise and I looked up again and saw the 2nd fighter jet streak by and bank to the left. Those suckers were LOW! :sweat: The noise was really deafening, even for someone with hearing loss. :o I haven't experienced a low fly-by like that, since my Dad and I were fishing on San Carlos Lake years ago. Except those 2 fighter jets were skimming the water and we didn't hear a sound until after they passed over our heads! We both about fell out of the boat! Pretty cool encounters!

So we head up out of Chalk Canyon, top out and leave the Trail, heading for the Ruins. By the time we got halfway to the edge, the grasses and other flora were pretty much thigh high. Made for some slower going and interesting footing as you could no longer see the rocks and holes in the ground. And the rocks became a lot more numerous the closer we got. And I felt like the grass and foxtails got even higher. :sweat: But we got there and started looking at all the rooms and the artwork. Prior Civilizations had to have coined the term "room with a view" as their building site had amazing views of New River Mesa and Cave Creek. After Greg found the particular residence he was looking for, we started wandering back south along the edge, watching for more message boards. We decided to descend off the south end where it was a bit less steep, rather than take the steeper descent straight down into a bunch of really thick vegetation. It was a good call as I probably would have lost a lot more blood on the steeper route. :sweat: Thinking back on it now, if I ever do this again and Chalk Canyon is flowing, I might just go back out to the trail, take it back down to the bottom of Chalk and then just go down the Creek. Might be the easiest route of all and it looked like there was some cool stuff down there.

We get down to the bottom without breaking any bones and catch the trail to go back. Stopped at a creek crossing for a lunch break and start running into people, and people on horses. Lots of Horseback Riders out on this day. After the break, Greg takes off down the trail while I'm still packing up and I catch up to him a bit later. We stop at one more creek crossing and Greg decides to dabble his feet in the water for a bit. It was getting pretty warm out. He was interrupted by more horseback riders wanting to cross the creek, so we packed up for the last time and headed for the barn. Took the Metate Trail back and stopped at the Spring for a minute or so, since I hadn't seen it in like 6 or so years. Still a cool place. But people were multiplying faster than we could count, so we hit the trail again and didn't stop until the vehicles. That place was really really busy at 2:30 in the afternoon and people were still coming in.

Great Hike, this area never disappoints and neither does the company. It's been really nice to go with someone that knows this area so well too. Thanks for the Invite Greg! Good Times!

*Take Note* Some of the Foxtail is no longer practicing social distancing, so be warned. While it's not doing a full on assault of socks yet, it's lovin' the mesh on shoes and boots.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Brittlebush is still going strong in areas and the Lupine is insane in some of these areas. Still some Owl Clover, most of the other common wildflowers are getting sparse. The blooming Thistle is pretty abundant and tall in places. The Prickly Pear will be putting on a good show very soon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cave Creek - SPRCA Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Chalk Canyon Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Metate Pond 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Apr 03 2020
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 6
 Routes 38
 Photos 12,452
 Triplogs 548

57 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Tortilla Creek, AZ 
Tortilla Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking4.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had a lapse in judgement. And it came seriously close to biting me and ruining not just my day, but others as well. This Hike shouldn't have happened, for several reasons, including a really big one. Today, an extremely close call made my top 5 all-time. 9 times out of 10, the scenario would have landed someone in the hospital and at least Emergency Services, if not SAR would have been involved. Not my best day by a long shot. Only a very big miracle kept this day from being ultra bad. I didn't deserve it, I made a poor decision, but I'm glad that no one else had to be involved. Go ahead and judge me, I have it coming.

On Wednesday, my new truck reminded me that it was not the Escape. I went to get in and almost broke my knee on the bottom of the door. I came damn close to tears for about the first 2 minutes. The next day, (Thursday) my leg hurt pretty bad from the knee all the way to the ankle. With that in mind, I decided I needed to do something light today.


I wanted to go back to Tortilla Flat and do a little birding first thing in the morning. I picked out 3 options for a Hike after that. I got to the Flat about 30 minutes after Sunrise and chased some birds around. I started to hike over to Option 1 (Tortilla Massif) and met a FS Truck when I started walking down the Campground road. They nixed my route and kicked me out, very nicely I might add. So, I decided to just go explore Tortilla Creek. Get to the creek and start boulder hopping away. Lots of water and flow still, making for serious navigation and route finding, while trying to keep the feet dry, at least for awhile. I was also trying very hard to be careful so 1. I didn't hurt myself and 2. to protect the Camera. I really should have saved this Hike for better times and also with different gear, so I didn't have to worry about everything so much. It all made for slow going, which was fine because I wasn't trying to make a mega hike out of it anyway. Just a nice day along the Creek with lots of breaks and quiet time. With the exception of the Parking Lot, which was really empty at the start, I only ran into one party of 3 headed to Peter's Canyon. There were more people milling around at Tortilla Flat when I got back, and a lot more traffic. But still nothing terrible.

So, I boulder hop, sometimes following the creek, sometimes crossing the creek. A little scrambling here and there and a bit of bushwacking as well. Just trying to find the cleanest, safest route. The Creek was beautiful, with pools and waterfalls. The light was harsh by then, but the sound was soothing. When I got to the Peter's Canyon turnoff, I just kept going on Tortilla. I stopped just short of Hells Hole Spring, took a lunch break and decided to turn around there. Spent about an hour in the shade just enjoying the water and the solitude.

It was about 2:00 and time to head back. Put the pack on and headed back the way I came. About 30 yards from my Lunch Spot, I come to a pretty simple, straightforward crossing. I did the same crossing an hour before and it was easy. Perfectly placed dry rocks that were easily reached. About 5 rocks to make it across. On the return trip, the last rock would be a pretty small one, but only 6" before the shoreline, which was part of a small beach. When I hit that small rock, my next step would be in the sand, right up against a large boulder on the right. Everything to the left of that boulder was sand. It was easy the first time I did it, so there was no hesitation this time and I go. It was a clean crossing until I got to the last small rock and then all I could do was react. When I hit the small rock, my next step should have been straight, into the sand, up against the boulder. But the sand next to the boulder where my foot was about to go, moved, and suddenly became vertical. There was a sound, but it wasn't a Rattle. On top of nothing short of a miracle, 3 things saved me. 1. I apparently had the element of surprise. I think Grandpa Diamondback was as shocked as I was. But he was instantly ready for a fight. 2. When I hit the small rock, it was with my right foot. I was mid-stride, but managed to do almost a complete split and swung my left foot as wide as I could, landing in the sand about 3 feet away from him. If it had been my left foot on that rock, I might have been screwed. I could only go left to miss him. If I had gone straight, my next step would have landed right on top of him. 3. I had speed and momentum on my side. When I landed, I managed to keep my feet and my momentum took me out of range quickly. I'm thankful that even in the middle of a boulder hop, I still have a pretty good reaction time. The HAZers on the 6L Ranch Hike have seen me in action when a crossing doesn't quite go as planned. :sweat: Mr. Diamondback wasn't happy and I think my heart skipped several beats. By the time I regained composure, got the heart beating again and reached for my camera, Mr. Diamondback was starting to relax and decided that maybe it was just time to go hide. There was a little piece of flood debris that he decided was his only option and he managed to squeeze himself in there and chill. Maybe get his heart beating again too. He was a pretty big, healthy looking snake and his rattle was probably just short of 3" long, so he's been around awhile. He must have been laying out flat against the boulder, possibly getting a drink of water from a small inlet around the curve of the boulder. But I'm not sure. He might have been laying in a coil in a small depression of the boulder. All I know was that he blended right in and I never saw him until almost too late. I should have been bitten, I don't know how I wasn't.

All I could think about was how bad this would have been if I had been bitten. I might have been able to still hike out, but maybe not. This is exactly the kind of thing you want to really avoid right now. Don't make the news. Don't involve Emergency Services. Don't do anything that's going to land you in the hospital. If I was going to screw up and get injured on this Hike, the very last thing I would have wanted would be a rattlesnake bite! It's not like I was on a Trail that would have been fairly accessible, if I wasn't going to be mobile. It would have been a bitch to get me out of there. I beat myself up on the entire rest of the return. The joy of a water hike turned into extreme paranoia. Now it's not just about protecting the legs and ankles. It's about the worry of another run-in. I'm boulder-hopping and bushwacking. A snake's favorite haunts. I haven't been that glad to see the parking lot in a very long time, at least from the mental aspect.

Certainly a far cry from what I hoped would be a good day. As much as I've wanted to see some snakes this year, this really isn't what I had in mind for my first Rattlesnake of the season. Normally, I would have been excited, but with the kind of times we're having right now, it shook me instead. I'm just glad that he was a nice snake and showed restraint. I should have known better. Warm day, snake season and I'm out there bushwacking and boulder hopping and all I'm thinking about is don't fall, don't sprain or break an ankle or leg. Well, I didn't do any of those things, but it could have been even worse and snakes just didn't cross my mind. In spite of me, it turned out ok, but I'm going to be more thoughtful about my Hike decisions for awhile.

Photos. Probably up by tomorrow. I really didn't take that many, my focus was no injuries and dry feet.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Not a lot going on around the creek.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mesquite Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Tortilla Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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