Solo exercise hike close to home. Clockwise lasso loop starting from the P.A. Seitts Trailhead. Route shown in photoset.
Arrived at the trailhead in the dark but enough moonlight to get started. Two other cars already there when I arrived. I ran into them out on the trail a bit later. They turned out to be two trail runners. I know this because they were running and both had 0% body fat. Observation...both sexes look the same in low light when both have 0% body fat.
This is a nice loop that avoids the section of the Go John Trail that burned last year in the East Desert Fire. The temps were perfect and had the trails to myself pretty much. I made good time despite a nagging left hamstring that I can't seem to loosen up. It's been tight for several weeks. I can stretch it out but it doesn't stay.
Seeing @tibber 's report on this loop yesterday reminded that I seem to do it once a year for some reason so it was time. When I arrived at the Apache Wash Trailhead there was what appeared to be a field trip of two dozen or so 1st or 2nd graders milling about. They were all making that high pitched squeal only a child can make. I made a mad dash and diagonated, (my own word) across the desert to bypass the little vectors of disease.
I did a CCW loop which is shown in the photoset. During both climbs on this hike I ran into clouds of grasshoppers. It was almost plague like and just short of biblical proportions. There were almost none in the low areas. Lots of small lizards also.
The only other wildlife I saw were two textbook examples of the genus Lulu Lemonceaes. No photos of them for a couple of reasons... @joebartels has no label for them, and they always tend to carry pepper spray of some sort. That would be tough to deploy though, seeing as their hands are always full of cell phones and lattes.
I made good time (for me) but after seeing Angela's time for this same hike from yesterday makes me think she got herself an e-Bike.
HAZ member PhxRiles, (Kevin) didn't get any takers on his proposed hike @ Union Peak so I cojoled him to come a bit farther north to do this little lasso loop with me in the Tonto National Forest north of Spur Cross. Route shown in photoset. Fall color change in the bosque areas of Cave Creek is still 5-6 weeks away but everything was still green and pretty due to the recent rains.
We hit the trail at 5:45am and soon had enough light to see where we were going. The creek was mostly dry until we got farther north where the water was still flowing above ground. LOTS of butterflies all day...both yellow ones and those "Painted Ladies". I'm surprised I didn't inhale at least one. I've never seen so many. Also ripe Desert Hackberries were abundant everywhere we looked.
Just a nice hike with a nice breeze which was uneventful until near the end when Kevin nearly got struck by a D-back. He buzzed us but not till the very last second. Kevin was hoping to see one and his wish came true. Photo of the angry fella in the photoset. [ photo ]
We enjoyed a breakfast after the hike at Oak's Diner in Cave Creek. Thanks for coming up Riles, let's hike again sometime.
I woke up at 4am to do what most guys my age do at 4am. It was cool outside so I figured I could get in a hike before Cathy woke up. I just renewed my State Land Trust Permit so I headed over to enter the Cave Creek Regional Park through State Trust land on the east. Route shown in photoset. I could have hiked to the trailhead but I drove to keep the hike time to about two hours.
It was 62 degrees at the start and probably mid 50's when I dropped down to the creek. Not certain what the humidity was but I'm guessing it was at least double the 4000% that @joebartels recorded at Piestewa a couple of days ago. The creek's flood plain was very eerie with low hanging fog. With the lack of light it reminded me of the movie "An American Werewolf In London" when the old man warned..."Stay off the Moors!".
By the time I reached Go John Canyon my fingers were cold and then twenty minutes later I was soaked in sweat. Fall is not quite here yet.
Ran into a rattler and a toad but no one else. Lots of standing water still on the trails from the rain a couple of days ago. The desert looked good without any new Stinknet growing. Only the dead stalks from last year. I hope that's a trend.
The journey continues. Mrs SloFolks, (Cathy) is home from the BMT cancer ward and did her first hike this morning since her bone marrow transplant on May 6th. Neither of us knew what to expect and I was hoping for maybe end of the driveway and back. She was a beast and did well over 1/2 mile and said she could have done more. Photo attached against her wishes as her eyebrows and hair has not grown back yet. Also lots of swelling from all the drugs. She has one mile in her sights set for tomorrow.
With Cathy back in the hospital I took the opportunity to break in my new poly-razmataz Biom C trail running shoes. Talk about an oxymoron...captain Slo in trail runners. Temps were plenty cool enough at 5:30 but still very humid.
As I approached the Surrey Hills saddle I heard a pack of coyotes yipping up a storm. It was still too dark to see but I could smell that they were after a skunk and the skunk was doing his skunk thing. It was rank!
The town of Cave Creek leveled and top dressed the little trail going up the hill to the point of it resembling a sidewalk. To make it worse they added metal signs every 50 feet that read "Trail" that serve no earthly purpose.
I'm pleased with my time considering the very sedentary spring and summer I've had. I can't wait to do something in the TNF.
6am start. It's a sad state of affairs that I'm labeling this as a workout. Very humid... I'm ready for fall.
For those of you following along, Mrs. SloFolks first post transplant biopsy was negative. Several more challenges for her to face but this was the good news we've been waiting such a long time for.
First walk of any sort in many months. My 24/7 caregiver duties have kept me indoors as has the weather. Cathy had to have some work done today in preparation for her 100 day post transplant bone marrow biopsy. The results will hopefully be the harbinger of the happy ending we have been praying for.
I got on the Maricopa Trail near the hospital and followed it from Shea south to man made Marguerite Lake and back. Just cool and cloudy enough to even attempt this mid day. The sun came out briefly and what little breeze there was stopped and the sweating began in earnest. I'm pretty sure I was channeling Cannondale Kid. :-)
My sister came up from Tucson to help me out with some things and we made some time to get in a little hike.
We entered the P.A. Seitts Preserve in Cave Creek by coming over the Surrey Hills saddle. We climbed the scenic Louis Menk Overlook Trail before heading up the creek so I could show her the old Cave Creek cemetery. We saw some frisky Jack Rabbits before heading back on the Slate Trail to the saddle and then back home. The overcast morning was a real blessing.
Last rehab walk with Cathy and then it's back into the hospital tomorrow for her transplant. Hopefully they will let her return home sometime in June to finish her 100 days of mandatory bed rest and then commence on rehab again. This is the first time we hit 60+ miles for a month. Not a ton of AEG but we'll take it.
Solo exercise hike on Black Mountain. It's been over a month since I've done this one. Decent time, but these three little climbs never seem to get any easier for me. BTW, I see there is a 76% chance it won't rain on Tuesday.
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.