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Sep 17 2016
AZHiker456
avatar

 Guides 28
 Routes 197
 Photos 7,418
 Triplogs 184

40 female
 Joined Nov 07 2015
 
Sardina PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking4.39 Miles 1,871 AEG
Hiking4.39 Miles   3 Hrs      1.80 mph
1,871 ft AEG      34 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In researching peaks in my area back in December 2015, I came across this legend of a silver bullion stash in association with Sardina Peak (https://books.googl ... alse). I’m not a treasure hunter; but after reading something very interesting like this about a peak that’s practically in my own back yard, Sardina Peak immediately received expedited priority status on my Southern Arizona bucket list. However, by the time I developed enough experience and confidence to tackle a remote peak like this on my own, snake season of 2016 was, [and still is, as the ANGRY rattler I encountered on my way back reminded me], in full swing. Nonetheless, I decided to go for it and had an incredible time. The views this far down FR 684 are stunning even before setting foot out of your vehicle; and they just keep getting better as you climb higher.

I pretty much covered the hike details in the Description I wrote, so I’ll focus on the juicy stuff unique to my trip: the rattlesnake encounter occurred on the return trip, when I was on a very overgrown section of jeep road, about 1.05 mile from my vehicle. Interestingly enough, the very spot where I encountered the rattler was the EXACT spot I was concerned about on my way to the peak, based on how similar the terrain looked to the areas where my handful of other rattler encounters have occurred, [which have never been while going up/down a rugged slope to/from a peak but typically on a flatter section en route to a peak]. And of my 4 rattlesnake encounters to date while hiking including this one, 3 out of 4 occurred on a flat non-rocky section that also happened to be a low point. Despite knee high grass, [and visibility that was on the poor end of ‘not-so-great’], I actually spotted the snake well in advance, from about 10-15 feet away, [about a split second before it gave me ample noticed by rattling at me].

The snake was directly in the middle of the jeep road, and it DID NOT want to move; and, as extremely overgrown as the brush was on either side of the road, there was no way in hell I was about to go around it. I backed up a few more steps and gentle tossed some small rocks toward it in hopes of getting it to move. No such luck; it remained angrily coiled and continued rattling at me. Next I fired my 380, in hopes that the sound would scare it into moving… [two shots and still no dice]. However, immediately after firing, I tossed another small rock toward the snake, and this time it immediately slithered off the jeep road. I did not harm the snake and the noise, [in combination with another small rock tossed toward the snake immediately after firing], definitely seemed to do the trick. While it may have seemed like an extreme measure, hanging around in knee high grass for the snake to move on it’s own was not an option I wanted to risk either…!

Next I tossed another small rock in the direction the snake had slithered to make it rattler once again so I could gauge from the sound whether it had moved far enough off the jeep road for me to go by safely. The rattle sound was still a little close for comfort, [about 5 feet away if I had to guess], but hanging around in knee high grass, [especially if there were other rattlers in the area like my previous encounter a couple months ago…], was not exactly appealing either. With gun still in one hand and hiking poles to shield my legs in the other, I walked on by slowly [and luckily without issue].

Rounding out the more exciting wildlife encounters was a small tarantula, [which I spotted a few minutes after the snake encounter]. The tarantula was also directly on the jeep road.
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LET’S GO BRANDON! :y:
Dec 08 2002
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,571
 Triplogs 938

73 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sardina PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2002
rwstorm
Hiking4.40 Miles 1,812 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles
1,812 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
SAHC - Group
Nice hike to one of the peaks in the Tumacacori Mountains from long ago. Think we drove to our staging spot from near Arivaca on Universal Ranch Road. Michael, ever the clever one, brought a can of sardines for us to share on top. :lol:
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1 archive
average hiking speed 1.8 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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