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Friday Fitness Hike

Chris and Dan joined me for an 8 mile hike on Friday, the 16th. This was their first hike in the area, so we visited Dixie Mine. We looked through the gate into the adit. We also went to the top of the tailings and saw the vertical shaft. Dan, a geologist, noticed a lot of quartz in the area; he told me that those operating the mine were hoping to find gold. After looking at the petroglyphs, we continued to the Prospector Trail, but decided to turn back instead of continuing onto Bell Pass, Windmill, etc. for a much longer hike. When we got to the intersection with the Sonoran Trail, Chris said she was feeling well enough to hike to the Preserve boundary, so we did that too.

Early morning views of the McDowells…

A view from the mine tailings:

Petroglyphs…

A triangular shaped formation further up-canyon:

A view of the mine tailings; I stood on the edge of these tailings for one of the earlier photos, above.

Another view of the McDowells, this time from the Sonoran Trail:

Looking toward Four Peaks from just within the Preserve (still on the Sonoran Trail):

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, Aug 9, I hiked 11 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. Trails hiked, in order, are: Wagner, Granite, Delsie, Gooseneck, Rock Knob, Pemberton, Bluff, Granite, and Wagner. It was a warm morning; I saw only one other trail user, a cyclist, while I was out.

Sunrise at the trailhead:

I saw a patch of rainbow as I hiked out on the Wagner Trail.

This is the view from the intersection of  the Wagner and Granite trails.

This is the ramada at the intersection of Delsie and Pemberton. At the right are some bike tools with spare tubes in the yellow mailbox.

A view of the McDowells from the Gooseneck Trail:

Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb are visible in the distance. That’s private property for a ways on the other side of the gate. When I’ve taken this shot in the past, I’ve tried to exclude the gate, but decided that it’s also a good shot with the gate.

Senna:

Saguaros:

I’ve seen very few rattlesnakes this (calendar) year. I wouldn’t have seen this one had it not rattled as I walked by.

Buckhorn Cholla:

The Gooseneck Trail passes between some large granite boulders at this point.

Moss:

Sven Slab (left), Morrell’s Wall (middle), Gardener’s Wall (partially visible on ridge behind Morrell’s Wall) and Tom’s Thumb:

A view of Four Peaks from the Rock Knob Trail (just after reentering the Park):

A view of a hawk (I think) from the Rock Knob Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, August 2, I hiked 9.5 miles starting (and ending) at the Four Peaks Trailhead in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

A view from the Long Loop (in the competitive track area):

I got photos of a flying owl in Stoneman Wash:

The competitive track area has some interesting terrain…

This is part of the clay mine test site along the Pemberton Trail.

Quail, running away from me on the Pemberton Trail.

Saguaro ribs:

Callisto

Friday Fitness Hike

I hiked 11 miles on Friday, July 26.  It was a “wash” day – I traveled through washes for the majority of the hike.

I saw many animals.  In addition to the rabbits, hawks, and lizards that I see on many hikes, I saw a total of five deer! I saw the first one as I was nearing my turn into one of the feeder washes off of Stoneman Wash.  Later on, after crossing Pemberton, I saw another two deer while in that same wash. And, finally, much later in the hike, after reentering Stoneman Wash, I saw another two deer.

Shortly after seeing that first deer, I saw an owl flying up the wash.  I was able to get a photo of it after it landed on the wash bank. It flew even further up the wash, landing on a saguaro. I got some more photos of it on the saguaro, though only one photo had it looking towards me.

I hiked through one of the arroyos where we often see owls. I didn’t see any owls in that arroyo this time, but I did see a pack of Javelina! And, surprise, I also saw a bobcat stalking the Javelina. This surprised me as I had thought that Javelina would be too large for a bobcat to bring down. But, perhaps it might have been able to pick off a young Javelina.

Looking toward the Superstitions from the Pemberton Trail:

Entering Stoneman Wash from the Pemberton Trail…

In Stoneman Wash now…

I think this is the same owl in the next two photos.

Looking toward the McDowells:

At one point, I heard a clap of thunder over my shoulder. When I turned to look, I saw that it was raining in the distance.

This is the “owl” arroyo, though I saw no owls in it on this particular day.  At this point, I’m past a difficult section with multiple partially fallen palo verde trees.  The trees are still mostly rooted, but I think that heavy snow from earlier in the year has turned them onto their sides somewhat, blocking the narrow and steep-sided wash. It was much more difficult to get through than it had been before that snowfall.

While I didn’t see any owls, I did startle a pack of javelina. One of the males came back, but didn’t get especially close. I got this photo of it as it was checking on one of the younger javelina which had been left behind.

I think this might be the same Javelina, though I know I also got some shots of one of the younger ones running off too.

Another photo of that twisty arroyo. While you can’t see them in this photo, some of the Javelina are still ahead of me. Others, somehow ran up the banks of the wash, as did the bobcat much earlier.

 

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 19th, Kay and her daughter, Sarah, joined me for a seven mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead.

Sunrise at the Wagner Trailhead:

Kay, making her way up over the only significant obstacle when hiking Bluff Wash. If you look closely, you can see Sarah spotting her below.

Sarah and Kay:

Sarah:

We found an area, near Stoneman Wash, with numerous Senna flowers:

A view of (part of) the McDowells; look for Morrell’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb (and even Sven Slab) toward the right in the photo:

Some kind of hawk, we think:

Stoneman Wash:

This rabbit is missing a chunk of it’s right ear!

An interesting formation along the bank of Stoneman Wash:

A closer look…

A raven:

A view of the Superstitions in the distance from the Wagner Trail; both Weaver’s Needle (left of center) and the Flatiron (to the right) can be seen in this photo:

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 12th, I hiked a 10.5 mile loop: Escondido, Pemberton, Scenic, and back on Cinch and Escondido. It’s getting warm here; I had planned on a longer hike, but ended up shortening it a bit.

Sunrise at the trailhead:

Views from the Escondido Trail…

The fountain was up as I was hiking the Scenic Trail:

Another view from the Scenic Trail:

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda and I hiked nearly 9 miles on July 5.

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail:

A mammillaria cactus – it was right beside the trail we were hiking:

Rocks have been piled up on either side of the fallen saguaro making it possible to ride a mountain bike over the saguaro.

Nearing Dixie Mine – the mine tailings can be seen at the upper left.

The path from the road to the mine is getting overgrown, but the area in front of the mine entrance is as clear as I’ve ever seen it. In the past, you’d have to push your way past tamarisk plants to get to the adit.

Petroglyphs:

Look for the owl!  (I had a hard time with the shot.  I was unable to see the owl when looking through the viewfinder.  I zoomed all the way in and ended up taking a photo where I thought the owl was.  When I looked at it on my computer, I still had a hard time finding it.  I’ve cropped the image significantly, making it easier to find it now.)

A view from the top of the waterfall:

Saguaros on the Prospector Trail; Linda and I hiked all of Prospector to Bell Pass and then returned via Prospector and Dixie Mine.

Back on the Dixie Mine Trail for this shot…

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 28th, I hiked twelve miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. After hiking Wagner and part of Granite, I headed up Bluff Wash until I came to the Pemberton. From there, I took the Pemberton over to Granite Tank and then crossed into the Preserve, hiking part of the Saguaro Nest Trail. I reentered the park at the northwest corner, taking service road which used to form part of the Pemberton Trail eastward; I don’t think I had been in this part of the park in over a year.  I returned via Lariat, Granite, and Wagner.

A view of Red Mountain from the Wagner Trail.

I think this might be an acacia.

I saw a lot of different kinds of seed pods…

This is the only significant obstacle in Bluff Wash. It used to be easy to scramble up the notch just left of center.  There is a good foothold – a small ledge about two feet long and 2-3 inches deep – that is now at (perhaps) waist height.  Over the years, the sand below this foothold has washed away, effectively raising that small ledge, making it harder to use it as a foothold.  Assuming you can get your foot onto this ledge, it’s possible to push your weight on top of it using your right hand in opposition using the rock to the right. I tried that move today and found that I really had to kick my leg up to get my foot onto the ledge.  Moreover, I had to stand far enough back that I was out of position to do the next move. Noticing some handholds left of the ledge, I decided to try another way.  The handholds are good; smearing the left foot on the rock below allows you to put the right foot on the ledge.  From there, there’s a side pull (Gaston) above the ledge for the right hand.  I got both feet on the ledge and then was able to make the easy move to get into the notch.

I don’t know what these are, but I saw them in the wash.

Boulders on the bank of the wash…

More seed pods; I think I was still in the wash when I saw them.

This is a view of the Pemberton just before going up the small hill just before arriving at Granite Tank.

This shelter changes a little bit every time I see it.

Barrel cactus blossoms:

Saguaros on the Pemberton:

I saw this raven as I neared the trailhead at the end of my hike.

Friday Fitness Hike

Mike, Marilyn, and I hiked eight miles starting from the parking area for the Dixie Mine Trail. We hiked a short ways on Dixie Mine and then turned onto Sonoran, hiking the Lower Sonoran Trail after entering the Preserve and then returning on the (upper) Sonoran Trail on the way back.

The first of these photos is a view from the Dixie Mine Trail; the rest were taken from the Sonoran Trails.

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