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Month: May 2014

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Marilyn (from Canada), Michael, Joanne, and I met at the Horse Staging Area where we hiked the Escondido Trail.  We threw in Lousley Hill and a the hilly portion of the Scenic Trail to make it even more of a fitness hike.  Total distance was 9.34 miles.

A view of Four Peaks from the Escondido Trail:

20140530-DSC03926-Edit-medium A group of four saguaros on the Escondido Trail:20140530-DSC03950-Edit-medium More saguaros in Lousley Wash.  (This might not be the official name of that wash.)20140530-DSC03965-Edit-medium Marilyn suggested these two shots looking up a saguaro (or perhaps a pair of saguaros) along the Escondido Trail.

20140530-DSC03974-Edit-medium 20140530-DSC03979-Edit-medium She also suggested this shot where the sun was hidden behind one of the saguaro’s arms.

20140530-DSC03987-Edit-mediumAs we made our way over to the Scenic Trail, we saw this hawk sitting atop a saguaro.

20140530-DSC03997-Edit-medium A view of Red Mountain from the Scenic Trail.

20140530-DSC04012-Edit-medium Blooms on a barrel cactus near the end of our hike.

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Friday Fitness Hike

Venie, Bob, Sarge, and I were the only ones who showed up for Friday’s hike.  We started at the Wagner Trailhead, and hiked a nine mile loop using the Tortoise, Pembertone, Stoneman Wash, Bluff, Granite, and Wagner trails.

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Turret Arch through the North Window

This is a new edit of a photo that I took in June of 2013.  It shows Turret Arch through the North Window of the Spectacles.  These formations are in Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah.

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Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike started from the Trailhead Staging Area.  We hiked out on the Pemberton and took Stoneman wash to one of its feeders, where we hiked up that wash back to Pemberton.  From there we hiked through a small and twisty canyon.  We returned via the Tonto Tank Trail and the Pemberton.  Total distance was only six miles.

Bob and Sarge descend a small hill towards Stoneman Wash.

20140516-DSC03649-Edit-medium This section of Stoneman Wash is amazingly firm, probably due to the hardened clay beneath a thin layer of sand and stone.20140516-DSC03652-Edit-medium We took this photo by a large dead tree in the Stoneman feeder wash.  From left to right are Nancy, Michael, Joanne, Linda, Kim, Jim, Bob, Sarge, Venie, Carrie, and Hailey.  (I’ve probably misspelled some names.)20140516-DSC03664-Edit-medium Joanne spotted this antler in the wash.

20140516-DSC03676-Edit-mediumA view of the clay pit from the Pemberton.  It’s my understanding that this was the site of a test dig for a clay mine at one point in the past.

20140516-DSC03685-Edit-mediumA view from another wash accessed from the Pemberton.

20140516-DSC03703-Edit-medium The terrain became more interesting as we went.

20140516-DSC03719-Edit-medium Bob and Sarge passing an undercut section of the wall.

20140516-DSC03729-Edit-medium 20140516-DSC03744-Edit-medium The wash narrowed as we went.  We eventually got to a point where we has to push the branches of a small palo verde tree aside to get through.

20140516-DSC03750-Edit-medium Michael, who is much taller than I am, took this photo of the top of a blooming saguaro while I pulled down the branch of palo verde tree blocking the view.

20140516-DSC03762-Edit-medium Four Peaks:

20140516-DSC03768-Edit-medium Another view of Four Peaks:

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Red Mountain:

20140516-DSC03780-Edit-medium The remains of an uprooted saguaro:

20140516-DSC03786-Edit-medium Weaver’s Needle is visible in the distance in this photo.  The Flat Iron, which is also in the Superstitions, can also be seen at the far right.  (It’s so far right, that it’s almost out of the picture.)

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Little Saddle Mountain Trail

Bob, Marilyn, and I hiked the Little Saddle Mountain Trail on Sunday.  This was my second time hiking it after the Sunflower Fire of 2012.  Marilyn, Joe, and I had attempted to hike it roughly six months after the fire, but had difficulty due to the trail disappearing under new growth and washed out areas.  The Little Saddle Mountain Trail is now part of the Arizona Trail; it was in very good condition.

It was cool and hazy during most of our hike.  There were still wildflowers growing alongside the trail and in and around the creek.  The haze forced me to take more flower pictures than I might otherwise.

We made it all the way up the the Saddle Mountain Trail.  Distance from the Trailhead to the Saddle Mountain Trail was about 4.2 miles.  Bob and I hiked a short ways on the Saddle Mountain Trail, bringing our distance up to 4.5 miles for a 9 mile hike total.  Total ascent was just over 2200 feet according to my GPS.  (Bob’s GPS showed an additional 200 feet or so of ascent.)20140511-_DSC1662-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1668-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1689-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1704-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1710-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1713-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1722-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1728-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1792-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1803-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1826-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1892-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1901-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1913-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1919-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1946-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1949-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1979-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC1997-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2003-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2009-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2024-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2030-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2045-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2102-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2117-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2123-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2126-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2138-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2150-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2153-Edit-medium 20140511-_DSC2156-Edit-medium

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s Hike was fairly short.  We hiked the loop on Lousley Hill and then hiked part of the Escondido to Pemberton.  Bob, Nancy, and I continued on to hike part of the Scenic Trail, while Michael, Joanne, and Wiley returned via the Escondido Trail.

Friday was Ranger Amy’s last day as ranger at McDowell Mountain Park.  We will miss her, but wish her well at her new job with Arizona Fish and Game.

Michael had brought along a small tripod which we used for this shot.  From left to right are Kevin, Bob, Amy, Wiley, Nancy, Joanne, and Michael.

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Hiking down Lousley Hill…20140509-DSC03591-Edit-medium 20140509-DSC03597-Edit-medium We saw a young rattlesnake, approximately 15″ long, on the Escondido Trail, near the intersection with the Lousley Hill Trail.  Amy decided against picking this snake up.

20140509-DSC03624-Edit-medium This is the large, many-armed saguaro on the Escondido Trail.

20140509-DSC03627-Edit-medium A blooming Palo Verde:

20140509-DSC03642-Edit-medium Another saguaro on the Lousley Hill Trail.

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Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  We hiked Wagner to Delsie, where I realized perhaps three quarters of a mile later that we had inadvertently turned onto the Delsie Trail instead of staying on the Granite Trail as was our intent.  But that was okay, because we had a nice hike back to the Granite via Stoneman Wash.  Once we got back to the Granite, we hiked a short ways further until we reached the wash which parallels the Bluff Trail.  Some of us hiked up the wash, while the rest continued on with Amy to finish the hike via the Bluff, Granite, and Wagner trails.  Those of us who hiked the wash, hiked all the way up to the Pemberton, and returned via the Bluff, Granite, and Wagner Trails.

Amy held the brush aside so that I could get a photo of this kangaroo rat:

20140502-DSC03484-Edit-medium From left to right are Ernie, Michael, Venie, Nancy, Wiley, Amy, Joanne, and Jonathon.

20140502-DSC03493-Edit-mediumThere aren’t many good looking wildflowers left, but we did see some Sandwash Groundsel:

20140502-DSC03505-Edit-2-medium A large rock with a small cardinal on top:

20140502-DSC03514-Edit-medium Soap Tree Yucca:

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Amy identified this flower for me.  She says that it’s White Ratany. Ernie is in the background.

20140502-DSC03532-Edit-medium A view from the Bluff Trail.  It’s not obviously visible in the photo, but the wash we had been hiking is amid the rocks in this photo.

20140502-DSC03535-Edit-medium A very healthy saguaro on the Bluff Trail.

20140502-DSC03547-Edit-mediumA hedgehog cactus next to a small barrel cactus.  Four Peaks is in the background.

20140502-DSC03555-Edit-mediumAmy sent me this photo of the Gila Monster that the other group saw on their way back:

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