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Month: January 2016

Friday Fitness Hike

Nancy, Linda, Mike, and I hiked 12.1 miles on Friday.  The highlight of our hike was the South Wash between the Dixie Mine Trail and the Long Loop (in the competitive track area).

An early morning view from the Horse Staging Area:

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A view of the McDowells from above Stoneman Wash:

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Kevin, Nancy, George, Jill, Janet, Allen, Linda, Mike, and Amy:

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The group in one of Stoneman’s feeder washes.

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This formation can be seen from the Pemberton Trail just after passing the pond / former ranch homestead:
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A view of the clay pit just off of the Pemberton:
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Looking west from the intersection of the Dixie Mine Trail and the South Wash:

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Looking east just shortly after leaving the Dixie Mine Trail:

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More views from the wash…

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Linda, Mike, and Nancy:

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Four Peaks framed by tree branches:

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Saguaros on the latter part of the Long Loop:

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Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike started from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.  Mike, Denise, and I hiked to the highest point in the McDowells. Amy, Linda, and Jon hiked the Mesquite Canyon and the Feldspar trails with us, and then continued on to the Marcus Landslide Trail. Linda told me that her group hiked 6.4 miles.  Mike and I hiked about the same distance; we added a few extra miles to our hike when we hiked down the Rock Knob Trail into McDowell Mountain Park. (Denise went on ahead after reaching the summit.)

Linda sent me this photo of a white goat on a boulder. She told me that she called to it and that it started coming down, but then disappeared behind a boulder.

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I took this photo from the parking area just after I arrived.  This is well after sunrise, but some color was present in the sky from the sun being partially behind a dense bank of clouds.

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Looking back down Mesquite Canyon during an early part of our hike:

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A view of the Thumbnail Pinnacle on the ridge line.  Our route took us below and the left of the large rock formation below and to the left of the Thumbnail Pinnacle.  This is the Hog Heaven climbing area.

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Denise spotted Linda, Jon, and Amy stopped at one of the many signs on the Marcus Landslide Trail:

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Denise looks to see what’s ahead of us:

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Mike on a steep section of our route up to the Thumbnail Pinnacle:

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Denise and Mike, next to the Thumbnail Pinnacle:

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A view of Thompson Peak:
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Another view of the Thumbnail Pinnacle; when viewed from where I took this photo, it appears to be a slender and dramatic pinnacle.20160122-_DSC9604-Edit-medium

Approaching the East End…

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Densie, sitting atop the summit at the East End.  This is the highest point in the McDowells.  Tom’s Thumb is visible below us at the far right in this photo.20160122-_DSC9658-Edit-medium

Glass Dome and Tom’s Thumb – and a lot of other boulders too!

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Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb:

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A view of the Rock Knob area as seen from the Rock Knob Trail just inside of McDowell Mountain Park:

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Racers

These were the leaders at the time that we encountered the “Marathon” mountain bike racers during our hike of the Scenic Trail on Saturday.

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Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 15th, several of us hiked a bit over 12 miles on the following trails: Wagner, Granite, Bluff, Pemberton, Rock Knob, Gooseneck, Delsie, Granite, Stoneman Wash, Bluff, Granite, and Wagner.

(We also hiked 12 miles on Friday, the 8th, but it was raining that day, so I don’t have any photos.)

This is a shot from the Granite Trail, prior to the hike:

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Nancy, Nick, Bill, Mike, Linda, and Amy:

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I think this is a view from the Bluff Trail:

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A view of the McDowells from the Pemberton Trail:

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Chain fruit cholla on the Rock Knob Trail:

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New Year’s Day Hike

On January 1, Bob, Janet, Allen, Nick, DeAnn, Sandy, Marilyn, and I hiked from Spur Cross to Skull Mesa.  (Not all of us went to the top.) My GPS watch tells me that I hiked 12.6 miles with over 3100 feet of total ascent.

The mile to the top of the mesa has approximately 1,000 feet of elevation gain, which is quite a lot for just one mile. It was not as difficult as I expected, however, since the trail was both easy to follow and in good condition with numerous switchbacks.

Views from early in the hike…
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Marilyn, Bob, Allen, Sandy, Nick, Janet, and DeAnn:

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A view of Skull Mesa:

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Another view of Skull Mesa:

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DeAnn, nearing the summit:

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The top of Skull Mesa is grassy and expansive.20160101-_DSC8677-Edit-medium

Views from the top of Skull Mesa…

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Sandy and DeAnn descending the trail from the top of Skull Mesa:

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I saw these saguaros on the way down.

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We saw this petroglyph on the way down too:
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A semi-crested (?) saugaro:
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A late afternoon view. (We started our hike at about 8:30am and got back somewhat before 5pm.)

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Marilyn at the end of the Cottonwood Trail:

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DeAnn, Sandy, and Marilyn by the Skull Mesa Trailhead sign.  Note the skull at the top of the sign.

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