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Category: Animals (page 1 of 12)

Saturday Hike – North Trail

On Saturday morning, I hiked the North Trail with Bob and his dogs. (I hiked part way with Sandra and her friends too.)

One of the ladies spotted this tarantula early in the hike:

The twisty-armed saguaro caught my attention:

Look for the (Harris ?) hawk atop the saguaro in the distance…

Friday Fitness Hike

Heather and I hiked a ten mile loop starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Total elevation gain was slightly over 1900 feet. We hiked the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead until the first climber’s access trail to the right. From there, we hiked up to the ridge upon which Tom’s Thumb is situated. We hiked the ridge past Tom’s Thumb and then continued on the heavily used access trail down to Tom’s Thumb Trail. From there, we hiked down East End Trail, then took Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, and Marcus Landslide to return.

Along the way we encountered Anika, who we’ve seen trail running in various parts of the Preserve. I usually see her on the Bell Pass Trail, but today we met her as she was running up the East End Trail. She was running a seventeen mile route on Friday which had a lot more elevation gain than what Heather and I did. And she was doing it with just one small water bottle tucked into the elastic waistband of her running shorts!

This is a sunrise shot from the parking lot:

There are many interesting rock formations on the way up to the ridge.

A view of Gardener’s Wall from the side. The East End (summit) is on the left.

Heather spotted this Tarantula as we were hiking up to the ridge:

Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain(s):

Approaching Tom’s Thumb:

As we were making our way over to Tom’s Thumb, we saw a snake ahead!

We she got home, Heather’s husband, Dave, identified it as a Sonoran Coral Snake.

We encountered this saguaro as we were making our way from the south side of Tom’s Thumb to the east side.

Heading down Tom’s Thumb Trail towards the East End Trail…

A view from the East End Trail:

Nearing the Windmill Trail…

This collection of saguaros is on the Coachwhip Trail:

A side trail off of Marcus Landslide leads to this fallen mushroom rock:

Molly and Callisto

Sunday Hike – Dixie Mine Trail

Marilyn, Marie, and I hiked the Dixie Mine Trail, out to the gravel road and back. Near the intersection with the Sonoran Trail, we saw three deer!

Outdoor Kitty

This cat visited us (on our patio) several times during December. I haven’t seen it recently though.

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Sandy and Chaco

After our Friday Hike, a number of us stopped by the visitor’s center. ┬áThere, we found Ranger Amy talking to (and taking photos of) Sandy and her eclectus parrot, Chaco. ┬áSandy rides long distances on her mountain bike with Chaco perched on her shoulder.

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After taking the photos of Sandy riding with Chaco, she passed Chaco over to Linda to hold…

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Wild Burros at Lake Pleasant

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Friday Fitness Hike

Nancy, Linda, Mike, Bob, and I hiked 14.5 miles on Friday. George joined us for the first 2.5 miles before turning back.

We hiked Dixie Mine to Pemberton which, due to its length, is something that we rarely do. From there, we hiked Pemberton, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, and Prospector back to the service road. From there, we picked up Dixie Mine for the return to our vehicles.

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A view of Four Peaks from the sidewalk leading into the park

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A view of the McDowells from the Dixie Mine Trail

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Moss along the Dixie Mine Trail

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A small rock formation along the Dixie Mine Trail

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George, Bob, Linda, Nancy, and Mike

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View from the Coachwhip Trail

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A view of Thompson Peak from the Bell Pass Trail

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Rock formation on the Bell Pass Trail

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Cyclists on the Prospector Trail

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Tarantula on the Prospector Trail

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Saguaros near the end of the Prospector Trail

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Christmas Cholla

Callisto

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Callisto

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