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Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 2 of 27)

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:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Mike, Mona, Marilyn, and I did a 9.1 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, and then took Pemberton to Stoneman Wash where we turned south down the wash. We hiked back to the Pemberton via one of the many feeder washes and then went northwest on Pemberton. We hiked into an arroyo west of the pond (where the homestead once was). Exiting the arroyo area, we hiked Tonto Tank back to Pemberton, continuing north back to Stoneman Wash. This time, we took the wash WNW until we got to the Bluff Trail. From there, we returned via Granite and Wagner.

We saw an eagle, at least two owls, other smaller birds, several rabbits, and one (western diamondback) rattlesnake on our hike.  The only critter which cooperated in my photographic pursuits was the snake.

A view of Four Peaks just before the start of the hike:

 

Dead tree on the Tortoise Trail:

A view of the Superstitions (in the distance) from the Tortoise Trail:

A view of Red Mountain from Stoneman Wash:

Heading into one of the arroyos…

Mona, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and Kevin:

Another view of Four Peaks, this time from the Tonto Tank Trail:

We saw this rattlesnake just off of the Tonto Tank Trail. We heard it before we saw it as it started rattling as we walked past.

Fresh growth on Teddy Bear Cholla in Stoneman Wash:

Looking up at the branches of a dead tree…

Another dead tree:

A large saguaro in Stoneman Wash:

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Bob, and I hiked a 13.5 mile loop utilizing the Technical Loop, Stoneman Wash, Pemberton, Dixie Mine, the South Wash, portions of the Long Loop, and several other smaller washes along the way.

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Mona, and I hiked 10.4 miles starting from the end of Golden Eagle Blvd. We hiked out Dixie Mine, went left on the service road, right on Prospector, right on the Bell Pass Trail, right on Windmill (past the windmill), right on Coachwhip, and then right on Dixie Mine, which eventually led us back to where we started.

It felt warmer to me today than it did last week, but I think that was mostly due to the humidity being somewhat higher.  Visibility was very poor.  Mona told me that smoke from the wildfires in California and Oregon has been blown into the Phoenix area.  Prominent landmarks such as Four Peaks, Weaver’s Needle, and the Flatiron were totally obscured by the smoke. Even Red Mountain, which is not that far away, was partially obscured by the haze. The air smelled somewhat smoky too, but I really had to breathe it in in order to detect it.  The pictures below reflect this fact – missing are the distant mountain vistas which are normally in my photos.

We saw this hawk atop a saguaro early in our hike along the Dixie Mine Trail:

Even looking towards Thompson Peak looked hazy.

We’re near the intersection of Prospector and Bell Pass for this photo.

If you look closely, you can see the windmill for which the Windmill Trail is named.

Looking back toward Bell Pass – we can actually see a patch of blue sky!

But looking back in the other direction, toward Linda and Mona who were waiting for me, it’s very hazy.

Heading down the Coachwhip Trail – Weaver’s Needle and other landmarks in the Superstition Wilderness are normally visible from this vantage point. On this day, the haze obscured it all.

This was the large saguaro that used to stand at the bottom of the hill.

Returning now on the Dixie Mine Trail…

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Heather, and I hiked 8.75 miles starting from the Trailhead Staging Area.

An early morning view of a saguaro on the Pemberton Trail:

Views from one of the washes off of the Pemberton:

 

A view of Stoneman Wash from the Granite Trail:

The remains of a dead tree in Stoneman Wash:

1960 Chevy Impala – check out that chrome!

That old car provides a home to this spider.  (I missed the focus on the spider, but at least got the web in focus.)

 

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

I hiked 10.3 miles on Friday starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead at the end of 128th St. I hiked up the Tom’s Thumb Trail to the East End Trail, then down East End, continuing on Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, Feldspar, and finally finishing up on Tom’s Thumb. Linda accompanied me on the first bit of the hike up Tom’s Thumb. It was great hiking with Linda again – she had been out a while due to a knee injury.

Early morning view from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Looking ahead on the Tom’s Thumb Trail – at this point, the hard part of the day’s hike was pretty much done.

 Linda sent me this photo of me taking the photo above. (I did some retouching on it – I like the color correction that I did for this one better than the one above.)

A view from the East End Trail:

Part way down the East End Trail is a small wall:

 A view of Four Peaks from the Windmill Trail:

 Looking at Thompson’s Peak from the Boulder Trail:

This is one of the mushroom rocks alongside the Marcus Landslide Trail:

 A short side trail leads to this broken mushroom rock:

 A large boulder along the Marcus Landslide Trail:

Sven’s slab (right) with another mushroom pinnacle at the far left:

Friday Fitness Hike

Marilyn, Bob, and I hiked a little over eight miles on Friday.  Starting from the Wagner Trailhead, we hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, then south down Stoneman Wash. We took a feeder wash west to the Pemberton, then went north on Pemberton back to Stoneman Wash. From there we went northwest on Stoneman Wash again, then to Granite, and back on Wagner.

Just before sunrise at the Wagner Trailhead:

Looking toward the Superstitions from the Pemberton Trail:

Heading south in Stoneman Wash:

Senna blooms:

We’re in the feeder wash now, heading toward the Pemberton Trail:

Marilyn, making her way up the wash:

Hedgehog cacti:

This is one of the clay pits along the Pemberton Trail:

Saguaros in Stoneman Wash:

A view from the Wagner Trail:

 

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

I hiked 8.3 miles on Friday – Dixie Mine to Sonoran, and then a loop on the Sonoran after crossing into the Preserve. Temperatures were in the mid-eighties when I started, warming up to the mid-nineties when I finished. Once I got to the Promenade Trail, I considered adding the Western Loop, but decided that it was a little too warm and humid to do it comfortably. As it was, I drank all of one of my 3 liter reservoirs and had started on the second just before finishing.

An early morning view from the Dixie Mine Trail:

A look ahead from the Sonoran Trail in McDowell Mountain Park:

This was my first time hiking the new section of the Sonoran Trail since its completion. The left fork is the new section of trail. It leads to the same place – the Promenade Trail – but is almost a quarter of a mile longer than the original segment of the Sonoran Trail.

This trail was well laid out. It follows the contours nicely and, in spots, you forget that you’re near the town.

A view of the McDowells. Tom’s Thumb is visible in this photo.

Nearing the end (where it intersects the Promenade Trail) of the new segment of the Sonoran Trail.

I encountered this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake on the way back while hiking the older segment of trail.

I think this might be Twinberry / Rough Menodora:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob and I hiked a little over eight and half miles in the Competitive Track area.  We started off on the Tech Loop, made our way into Stoneman Wash, went up a feeder wash to Pemberton, and then made our way over to the Long Loop via a wash that I had not yet visited. We then followed a minor, but passable wash to another segment of the Long Loop which we used for our return.

This is a view from the parking lot just before sunrise:

A view of Red Mountain from the Technical Loop:

We saw this tortoise as we were hiking up the hill leading to T-Bone Ridge on the Technical Loop. Linda and I saw a tortoise – possibly even this same tortoise – in pretty much the same location in 2014.

We made our way into this wash which we used to hike back to the Long Loop:

A view from the Long Loop:

A view from the narrow and winding wash:

The Senna plants are blooming again!

Friday Fitness Hike

I hiked 10.3 miles on Friday starting from the parking lot for the Dixie Mine Trail at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd. I hiked Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, service road, and then back on Dixie Mine.

It rained off and on, though never hard – often times, it was just some light sprinkles. The rain plus the cloud cover kept the temperature down in the low to mid eighties.

Ocotillos on the Dixie Mine Trail:

Past the spur which leads to the mine – which I did not do – the Dixie Mine Trail goes up a hill. This is a view from the top of that hill.

A view from the Coachwhip Trail:

At this point, I’m still within the boundaries of McDowell Mountain Park, at the intersection of Windmill & Coachwhip.

A view from the Windmill Trail.  The windmill is out of frame to the left. (You can see a little bit of the nearby cottonwood tree at the edge at the far left.)

I’m in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve now. Notice the difference in signage between the Park and the Preserve. There’s no getting lost with these signs!

A view from the Bell Pass Trail. The mountain with the antenna towers is Thompson Peak.

Looking toward Four Peaks from the Bell Pass Trail:

Saguaros on the Prospector Trail:

This is a barrel cactus blossom:

A mountain biker on the Dixie Mine Trail – one of only five people that I saw during the entire hike.

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