buettner.to blog

Menu Close

Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 26 of 27)

Friday Fitness Hike

We had a total of thirteen people on today’s hike.  We started at the Trailhead Staging area and hiked out to Stoneman Wash.  At that point, we split into two groups.  Amy’s group continued on to the pond and then returned to the parking area.

My group hiked up Stoneman Wash, veering off to explore several feeder washes along the way.  We eventually wound up on the Pemberton Trail.  We returned via the Delsie, Granite, Wagner, and Tortoise trails.  Total distance was twelve miles.

Here is a group photo just prior to splitting into two groups:

I took this photo just as we were starting up Stoneman Wash:

Nick imagines what it might have been like to drive the old Chevy convertible.  There are other photos of the car in the July 27 write-up.

 The remains of a dead tree, probably burned in the Rio Fire back in 1995:

A small bluff along Stoneman Wash:

We saw these flowers in one of the feeder washes:

We hiked some of the Bluff Trail where we encountered these cyclists.  Note the pig ornament on the handlebar of her bike.

As we were hiking along the Granite Trail, we saw a Palo Verde apparently growing out of a rock outcropping.  Nick and I walked around the back of the rock and convinced ourselves that it really was growing out of the rock and not just from behind the rock.

But that wasn’t good enough for Nancy.  She convinced me to climb to the top where I took this photo showing the trunk of the Palo Verde growing out of the top of the rock.

A view from the top of the rock.  From left to right are Susan, Sharon, Bob, Nancy, Gary, Nick, Janet, and Mike (who is also taking a photo).  Some of the limbs from the Palo Verde are hanging down in front of me.

Another rock outcropping on the bank of one of the many washes we hiked:

Saguaros along the Delsie Trail.  Information about how the Delsie Trail got its name can be found in the August 17 post.

A view of the McDowells from the Delsie Trail.  Tom’s Thumb, Morrell’s Wall, Rock Knob, Sven Slab, and all three of the Sven Towers are visible in this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Cooler weather is bringing out more people.  On Friday, we had a total of nine on our hike, Dennis, Sharon, Sue, Janet, Amy, Bob, Nancy, Nick, and me.  This is also the order of the people in the photo below – except for me, I took the photo.

We hiked out Pemberton and explored a wash near the homestead of the old ranch.  It’s a deep wash with high vertical banks in many places.  Here, part of the group crouches in a small hollowed out space at the side of the wash.

The wash is fairly wide, though you do have to squeeze past vegetation from time to time.

As noted earlier, there are several areas where erosion has created high vertical banks.

One of our group found an antler, likely left by a mule deer.

Amy sent me this photo of holes in the ground.  Dennis and Sharon said that they were made by antlions.

Another section of the wash with particularly high banks.  It’s almost a canyon.

Below is another photo from Amy.  We encountered a section of wash where we needed to do bit of scrambling to proceed further.

Another couple of views of the wash:

After our wash exploration, Nick, Janet, Bob, and I hiked a loop consisting of Tonto Tank, Pemberton, the Bluff Trail Wash, Granite, Wagner, and the Tortoise Trail.  Our total distance for the day was 10.5 miles.

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike went up and down Lousley Hill.  At the bottom of the hill, we hiked down Lousley Wash and made our way over to the Verde Trail.  We then picked up the North Trail and took the Chuparosa out to Pemberton.  We completed our loop by taking Lousley Wash back to the Lousley Hill trailhead.    Total distance covered was almost seven miles.

There were eight of us on the hike today: Me, Marilyn, Linda, Janet, Bob, Sue, Sharon, and Amy.

A view from Lousley Hill:

Hiking up Lousley Hill:

At the top.  From right to left are Sharon, Linda, Marilyn, Janet, Amy, Bob, and Sue:

Another photo from the top, but this time Amy is taking the photo and I’m standing between Bob and Sue:

A view of Tom’s Thumb from the Verde Trail:

A view from the North Trail:

An eroded hillside along Lousley Wash:

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Linda, Janet, Amy, and I started our Friday hike at the Wagner Trailhead.  We hiked a 9.35 mile route utilizing the Wagner, Granite, Delsie, Pemberton, and Stoneman Wash trails.

It had rained Thursday night into Friday Morning.  The trails were damp, but no rain fell on us during the hike.  The sky was full of interesting clouds and I think those clouds made for some interesting photos.

Amy is holding the rib of a dead saguaro in both of the group pictures.  The McDowells are visible behind us.

Below, Amy is taking her own photo of the McDowells and the highly textured clouds above.  Red Mountain is visible off in the distance.

Textured clouds:

The edges of the two cloud layers direct the viewer’s attention to the McDowells in this photo.

A pair of saguaros.

A view from the Pemberton.  This shot was taken near the Granite Tank as we were ascending the nearby hill.  At the top of the hill is a crested saguaro off to the right.  (It’s not shown in this photo.)

The damp conditions made sand in the washes firmer than usual.  I noticed, however, that the Wagner and Granite Trails felt somewhat soft and squishy when we first started hiking.  It’s interesting that the rain can make a normally firm trail soft and a normally soft trail firm.

We saw this tree just as we entered Stoneman Wash.

Boulders in Stoneman Wash:

A large multi-armed saguaro visible from Stoneman Wash:

Another edit of the above photo.  The sky has somewhat less contrast in this one.  Marie likes this one better, but Joe likes the original edit, above, better.

Yellow flowers.  Anyone know what kind of plant this is?

We heard helicopters flying overhead around the time when I was trying to photograph the yellow flowers.  (My camera didn’t want to focus for close-up shots.)

I’m hoping that Amy will be able to tell me the name of this reddish plant.  There’s a lot of it growing in the washes.  Several weeks ago, we saw similar plants that were light pink in color at the bottom of the Tonto Tank Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  We had a larger group today consisting of me, Ranger Amy, Bob, Linda, Janet, Nancy, Sue, and Sharon.

Our goal for the day was to get out to the Marcus Landslide Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  We decided to shorten the initial part of the hike as much as possible by cutting through the campground.  Even so, we ended up hiking around eleven miles.  Our route took us up Bluff to Pemberton to Rock Knob.  From there we were able to get on the Marcus Landslide Trail.  We followed it a bit past the intersection with the Boulder Trail.  It’s a nice trail; I suspect that it eventually connects with the Windmill Trail at some point.  I’ll have to do some further exploration to find out…

This photo was taken early on while we were still on the Granite Trail.  From left to right are Bob, Sue, Sharon, Janet, Amy, Nancy, and Linda.

Part way up the Bluff Trail, we saw this small bird sitting atop a large granite boulder.

Below is a view of Tom’s Thumb.  There are some chain fruit cholla in the foreground.  Part of the Sven Slab climbing area can be seen to the left.  I once climbed that detached flake (a little ways left of center) with Craig Thornley back in the late 80s.  We climbed Tom’s Thumb too.

Another view of Tom’s Thumb and the Sven Slab climbing area.  Joe and I have climbed that face at the far left in the picture.

A patch of Teddy Bear Cholla.  I think we’re looking back at part of Rock Knob in this photo.

This was one of the interesting rock formations along the Marcus Landslide Trail.

Another interesting looking rock.  I posted another view of this rock yesterday.

This is a view from the Marcus Landslide Trail just prior to turning around.  Note that the trail keeps going and is visible in the lower right of the photo.

On our way back, we saw three equestrians on the Marcus Landslide Trail.

Here, Ranger Amy is telling us about the sound that a small type of squirrel was making as were hiking back.

Hiking along the Pemberton:

Nancy and Amy approaching the intersection of Pemberton and Bluff:

A very healthy saguaro on the Bluff Trail:

Ocotillo in the park had turned green from the recent rains, but the leaves are now drying out and turning yellow.  This one caught my eye as we were hiking back along the Bluff Trail.  Weaver’s Needle is visible along the skyline to the left.

We encountered three more equestrians while hiking down the Bluff Trail.

 

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike started at the Trailhead Staging Area.  In addition to regulars, Bob, Linda, and Janet, two other hikers joined us today: Elma and Connie.  Elma and Connie told us that they do a lot of hiking at South Mountain; this was their first visit to McDowell Mountain Park.

We hiked out about a mile on the Pemberton and came back on the Scenic Trail.  Total distance for that segment was a little over 4.3 miles.

As we started up the Scenic, I took this photo of the sun coming up over the hill.  Tone mapping it gave it an interesting look – the photo was kind of boring otherwise.

A short ways further, I turned around and took a photo of the clouds with Little Granite Mountain (I think) off in the distance.

Janet, Linda, Elma, and Connie:

A view of Four Peaks from midway along the Scenic Trail:

When we got to the wash, Bob pointed out this Red-tailed Hawk:

When we got back to the staging area, Bob found this spider in the bathroom!

Bob, Linda, Janet, and I then started on the second part of our hike.  We hiked out the Pemberton in the other direction.  Janet turned back just after we crossed Stoneman Wash.  (She had other errands to do…)

Bob, Linda, and I continued on and took a look at this wash:

We also hiked a bit of the Tonto Tank Trail.   Here is Linda taking a photo of some cacti and an ocotillo at the top of the steep section near the beginning of the trail.

Here’s my own photo of that scene:

Bob, Linda, and I hiked a total of 9.35 miles today.

 

Sunrise Photos: New Edits

I’ve been trying the Mantiuk ’06 tone mapping operation on some of the photos that I’ve edited in the past to see what additional detail might be revealed.  In both of the photos below, the foreground was very dark and, in my original edits, I wasn’t able to do a satisfactory job of showing the foreground detail.

I first posted this one on August 31st.  Here’s a link to the original edit for comparison purposes.  The original was cropped somewhat, whereas this one is not.  The differences in the foreground detail between this version and the original are not that profound.  I think the color of the bare ground looks better in this one as does the detail in some of the foliage.

This one, below, was first posted on July 20.  Again, here’s a link to the original edit.  Again, the crop is different on the new edit – it’s uncropped.  The original showed the trees and the foreground as a silhouette.  This one shows considerably more detail.  Using the editor, GIMP, I zoomed in an looked at the area near the orange cones.  I could almost read the sign sitting along the fence just right of the cones.

While talking to my Mom about these photos, she thought it’d be interesting to see what the out-of-camera versions looked like with no edits (aside from being scaled for upload to this site).  Here they are:

August 31st original:

July 20th original:

Friday Fitness Hike

Today, Bob, Amy, and I hiked the North Trail.  Bob and I continued on up the Chuparosa Trail when we got half way around the loop.  Once we got to the Pemberton, we hiked up to the 150th street trail before turning back.

Here is a view of Tom’s Thumb through a tangle of Palo Verde trees.  We weren’t that close to the McDowells, but I used the limited zoom capability on my camera and then cropped the result to make it look closer than it really is.

A saguaro:

The McDowells.  Tom’s Thumb, Morrell’s Wall, The Granite Ballroom, Sven Tower I, II, and  III, and Rock Knob are all visible in this photo.

Bob taking a photo of a Saguaro near the Chuparosa Trail:

Another view of the Chuparosa Trail.

I found two other crops of the above scene that I found interesting…

Even closer:

I used a tone mapped layer (using the Mantuik ’06 algorithm) in most of the above edits.  I’m happy with the detail that it provides, particularly in the mountains in the background.  In past edits, I often end up with very dark looking mountains without much detail.

 

Friday Fitness Hike, Monsoon Edition

Today’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  Bob, Janet, Linda, Amy, and I hiked the Wagner to the Granite, and turned onto a trail unofficially known as the “Cowboy” trail.  Ranger Amy hiked out perhaps halfway with us on the Cowboy Trail before turning back to open the visitor center.

Bob took this photo of the four of us just prior to Amy turning back.  (The colors are a bit off today.  I haven’t quite gotten the knack of getting the white balance right when converting RAW files.  The skies often ended up more purple than I wanted them to be.)

Here’s another version of the above photo with possibly more accurate colors.  (I might be starting to figure out some of the problems I was having with the RAW conversion.)  Marie tells me it’s better, but Marilyn likes the one above.  So I’m leaving them both here for those who’ve already looked at the one above and have decided they like it.

The Cowboy Trail eventually runs into the Pemberton at the north end of the park.  Linda mentioned that she had not seen that part of the Pemberton yet.  Below is a view of the McDowells from the portion of Pemberton that’s also a service road.

This photo was taken from the Pemberton perhaps less than a mile from the intersection with the Delsie Trail.

We saw this large buckhorn cholla at or around the time that we turned onto the Delsie Trail.

As we hiked the Delsie Trail, we saw interesting looking clouds off in the distance.  We had already been hearing distant thunder for much of the hike.  We could see rain off in the distance.

Linda took this photo of some yellow flowers and me taking pictures of the storms far off in the distance.

Linda also took this photo of Bob and Janet.  Tom’s Thumb is visible in the distance above and slightly to the (viewer’s) right of Bob’s hat.

I didn’t think we’d be hiking in the rain today, but I was wrong.  Here’s a photo of Bob, Linda, and Janet hiking fast once it became clear that heavy rain was on the way.

When it started to rain hard, I put my camera under my rain jacket that I had stuffed in the outer compartment of my pack.  Strong winds made the rain come down sideways.  My clothing was soaked in under than a minute.  We were hiking into the wind – I put my sunglasses on for a while in an attempt to keep the rain from getting in my eyes.

After a while of trudging through the rain, my eyes began to sting.  I think the rain dissolved the salt accumulated in my hat and was washing it into my eyes.  Eventually, the rain starting coming merely down instead of coming at us sideways too.  I was able to see again.

Bob and Janet got well ahead of us while I was hiking somewhat more slowly due to not being able to see very well.  Linda hiked with me.  We talked about the lightning and thunder we were seeing and hearing.

After what seemed like a very long time, we got to the Granite Trail and then the Wagner Trail.  During that time the rain abated, but did not completely stop.

We frequently hike across washes and sometimes even through them on our hikes, but we almost never see them with any significant amount of water.  Today was different; there was enough water running in them that we nervous about fording them.

The photo below shows the last significant wash that we had to cross on the Wagner trail prior to getting back to our vehicles.

When we got back to the Trailhead, we were met by Ranger Amy and Mark, another park employee.  They had been concerned about us because we were out hiking during a monsoon.  We assured them we were okay and, after chatting a while, we got in our cars and drove home.

But driving home wasn’t as easy as normal.  As we were leaving the park, we saw that Sheriff’s deputies had stopped traffic on the road leading to Rio Verde.  Linda decided to return home by way of Fountain HIlls, but that proved to be a problem too because there’s a good sized wash between the park entrance and Fountain Hills.  Linda took this photo of me studying the wash to see if I could cross it.  A truck is crossing it there.  After seeing that truck and several other vehicles cross, I decided that I could cross too.  (And I did.)

Linda decided to turn around and wait for the deputies to reopen the section of road leading to Rio Verde.  She took this photo while she was waiting.

 

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob and I met at the Wagner Trailhead today for the Fitness Hike. Ranger Amy showed up briefly to tell us that she had a sore throat.

Textured clouds made for a brilliant sky just prior to sunrise.  I’ll admit to enhancing the sky in the photo below; the real thing was colorful too, but perhaps not quite as saturated.  I could easily dial it back a bit, but I happen to like this edit.  Marie is usually quite critical of such things, but she likes it too.

The sun rose while we were talking to Amy.  She pointed it out, so I turned around and snapped a few more photos.  Here’s one of them:

Our plan was to hike out to Rock Knob.  We took Wagner to Granite and the started up the wash that parallels Bluff.  Just after that first little scramble up some rocks, I encountered a Western Diamondback who promptly slithered into a nearby hole.  Bob and I could easily see into the hole though.  Here is one of Bob’s photos of the snake:

I wasn’t very quick on the draw as I had reassigned the button for setting the flash, but for me, being able to set the metering mode quickly is more important than the flash.  But I finally found the menu option for turning it on and managed to get this shot:

Bob climbed up and around the snake, avoiding its hole.  We proceeded on up the wash.  We crossed Pemberton, staying in the wash leading up to Rock Knob.  Below is a view of Rock Knob from that wash.

As we made our way northward to go around Rock Knob, we came upon a very impressive looking saguaro.  Bob and I spent perhaps ten minutes in the area taking photos of it from various angles.  Here’s one with Bob standing next to it.  You can get a good feel for the size of this saguaro from this shot.  Note, too, that each of the large arms have arms of their own!

One of the hazards of walking in an area with lots of Teddy Bear Cholla is that, sometimes, one will stick to your shoe.  I got this one out with the aid of a stick.  One of the past rangers who worked at the park, Crash, told me that a pocket comb works great for removing cholla.

The blue and white gaiter I’m wearing helps to keep sand and other detritus out of my shoes.  Even so, a few grains of sand managed to work it’s way into my left shoe and found it’s way down between the first and second metatarsals.  I now have a small blister there.

Here is a view looking up the saguaro.  If you look closely, you can see a large nest off to the left.

Here’s a view of that same saguaro with Rock Knob behind and off to the right.  I think we’re looking roughly southward here.

When we got to the Preserve side of the fence, we saw a very bleached bone sitting on a rock.  Here, Bob is taking a photo of it.

Here is a closer view of the bone:

An interesting looking rock…

Bob noticed this tortoise along the way.  I would’ve walked by it without noticing it.  Bob said that he gave it some water and it perked right up.

Some flowers, thanks to the recent rain that we’ve gotten.

 

Hedgehog Cacti:

A view of Rock Knob from a vantage point to the west.  We’re looking east, towards the park (from the Preserve) here.

There used to be a pretty good road in the Preserve which lead back to the Rock Knob Trail.  The preserve managers churned it up so that it’s impassable by most vehicles now.  It was even hard walking on it.  It was easier to walk in nearby washes.

Once we got back to the park boundary and crossed the fence, we took the Rock Knob Trail to Pemberton.  We took the Bluff, Granite, and Wagner trails back to our vehicles.  We hiked exactly ten miles today.

 

© 2018 buettner.to blog. All rights reserved.

Theme by Anders Norén.