Linda, Bob, and I hiked 9.5 miles on Friday starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. We took the shortest route using the following trails (in order): Tom’s Thumb Trail, East End Trail, Windmill Trail, Coachwhip Trail, Pemberton Trail, Boulder Trail, and Marcus Landslide Trail. Roughly half of our hike was in the Preserve; the rest was in McDowell Mountain Park. Our total accumulated ascent for this hike was a bit over 1,700 feet.
The rising sun created an interesting glow on one of the slopes as we started our hike.
As the sun got slightly higher, we noticed the landscape behind us turning a brilliant yellow. It didn’t last long, however. When we looked a few minutes later, from somewhat higher on the trail, it was mostly gone.
We saw two rattlesnakes on the Coachwhip Trail. This was the second of the two. In both cases, we didn’t see them until Bob was right on top of them. I think I might have stepped on the first one, riling it up which, in turn, gave Bob a few moments of excitement. I’ve adjusted the contrast in this photo, making it much easier to see here than it was in real life.
I think the prominent pinnacle in the foreground of the picture below is Noah’s Ark, which is part of the Granite Ballroom climbing area. According to both Waugh’s and Opland’s books, there’s a 5.7 (Beam Me Up Scotty) on the back side and a 5.9 (Wattle ‘n Daub) on the front side. We’re viewing it from the side, so the 5.9 is on the left and the 5.7 is on the right. Opland’s book, which is newer, also lists a 5.10 TR. Bob and I are thinking about climbing this pinnacle. Linda said she’d carry the rope.
Hog Heaven and the Thumbnail Pinnacle can be seen on the ridge in the distance. We had considered going there for this hike, but decided to leave it for a day when Allen and Janet could join us.