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Month: March 2020

Friday Hike – MMRP Washes

Marilyn and I hiked through many washes in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We also hike a short section of the Pemberton Trail.

Poppies:

Lupine:

Chia:

Brittlebush:

More brittlebush:

Saguaros:

Chuparosa:

Globemallow:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla:

Owl clover:

Owl clover and brittlebush:

Pemberton Pond (which is more of a tank or watering hole):

Looking across the Pemberton Trail after visiting the pond:

Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron, which are both in the Superstition Wilderness, in the distance:

Interesting erosion along one of the washes:

Hedgehog blossom – the first one I’ve seen this year:

Friday Hike – Black Ridge Loop

Marilyn, Linda, Heather, Sara, Mike, and I hiked eight miles on the Black Ridge Loop in the Mazatzal Wilderness.

This is the view of old SR 87 at the start of the hike.

Mount Ord had patchy snow!

These might be Goldfields:

Indian Paintbrush:

Marilyn, Heather, Sara, Mike, and Linda – practicing “social distancing” while hiking!

Linda tells me that these pink flowers are in the Evening Primrose family.

Mexican Poppy:

Linda thinks that these yellow flowers are Western Wallflowers.

We think that’s Horseshoe Dam / Reservoir in the distance. (Thanks to Heather for looking this up.)

Small cacti – I don’t know what they are.

Other peaks in the area had a dusting of snow too.

You can see evidence here of the Sunflower Fire. There’s a lot of new growth though…

Brunson Tank – the fullest that I’ve seen it:

We saw these bones as we neared Upper Sheep Creek:

It was a muddy hike; this is Sara’s boot.

We’re on (or near) the Little Saddle Mountain Trail now.  The creek / drainage next to the trail had more water in it than I had ever seen before.  We had to cross it a number of times. On one occasion, the trail was in the stream; I think we all got our feet wet.

This was near one of the many crossings; it wasn’t the biggest crossing though.

Fleabane:

This sign is at the end of the connector trail coming from the Cross F Trailhead.

Sunday Hike – Wagner-Granite-Bluff Loop

Marilyn and I hiked 5.5 miles in MMRP on Sunday. Flowers are blooming here, especially the owl clover.

Fiddleneck:

I don’t know what these are.

Globemallow:

Owl clover:

We saw many large patches of owl clover along the Granite Trail.

Brittlebush; it’s blooming now, but not as much as I expected.

Lupine:

There’s a small patch of brittlebush in this photo of Red Mountain.

More brittlebush in the foreground. Our destination was the boulders near the bottom of the photo.

Brittlebush and chuparosa here…

Poppies along the Bluff Trail. Up until that point, we hadn’t seen many poppies on our hike.

Tortilla Canyon / Peter’s Canyon

Mike, Ben, Marilyn, Linda, Denise, Laura, and Marilyn joined me for a hike of Tortilla Canyon and Peter’s Canyon.

Looking northeast after leaving Tortilla Flat. The road in the photo is the Apache Trail. The section seen here is now open to local traffic only. There is a section, further on, that was closed after last year’s fire.

Looking back in the other direction…

New signage; I haven’t hiked it yet, but it’s my understanding that Fragile Arch Saddle is on the way to Geronimo Head and Malapais Mountain.

Another view prior to descending into Tortilla Canyon:

Both Tortilla and Peter’s Canyon had more water than I’d seen before. We encountered water as soon as we reached the canyon floor.

In this photo are Denise, Marilyn, Ben, Linda, Marilyn, and Mike. (Laura was standing next to me when I took this photo.)

Linda and Marilyn H cross the water in Tortilla Canyon. Early on, most of us tried to keep our feet dry.  I think most of us got our feet wet at some point during the day.

Denise in Tortilla Canyon:

There were a few spots where we could walk along the bank, but much of the time we made our way up-canyon by hopping from boulder to boulder through the water.

Nearing the entrance to Peter’s Canyon…

This is the entrance to Peter’s Canyon:

This was actually a small waterfall; my camera placement makes it look more impressive than it actually was.

Peter’s Canyon had even more rocks than Tortilla Canyon:

There’s an early section of Peter’s Canyon which has really big boulders.  Mike, Ben, Marilyn H, Marilyn B, and I scrambled up and down these boulders working our way up-canyon while Denise, Laura, and Linda bushwhacked along one side of the canyon.

The canyon turns to the right here and then becomes much easier for a time.

Looking back the way we came…

This is the view just after turning the corner:

Looking back towards the corner:

We made our way along the rock of the right bank along this section of the canyon. This was an “easy” section; after this point, there was some bushwhacking to be done…

We saw poppies (and other flowers too) while bushwhacking along one of the banks.

Linda and Marilyn work their way up-canyon as we near Peter’s Cave:

Peter’s Cave, on the right.

Looking back (down-canyon) from near Peter’s Cave:

Heading back now; Peter’s Cave can be seen in the center of the photo.  It doesn’t look like it here, but it’s actually a good ways up off the canyon floor, maybe 40 feet or so.

The group split somewhere around this point; Marilyn, Marilyn, and I had had enough bushwhacking and opted to hike through the water on the way back. It was slower, but it was also more fun.

This is a shot that I got while hiking through the water. I was happy that my camera was still working because I had taken a spill earlier, landing in the water.

More poppies:

Marilyn, Ben, Denise, Linda, Marilyn, and Mike. (Laura had stayed behind just prior to turning the corner mentioned earlier; we’re probably about 15 minutes away from rejoining her at this spot.)

Ben and I have just turned the corner. If you look closely, you can see Laura further down the canyon. I’m not sure, but I think there might be some petroglyphs on the left wall. I didn’t notice these while I was there.

Looking down-canyon; Laura can be seen in the distance. In the foreground, from left to right are Denise, Marilyn, Marilyn, Linda, Ben, and Mike’s arm/hand.

Linda and Denise (photo credit Linda Kalbach):

Kevin, Marilyn, Laura, Mike, Linda, Ben, and Denise (photo credit: Marilyn Huot):

Laura and Kevin (photo credit: Marilyn Huot):

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