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Friday Fitness Hike

Linda and I hiked nearly nine miles on a hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. Marilyn joined us for much of it, hiking perhaps seven miles.

This is a view of the McDowells from the Granite Trail.  I had hoped to hike up the wash through the boulders at the lower right, but erosion has made an already high step to a crucial ledge even higher than it used to be.  (It’s been that way for several years now, but seems to get periodically worse.)

Senna:

I haven’t seen an ant hill this large in quite some time!

Another view of the McDowells; I think we were on the Bluff Trail at this point.

Four Peaks behind the dead tree and boulders…

At this point Linda and I are at the top of the section which has become more difficult to scramble up.  It’s still easy to slide down though.

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 27th, Linda and I hiked 10 miles starting from Tom’s Trailhead. We hiked a big loop: Marcus Landslide, Boulder, Pemberton, Coachwhip, Windmill, East End, and down Tom’s Thumb (adding in Feldspar with a return on Marcus Landslide to get us up to 10 instead of just 9).

Sunrise from the parking lot:

An early morning rainbow!

Prominent boulders near Sven Slab:

A view of the McDowells from the Boulder Trail:

As we were hiking up the Coachwhip Trail, I stepped over this rattlesnake, thinking it was a rock.  Linda called my attention to it, allowing me to get this photo…

Two views from the East End Trail…

This is a view of the pinnacle known as “Glass Dome” from near the intersection of the Tom’s Thumb and East End trails.

A view of Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb as we hiked down Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, Sept 20, I hiked a little over 13 miles starting from Four Peaks TH (in McDowell Mountain Regional Park). After hiking through the competitive track area, I wound up on Pemberton and then took Dixie Mine to the South Wash. I then hiked this wash back to the competitive track area, taking the Long Loop back to the parking lot.

Four Peaks from the parking lot:

Another parking lot photo, this time of some saguaros with the Superstitions (including Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron) as the background.

A view of Red Mountain from the Technical Loop:

Looking back towards the Superstitions from my ascent of T-Bone Ridge (still on the Technical Loop):

Another view of Red Mountain as I descend T-Bone Ridge on the west side:

Red Mountain again, but this time I’m in Stoneman Wash:

Looking toward the McDowells from one of Stoneman’s feeder washes:

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail:

In the South Wash now…

We’ve gotten quite a lot of rain since my hike on the 20th, but it has been very dry for a very long time before that. Thus, I was surprised to see these flowers in the wash.

I like the high vertical banks of the South Wash.

The wash goes on and on – perhaps a quarter of the hike takes place in the South Wash.

Mule deer antler:

Looking toward Four Peaks from near the Long Loop:

Looking towards the Superstitions, again from the Long Loop:

Chia:

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, Sept 6, I hiked nine miles on the Dixie Mine and Sonoran trails.

This is a view of the crested saguaro at the parking lot entrance.

A view of Four Peaks on the way to the start of the Dixie Mine Trail. (There’s about 0.7 miles of residential sidewalks to walk between the parking lot and actual trailhead.)

A view of the McDowells:

The route I took provided a good view of Weaver’s Needle!

Saguaros were dense along this hillside.

Looking back down the wash towards the road:

This is the “waterfall”. Seeing bees around one of the puddles at the first landing, I turned around at this point. If you look closely, a few petroglyphs are also visible in this photo.

There’s a cave (which was probably created from mining activity) at the left in this photo.

Mine tailings:

Views from along the Dixie Mine Trail:

When I got to the intersection with the Sonoran Trail, I decided to hike it to the preserve boundary and then a short ways into the preserve. On the way back, I saw a deer!

Friday Fitness Hike

Dan and I hiked a 10 mile loop starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. We hiked the ridge past Tom’s Thumb and then down East End Trail, returning on Windmill, Pemberton, Boulder, and Marcus Landslide.

Early morning views from the parking lot…

…and early on Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda and I hiked 8.5 miles on Friday, the 23rd. We started from the Trailhead Staging Area and hiked some washes early in our hike.  We finished on the Tonto Tank and Pemberton trails.

Red Mountain in the distance; we’re on the Pemberton, about to drop into Stoneman Wash at this point.

Clay mounds near Stoneman Wash:

We often see owls in this area, but we didn’t see any until after crossing the Pemberton later on.

Chia:

Mule deer horn:

I think this is a hawk…

We were both surprised to see these Senna flowers along the Tonto Tank Trail. We’ve gotten so little recent rain that I would have expected to see them in or near a wash, if at all.

Friday Fitness Hike

Chris and Dan joined me for an 8 mile hike on Friday, the 16th. This was their first hike in the area, so we visited Dixie Mine. We looked through the gate into the adit. We also went to the top of the tailings and saw the vertical shaft. Dan, a geologist, noticed a lot of quartz in the area; he told me that those operating the mine were hoping to find gold. After looking at the petroglyphs, we continued to the Prospector Trail, but decided to turn back instead of continuing onto Bell Pass, Windmill, etc. for a much longer hike. When we got to the intersection with the Sonoran Trail, Chris said she was feeling well enough to hike to the Preserve boundary, so we did that too.

Early morning views of the McDowells…

A view from the mine tailings:

Petroglyphs…

A triangular shaped formation further up-canyon:

A view of the mine tailings; I stood on the edge of these tailings for one of the earlier photos, above.

Another view of the McDowells, this time from the Sonoran Trail:

Looking toward Four Peaks from just within the Preserve (still on the Sonoran Trail):

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, August 2, I hiked 9.5 miles starting (and ending) at the Four Peaks Trailhead in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

A view from the Long Loop (in the competitive track area):

I got photos of a flying owl in Stoneman Wash:

The competitive track area has some interesting terrain…

This is part of the clay mine test site along the Pemberton Trail.

Quail, running away from me on the Pemberton Trail.

Saguaro ribs:

Friday Fitness Hike

I hiked 11 miles on Friday, July 26.  It was a “wash” day – I traveled through washes for the majority of the hike.

I saw many animals.  In addition to the rabbits, hawks, and lizards that I see on many hikes, I saw a total of five deer! I saw the first one as I was nearing my turn into one of the feeder washes off of Stoneman Wash.  Later on, after crossing Pemberton, I saw another two deer while in that same wash. And, finally, much later in the hike, after reentering Stoneman Wash, I saw another two deer.

Shortly after seeing that first deer, I saw an owl flying up the wash.  I was able to get a photo of it after it landed on the wash bank. It flew even further up the wash, landing on a saguaro. I got some more photos of it on the saguaro, though only one photo had it looking towards me.

I hiked through one of the arroyos where we often see owls. I didn’t see any owls in that arroyo this time, but I did see a pack of Javelina! And, surprise, I also saw a bobcat stalking the Javelina. This surprised me as I had thought that Javelina would be too large for a bobcat to bring down. But, perhaps it might have been able to pick off a young Javelina.

Looking toward the Superstitions from the Pemberton Trail:

Entering Stoneman Wash from the Pemberton Trail…

In Stoneman Wash now…

I think this is the same owl in the next two photos.

Looking toward the McDowells:

At one point, I heard a clap of thunder over my shoulder. When I turned to look, I saw that it was raining in the distance.

This is the “owl” arroyo, though I saw no owls in it on this particular day.  At this point, I’m past a difficult section with multiple partially fallen palo verde trees.  The trees are still mostly rooted, but I think that heavy snow from earlier in the year has turned them onto their sides somewhat, blocking the narrow and steep-sided wash. It was much more difficult to get through than it had been before that snowfall.

While I didn’t see any owls, I did startle a pack of javelina. One of the males came back, but didn’t get especially close. I got this photo of it as it was checking on one of the younger javelina which had been left behind.

I think this might be the same Javelina, though I know I also got some shots of one of the younger ones running off too.

Another photo of that twisty arroyo. While you can’t see them in this photo, some of the Javelina are still ahead of me. Others, somehow ran up the banks of the wash, as did the bobcat much earlier.

 

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 19th, Kay and her daughter, Sarah, joined me for a seven mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead.

Sunrise at the Wagner Trailhead:

Kay, making her way up over the only significant obstacle when hiking Bluff Wash. If you look closely, you can see Sarah spotting her below.

Sarah and Kay:

Sarah:

We found an area, near Stoneman Wash, with numerous Senna flowers:

A view of (part of) the McDowells; look for Morrell’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb (and even Sven Slab) toward the right in the photo:

Some kind of hawk, we think:

Stoneman Wash:

This rabbit is missing a chunk of it’s right ear!

An interesting formation along the bank of Stoneman Wash:

A closer look…

A raven:

A view of the Superstitions in the distance from the Wagner Trail; both Weaver’s Needle (left of center) and the Flatiron (to the right) can be seen in this photo:

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