After last week’s Butt Kicking hike, we decided to head out with the Club on a fairly simple hike. Most of our regular hiking buddies passed on this one, as this hike was not all that challenging, but it was one we had never been on before so we thought we’d give it a try.
The scheduled hike was to be 8.5 miles and only 300 feet of elevation along a Dry Wash starting at Cottonwood Ranch. The trailhead was about 75 minutes away from our Resort with the last 6 miles or so along a gravel road. We passed multiple parking areas off the main road, and when I researched the route on Google Maps, there were lots of trucks and trailers parked in these spots, which I assumed were Horse Trailers but turned out to be ATV trailers. On the day of our hike we must have passed 100 ATV’s on out way in and out of the road. I thought we were in for a busy dusty day, but despite there being a multitude of trails in the area, and ample evidence of tire tracks on all of them, we saw only one idiot trying to get across a narrow streambed in a fairly new Ford Pickup. He was thoroughly stuck, and had really no clue on how to get himself unstuck. I gave him some pointers, including keep his wheels straight ahead and not gunning the engine to try and levitate the truck out of the sand. Then I pushed him out of the sand pretty easily. But not before he showered Sylvia with sand and gravel. Like I said, Idiot.
The trail started at an old ranch that had a very nice water tank set alongside the creek. I don’t think they are keeping cattle in the area any more, as there was no evidence anywhere of Cow Pies or livestock of any kind. The fences next to the cattle guards we crossed were in poor condition as well.
A few of our hikers had been to this trail in years past, and informed us we likely would be walking along a dry creek bed for 4 miles. They were wrong.
We passed over and back across this creek about 15 times, and it got deeper and wider as we went along. As there were few spots where there were sufficient strategically placed rocks in the stream we ended up with a lot of hikers with wet boots. The temperatures were in the mid 70’s F or mid 20’s C which was likely the warmest day of hiking we’ve had since November, so the wet feet really weren’t a big problem.
We were walking in a pretty steep, narrow valley most of the day, and whether I was facing towards or away from the Sun, the hillside was very green. We made it just under 4 miles before stopping in a sunny spot at a bend in the now rapidly running creek. By then we had hopped over plenty of rocks and jumped over enough water to last us for quite a while.
There were lots of Saguaro along the creek, including this one that was showing the path that most cactus follow. Many start beneath ‘Host’ trees for protection and grow up overtake the trees, and obviously outlive them.
As this was an ‘In and Out’ hike, we followed the same pathway (mostly anyway) both directions. The beginning and end was pretty wide open, but also pretty warm by the time we reached here. This was about 6.5 miles into the hike, and unfortunately Sylvia’s foot issue came back right about here. She had to rest twice and wait for the pain to subside. It seems we pushed her tootsie a bit too hard last week, so we might be needing to re-evaluate our hiking plans for the rest of the season.
It was pretty cloudy and hazy when we began the hike, but by the afternoon, it cleared up and allowed some amazing pictures of the 4 Peaks mountain range. For those of you who don’t recall, this grouping is silhouetted on the Arizona License plates.
In other news, the Softball team lost both it’s games this week. Time to fire the coach.
And, we haven’t had to build, repair or improve anything on the house this week for a change. However, the truck made up for it, as it wouldn’t start the morning after our hiking day. It turned out that the 8 year old batteries decided to pack it in, but at least it happened in our driveway, and not 75 minutes away at a trailhead parking lot with absolutely no Cell Service. A quick trip to Costco to pick up some new ones, and we are good for another 8 years.
And that was this week’s adventures.