As of tomorrow we’ve been in Arizona for a month. In that period we’ve seen the coldest 4 days in 25 years, 5 days of warm comfortable afternoons in the mid 70’s, 4 days of rain and a whole lot of head scratching as we’re all trying to figure out what’s up with the weather. It’s a good thing that most of us are Canadians, and used to complaining or at least being perplexed by the weather.
The rain washed out our ball practice on Saturday as well as all the games on Monday. When Sylvia and I walked by the ball diamond on Sunday afternoon there was a set of footprints that were getting progressively deeper into the muck as they went further into the field. Then all of a sudden they disappeared, so we don’t know if somebody disappeared into the quicksand or was rescued by a helicopter…ha,ha! By Tuesday the field was firm enough to begin play again, but from what I saw, everyone was going to have to scrape the mud off their uniforms and cleats afterwards.
By today the sunshine was back all day, although the temperatures were still not much above 60F by the afternoon. It made for a perfect day to go on a hike, this time up to the Hieroglyphic Trail. This is a 1.5 mile gentle climb into a gorge that several hundred years ago was used as gathering place, corn grinding location and graffiti site by the local population. I’ve ‘borrowed’ this picture from another hikers blog as his photo of the pictographs are much better than mine.
The hike starts at the end of the populated area in Gold Canyon, right between the Flatiron peak that we climbed last week, and next weeks planned adventure to peak 5057. The weekend’s rains have really turned the desert green, and the saguaro and cholla cactus look healthy and vibrant.
We were soon into the wilderness with spectacular views back towards Mesa and south towards Queen Creek and the SanTan mountains.
Some of the terrain in this area causes you to scratch your head for a while. How did this rock get there, how long has it been there, and how long will it stay there. As it was directly above the area of the pictographs, we were just hoping it didn’t decide to fall off today. Some people thought it looked like Jay Leno’s chin.
We soon heard a strange sound in the desert, as we were treated to a view of rapids in the gorge. Sylvia and I had been here before a couple of years ago, and only found standing water in the various pools. In fact nobody in our group could ever remember seeing running water at this location. I’m sure it was all as a result of the rain we had last week.
We spent a short while exploring the various pictographs and waiting for the sun to come over the rim and warm us up before we started back to our vehicles. All in all the hike was about 3 miles long, and we were gone just under 3 hours. We spent the rest of the day reading and wandering around the park trying to stay warm. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70’s and we can hardly wait.