First was a stop for donuts at the local Fry’s. Our favorite donut shop is in the opposite direction (we’ve got to do more trails this direction) so our fall-back plan was Fry’s. I got my usual old-fashioned while Big Gar got his favorite long john and an old fashioned, too. Coffee, donuts and we were off. What a beautiful day: the temperature was in the low 60’s but we knew it was going to get warmer later. The sun was out - what more could we want? Our first choice was which trail to take first: my modus operandi is to do the most difficult thing first so it’s all easy from then on; Climb to the top of the slide and its all downhill from then on. Hmmm. What kind of masochist am I? Poor Gary, And, there we were at the trailhead of the longest trail. Now - which way? One way goes almost straight up the hill while the other is a gradual but inexorable uphill. Hmmm. Remember that rule: go to the top of the slide and the rest is all downhill. Yep - we took the side that goes straight up to the pass and then cruised on down the rest of the way back to the trailhead.
Now, I’ll have to admit that the last two hikes have not been easy for me. I am not in Arizona mountain hiking trail shape. I’m in great Des Moines bike trail walking shape but that’s not much help here. I’ve gotten to the end of our last two hikes with aching shoulders, a bent back, exhausted legs and a cranky disposition. All reminders that I passed middle-age a while back. However, today was much better, I moved right along, and even at the end of the day, my legs were fine, my shoulders and back were find and my disposition was much happier. Whew. Let’s go hiking.
The first hike was a desert hike surrounded by other mountain ranges. Great views, marvelous trail.
This part of the trail is fairly wide and the slope down not too steep - meaning that if one of us should fall, not much would happen except a little wound to the pride. And who thinks of falling on such a beautiful day? On the other side of the mountain was a much thinner trail with much steeper sides. The trail was about 12" wide and it was sloped towards the steep side of the trail by about 15 degrees. The trail itself was of tiny rocks which, though much better than marbles or ball bearings, were pretty slippery themselves. To compound this there were some sections of the trail that had been eroded and were at a 45 degree angle. You have to step or jump over these sections and my thought was: I hope I don't slip. Whew, made it. Did I get a picture of this part of the trail? Nope, I was concentrating too much on my footing.
Then there were the bikers hurtling along the trail. How they made it through this section I haven't a clue. I only know that they did since we met them on the other side of the mountain.