Monday, April 23, 2018

Hike With Me!

Last Tuesday I went on what was probably the last hike of the season for me.
Probably I won't be able to get out (in the metro area, anyway) until October,
because it will be too hot.  Yesterday it hit 99 for the first time this spring.

Here's what I wore.
It was great for hiking!

The shirt says:
for health
for the planet
for the animals

socks: Ross (I don't recommend them - they chafed)

It was a semi-chilly day.
I was plenty warm enough on my hike without a sweatshirt
because the sun was shining brightly.

On the drive out, I saw these trucks doing work along McQueen road,
and they're from Minnesota!  See the license plate?

Weird!  What are they doing here?!

Arizona seems to have been getting creative with our signage lately -
this day it said, "Rush to file taxes; slow down on roads".

I drove past the Scraggliest Golf Course In The Universe (Snakehole Golf)
and took a picture, as always.

I was greeted at the trailhead by this Cholla (CHOY-uh) or jumping cactus
baby ball.  These balls fall off the mama Cholla and roll around or get carried around to 
spread the plant far and wide.  If a person or creature happens to touch one of the long bendy spikes, the ball "jumps" up and sticks onto the person/animal.  And then it travels!
They're hard to get off, too.

Rabies alert is still in force.
I did not get rabies on this hike.

I chose the massacre trail because I haven't yet gotten to the end of it,
where on rainy days I've heard there are waterfalls!
It wasn't a rainy day, and I was recovering from a cold (i.e. TIRED), 
so I didn't feel bad for not getting to the end (again!)

Here the trail goes under a tree.

I saw a bunny!
I haven't seen a rabbit in the desert before!

I've seen lots of jackrabbits, but they look different, like this:
Image result for jackrabbit
image from this website

Notice the EARS!!!
The strange, sad, but sort of funny truth is that when a jackrabbit gets hit
by a car, it will often be completely flat with just an ear sticking up off the road.
Those things have magical sticking-up powers!

The desert was fairly colorful (for the DESERT).

This is a grown-up Cholla.

They drop down their fruits, too, which are yet ANOTHER way
for them to reproduce!

Here's a close-up of the fruit:

Here is a Cholla bone.  This is how their skeletons look under the skin.

They are very interesting-looking creations.

That mountain range is part of the Superstitions.
Around that to the right is the Lost Dutchman State Park, where I

The Ocotillo are blooming this time of year, too.
They add a bright flash of orange to the greenish brown desert landscape.
They are beautiful and colorful and happy!

It was fairly breezy, and the wind kicks up lots of dust.
Four Peaks was barely visible, but I knew it was there!

Can you see my trail going up the hill?

Here I go!

About half-way through this particular hike,
I went into the Tonto National Forest.

I kept walking.
Can you see Four Peaks back there, hiding behind a veil of dust?

Here's nature's bench!!!
I didn't stop; I prefer sitting on rocks because they usually don't 
house critters and they don't typically crumble if I sit on them.

The rocks in this area are fascinating and beautiful with many colors
of lichen and grasses.

I sat on a rock and looked at Four Peaks (it's one of my favorite landmarks in the area -
it always helps me know where I am and what direction I'm headed!) for awhile
while having a little snack (walnuts & dried cranberries).
Then I headed back.

On the way out, I saw a feather stuck perfectly in the fence!

It was under 80 when I got back to the car.

I hope you enjoyed the sun and the gorgeous desert landscape
on this hike with me!

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