Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wind Cave February 29, 2020

I selected the hike up to Wind Cave as my destination for this morning.  It's a mere 17 minute drive, the hike is short with some good steep rocky gain and reports say great views. But, being a hot Saturday in the desert, you gotta go early to beat the heat and the hoards.  The heat thing is all relative, it's hot for me but not the locals or snowbirds.  

The hike was wonderful!  It was pretty & fun!  The sun stayed behind the mountain until about 15 minutes before arriving back at my car.  Wildflower season is beginning here, there was lots of yellow and red, with a sprinkle of purple. There was loads of lichen on the walls which lit up nice when the sun hit it.

Feeling fulfilled I did not feel the need to keep my boots on and keep moving.  I found some shade, savoured snacks, breathed in the desert air and the views before heading back to my sister's place to laze around.

They were on the links today and this time the timing was right.  While I was lazing under her saguaro, she pulled up to tee off.  The afternoon flew by filled with beer time, nap time, neighbourly visit time, savouring freshly picked grapefruit time.  Then with dinner done, I sat outside to capture the desert sunset!
the orange star marks the general area of where the Cave is

view of my sister golfing while I lounged under her saguaro
juicy and delicious

the moon looks like a small white speck

 In December of 2018 I hiked around Pass Mountain with the pink arrows showing the route.  

Friday, February 28, 2020

Saguaro Lake Cruise February 28, 2020

There was no racing out the door this morning for either of us to hit the links nor hit the trails. That meant I got to sip my morning brew while watching the sun rise.  

We had tickets to cruise on the Desert Belle on Saguaro Lake this afternoon but before hoping on board, we enjoyed a picnic lunch by the beach area at Saguaro Lake.  This is also where I parked when I hiked Butcher Jones on Wednesday.  This is a busy spot with kayakers and paddle boarders taking off from the shore  and with the hikers heading into the forest.  

For the cruise, we scored perfect seats on the upper deck where we had great unobstructed views.  Once we got away from the dock, the roof opened up and the views got greater. I enjoyed seeing the surroundings from this vantage point and I could even pick out the route I hiked.  The Saguaro Lake and land around it is quite a playground offering a variety of activities on the lake and off.

With the cruise complete, we headed home, where I sipped while sitting under my sister's saguaro.  I began the day watching the sun rise and ended it watching the sun set.

my sister spotted a young bald eagle, we noticed it had been tagged

view while we waited our turn to board the Desert Belle

 a family affair

Ship Rock

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Black Top Mesa in the Superstition Wilderness February 27, 2020

As we head towards March and the mercury climbs, it means early starts on the hiking trails are necessary.  Yet, not having loads of confidence driving in the dark in the desert on dirt roads, I need some daylight and the daylight brings the warmth.  So, for my hike up to Black Top Mesa, it was warm right from the get go.

Most people hike the Black Top Mesa Trail Loop beginning on the Dutchman Trail.  My plan was an out and back on the Dutchman but incorporating a climb up to Bull Pass and then even more ascending to the actual top of Black Top Mesa.

There were lots of creek crossings along the way.  I guess even in the desert that comes with the onset of spring.  Wildflowers were scattered about. I was surprised to see what appeared to be paintbrushes.  

I made it to the top and from there had a 360 degree view.  I was now on the backside of Weavers's Needle whereas when I did Fremont Saddle & The Lone Tree the other day, I was on the opposite side.  There was no one up on this flat Mesa and I took tonnes of time to "remember to breathe".

Before beginning the trek down and back, I layered up with sunscreen, donned my sun hat then hit the trail.  Back down at the desert bottom was where I first began meeting up with other hikers and horseback riders. The views now were even prettier with the clouds in the sky and the lighting.  I kept telling myself to just keep going and let's get this done enough with the photo taking.  Finally, almost seven hours later I got it done!  I was a hot tired sweaty mess!  The only thing left was to get my boots and socks off which felt heavenly when I did, drive back out on the wilderness road, get safely through two round abouts, then home sweet home.  Feet up!  Beer in hand!  Stretched out!  Under my sister's saguaro!