I finally figured out how to download gpx files of routes so when I go off on these remote hikes I am not relying solely on what I can remember of hike reports off the internet. If I stray off the route the Garmin will show me and presumably I can no longer become lost. The best laid plans of mice and men.
It rained overnight on Tuesday and lingered into Wednesday morning so I came out for a scouting mission, without the Garmin. Of course I got off on some side trail and finally figured it out when rather than climbing a ridge I just kept going away from it. The clouds created an ominous view as I returned to the parking lot but the next day.....
...the clouds were gone as I and my Garmin followed a forest service road for about a mile before dropping into a circular wash where I stumbled upon a.....
.....scale. I've seen some weird stuff on hikes but this may top them all. Hike reports, few that there are for this trail, were sketchy about exiting this circular wash as there are some alternatives but....
....find this and you are good to go.
The ridge running down hill and perpendicular to the mountains is what I think is the destination. I check my Garmin and the triangle icon is right on the blue line that indicates the trail. I am full of confidence.
The trail, not overgrown and in good shape enters a small grove of saguaro cactus and while passing through, I was astounded by.....
....this specimen and its brother. Easily the largest single cactus I have seen and the largest pair I have seen. I can't guess how old they are but it takes about 70 years for an arm to sprout. The trail exits this grove, climbs a hill and soon I walk off the main trail, following a game or a spur trail. Understand, I'm not bush whacking. There is a fairly obvious trail but I just missed a 90 degree turn to the left. I was somewhat troubled by the fact that I no longer saw foot prints but figured those who had come before had turned around.
The trail emerges onto a large boulder that offered fantastic views to the southwest and ....
...south. Just awesome and I wish you could all have been standing there to soak it in. I checked the Garmin and the icon showed I was still on the trail so I kept going although concerned that the ridge was now behind me and I was walking away from it. I began thinking, "This can't be right.", stopped and turned around. About half a mile later I found where I had missed the turn and got back on route.
Check out that roundish rock balanced on a support. I kept walking and checked the Garmin and it still showed me on trail. What the heck. How could it show me on the trail both when I was off and now on it? Arraggghhhhh!!!!
At mile 5 and short of the destination, I turned around. Too late in the day to complete the hike and sure, my confidence in the Garmin was shot.
I was almost back to the car when these guys came stampeding toward me. Terrified I ran to the car. OK, that is an exaggeration. They were plodding toward dinner I suppose. This was a great route and I'll be back soon to complete it.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.