Above the Desert Heat
Oh yeah, while the people in the valley suffer through another day of 105, I drove to the Marshall Gulch trailhead, thousands of feet above the valley where the temps are 20 degrees cooler. The Tucson area has received 0.61' of rain but up here, water babbles in the brooks.
Climbing to the Marshall saddle I made a left on the Wilderness of Rocks trail where it emerged into an area of, well, rocks. Miles after mile of little vegetation but billions, maybe even trillions of rocks of all shapes and sizes.
Great views to the southwest and then, off trail for a couple hundred yards to.....
.....the Mount Lemmon pools. Water was stagnant and not too inviting so I did not strip and swim.
At mile 6, I hit the Mount Lemmon trail and made a right, with grand views to the west. If you look closely, you can see Picacho Peak on the center right, from here nothing more than two tiny black peaks. This being roughly the half way point, I sat and ate an apple while enjoying the views. Soon, the trail went up and there was some serious and extended climbing.
I walked through a meadow of ferns.....
....closing in on the top, among the desolate landscape from a long ago fire, new Aspen trees are emerging.
The trail hooked up with a fire service road and gave a solid view to the south with Mt Wrightson way out there. Images are so inadequate compared to the real thing.
The road approached the fire lookout station (upper left on the rocks) and then kept climbing and soon I found myself above the lookout and soon even above the top of the ski run before locating the start of.....
.....the Aspen trail which overlooks the village of Summerhaven in the distance.
Weird. The wind was blowing and while it passed over the standing tree trunks it produced numerous pitches of whistling. The limbs had fallen off, erosion or varmints had tunneled in to the trees and so the effect was as if standing with dozens of bottles and blowing over the top to produce noises. From here it was all down hill and I finished with 13 miles and several thousand feet of climbing. Fun day. Below, the drive back down to the oven.
6/29/2014 10:01:39 pm
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