Finishing up the trip, I hit the Sombero Peak trail that the guidebooks say is specifically known for rattlers. It certainly looked like a good environment for rattlers but I got started late, about 10:00am so they were probably all in the shade and I never saw one. Also took the wrong trail, a spur trail around a chapel called Sanctuary Cove, which was a nice mile diversion.
Then got on to the correct trail but after a couple of miles, it reaches this rather formidable wall. I went left and right but could not find a way to the peak. Plus, by now the rocks were very hot to the touch so grabbing them to hoist up was unthinkable. Oh well, back down but forgot to freeze any fluids the night before so my water was boiling and undrinkable except I drank it because of course I was thirsty. Have to come back another time to tackle the peak.
No shade on this trail other then many large specimens of cactus, but they don't give off much shade.
Thursday, I headed up Mt. Wrightson, via "Old Baldy Trail" This would be the hardest hike to date, a 5.5 mile climb with 5400' of elevation gain. Great views after coming out of the trees and I assume the trail is called Old Baldy because no trees grow up here.
At the peak, I signed in at the register, an old notebook stuck in an ammo container bolted to a rock. Also here was the foundation of a fire lookout tower, long gone. And with that, my trip to AZ came to a close. I was not thrilled about coming out in June but discovered by making adjustments (starting early or going up the mountains) the heat was not all that bad and still plenty to do. With four mountain ranges ringing the valley, I've only scratched the surface of available trails and rock climbing may be worth getting involved in and I hear there are plenty of caving opportunities too.
Flew back to Ohio on Friday and then Saturday, hooked up with Mark C, the Kendas, Flyin Tuna, Jr. Muscle Dude John, Corvair for a good route out of Zanesville. Kenda Paul above with a new bike. Paul is not the most efficient user of pre-ride time but he eventually got everything organized and we shoved off. 83 miles with 5500' of climbing. An ideal day except for....
.....the comedy routine of Mark and Cindy attempting to change a flat. It took them so long, even the ticks managed to take advantage of the glacial pace of tire changing with Mark having 2 and Cindy 1 and then.....
....there were three rain episodes, two of them soaking rains. The non soaking rain was a soaker but we managed to find this hut along the route so we did not get soaked, this time. John ponders why he came out as Kenda Paul pulls in. John has lost 60 pounds and turning into a real climber.
Of course, the highlight of the trip was talking the uber sophisticate Janet into walking into the Big Muskie bucket. I promised no image of this unsophisticated act would appear in the blog. So, so naïve is she. Well, back on schedule and ready to put up the Tuesday report, which includes Todd Mullen's first crash ever on a bike but he is ok. Paul Stock has a bloody knee but he too is ok. More to come.