I'll state the obvious first. Leading a group ride you create a route, say some encouraging words and get out of the way. Leading a group hike, especially one that is mostly just a route with no to little trail to follow, you stay in front and worry about getting bit by a rattler every step. Ha, ha. Above, we rise above Gates Pass trail head. Note the Jumping Cholla on the right. That plant caused problems for many of us.
Great views in all directions as we slowly made our way higher and higher.
Debra, Holly and Saikat sitting while removing a cactus spine from his foot. Can't leave those in there as they will penetrate deeper.
Our trek will take us behind the above formation prior to exiting to the road. Seems simple enough and I have done the loop once before. Yet, I was stumped a few times but showed a confident face, especially when asked if I was lost!
Holly avoids the Chollas. Even I had a cluster attach itself to me not once but twice. At least I learned long ago not to reach and grab them. Take a rock or stick and brush it off although I was picking spines out after the hike from my leg and arm.
We've reached the half way point and now the way ahead gets really good as we traverse a narrow spine of rock. The wind was strong too so that complicated things a bit.
Down and then up prior to descending to a saddle on the left.
The gang manages their way through a tough section of boulders.
I love hopping from along ridges like this. Such fun.
And the others navigate it just fine too. No deaths to report on this hike so that is good.
Now we descend. Odd how the image fails to show how steep this section was as was....
….the next as we dropped into a narrow canyon and continued toward the Gates Pass Road where we would exit the wilderness and make the short walk to the parking lot. This was only a 4 mile hike but so many obstacles and route finding made it a long hike.
Patty shows that maybe wearing long pants would have been better. But, I probably did not disclose how wise it would be to wear long pants and long sleeves too. Fun hike with good people. We are already talking about doing it again! Well, a different location.