I was motivated to do the 26 mile climb to the village of Summerhaven and the infamous Cookie Shack where cookies the size of a hubcap are served. I shoved off and was making good time. I became hungry at about 11:45, stopped at "7 Cataracts Vista" at mile 9, reached into my back pocket and ohhhh, I forgot to pack food. Not good with so far yet to go. Bonking up here would be bad so I turned around at 10 miles and coasted down, heading over to Saguaro East Park and that neat 8 mile loop. I finished with 54 miles and 4100" of climbing.
Thursday, I volunteered to help Paul, a nice guy who leads a variety of hikes, lead a group up the Flat Iron, which would make my 7th trip up this rugged route to the peak just below the sun, muted by heavy cloud cover. It is always good when a hike has good cloud cover, making it somewhat easier. The high today would be 80. We parked at the Miner's Camp Restaurant and the five of us shoved off.
There I am, leading our small group to the base of Siphon Draw. The image is so inadequate in capturing the steepness of the climb up the Draw.
Here, at the top of the Draw I wait for our band of hikers. It is spring break so the trail was kind of crowded with other hikers.
Roughly half way up, one of our bunch, Dale, takes this image which makes it seem that Paul and Lucy are paying attention to something I am saying but that is a distortion of what is really taking place. The belt of my waist pack makes it appear my tummy is spilling over the belt but that too is a distortion of reality. Note to self: Hold in your stomach when someone is taking your picture.
The going on this just under 3 mile hike to the top is very rugged and knurly, just the way I like it. So, so steep too.
We navigate the 12' wall as a final test at the end of the climb, take a short hike and reach the Flat Iron.
Looking to the southeast, I can see Superstition Peak way in the distance, something I bagged in November. As we sat to eat and drink, we heard a rumbling sound and suddenly.....
....this restored WWII plane (which Matt Ashmore identified as an AT6) burst from behind a rock wall at below eye level, climbed and roared away. Thanks to Dale for taking this image. On the hike down, as we approached the bottom, the trail was bounded by many types of wild flowers, growing vigorously after a good winter of rain.
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