The story begins in Iowa....ok, kidding. This is in Marana where the plains are spotted with a variety of crops. Soon.....
....I am on Silverbell Road, dirt, where I pass a couple of cows undisturbed by my passing. Smart cows as they seek the shade on this hot day.
Following directions from the "hikearizona.com" website, I find a turnoff and follow it a short distance until I decide my car ought not go farther. I park and begin the trek toward Ragged Top in the Silverbell Mountains. I've done this hike once but a long time ago.
Reaching this obvious point, I head into the thicket, following a gps route that I also downloaded from the AZ site.
I look back from where I started to make a mental note of where I should return, just in case I lose cell phone power. The function that enables me to follow the route is a battery eater. I know, just heading toward the distant mountain I'll eventually reach Silverbell Road and could probably figure out how to get to the car. Today's high is 105, a very dry heat of course but still...105....yikes.
Round trip, the hike is only 4 miles from where I started but it is all bushwhacking. Fortunately, the hiking is not too encumbered by brush but it was a good idea to wear long pants.
I'm headed toward a saddle, just over the above ridge. I pause and ask myself a question I am forced to ask, too many times; "What the heck are you doing out here?" You're supposed to do this hike in the late fall or winter but before lambing season. In July??? It's freaking hot already and I am going through fluid bottles like crazy. Then I think, just out of the blue, "Turn around you idiot!" So the "Good Mark" who sits on my right shoulder wins the day and I turn around. The "Bad Mark" merely stews but will have his say, another day. Headed to Flagstaff for cooler hiking.